Russia’s 2012 crackdown worst since Soviet era , report

Authoritarianism increased last year in Russia to levels unseen since the Soviet era with a raft of harsh laws curbing political freedoms and harassment of opposition activists and critics, Human Rights Watch said on Thursday. The crackdown coincided with the return of Vladimir Putin to the Kremlin and the appointment of his predecessor

Egypt’s judges refuse to work with President Morsi

Egypt’s judges drew up new battle lines in the country’s constitutional crisis on Sunday, announcing they would refuse to work with President Mohammed Morsi until further notice. The Supreme Constitutional Court put off a key ruling over whether to order the dissolution of the constitutional assembly

Egyptian protesters, police clash before Cairo rally

Egyptian protesters and police are clashing today in Cairo just hours ahead of a massive rally by opponents of the Islamist president, who are demanding that he rescind decrees granting him near-absolute powers. Tuesday’s clashes are near the U.S. Embassy and the Egyptian capital’s Tahrir Square

At least 60 killed in suspected massacre in Syria

At least 60 charred bodies were found Thursday in a suburb of the Syrian capital of Damascus in what activists described as another massacre committed by government forces. The bodies, all with their hands tied behind their backs

Swedish DM calls Saudi regime a ‘dictatorship’

Sweden’s minister for defense Karin Enström, slammed by human rights organizations for refusing to call Saudi Arabia a “dictatorship”, has been forced to change her mind on the issue. “We don’t make up lists of countries, but it is clear that it isn’t a democracy,