Ukraine’s former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was released from prison after the ousting of former president Viktor Yanukovich, has said that Russia has declared war not just on the Ukraine, but on the whole world. She added that diplomacy is not working with the Kremlin, and that continued dialogue is a waste of time.
The UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have withdrawn their ambassadors from Qatar because Doha has not implemented an agreement among Gulf Arab countries not to interfere with each others’ internal affairs. But Qatar has called the move ‘a big mistake’.
Singapore has become the world’s most expensive city for expatriates, replacing Tokyo which had been number one for years. Singapore’s rise is due to its strong currency, high price of utilities, and cost of car ownership.
The EU and US are considering financial punishments for Russia, following the latter’s incursion into the Ukraine. But Russian president Vladimir Putin has warned that any sanctions imposed upon his country will backfire.
A year after Hugo Chavez died, supporters in Venezuela are preparing to mark the life, and influence of the country’s former leader. The anniversary comes at a time of political upheaval for Venezuela, with current leader Nicolas Maduro straining under sustained anti-government rallies.
Kosovo is to create its first national army, with 5,000 soldiers and 3,000 reservists. The army will be built on the current lightly-armed civic response force, and the Kosovo Security Force that replaced the armed rebels who fought against the Serbs at the end of the 1990s.
At least eleven people – including a judge – have been killed after a suicide attack on a court in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad. The Pakistani Taliban has officially denied any involvement, fuelling fears of a splintering inside the group.
MEPs have backed stricter EU rules on tobacco products. Cigarettes containing flavours such as vanilla or menthol will be banned from 2020 following the vote, despite fierce lobbying from the tobacco industry.
Holders of digital currency bitcoin have been left confused by the apparent closure of Mt. Gox – one of the world’s biggest trading exchanges for the currency. The Mt. Gox website was down, and its Tokyo office empty, with a brief update explaining that a decision had been taken to close all transactions for the time being.
Oil has become a major issue in the upcoming referendum on Scottish independence. British prime minister David Cameron has traveled to northern Scotland to meet oil workers ahead of the vote which could see Scotland break away from the rest of Great Britain.
Dubai is in the throes of a controversy surrounding its gold trading practices. Allegations have surfaced that the precious metal is being traded in breach of international guidelines restricting the trade of gold from conflict zones. A former partner from Ernst and Young has said billions of dollars worth of gold was being traded in cash, and that gold has been painted silver to get past customer relations.