How did three Danes end up being tortured in Lebanon?
The human cost of the Greek financial crisis
06 Nov 2013 11:16 GMT
A ballot box is placed in a polling station in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, for the November 6 presidential elections. The former Soviet republic, population eight million, will choose among six presidential candidates.
President Emomali Rakhmon is expected to win a new seven-year term, extending his rule to nearly three decades. The five other candidates who qualified are little-known and are loyal to Rakhmon. The international community has previously criticised Rakhmon, saying elections failed to meet democratic standards.
President Rakhmon took power in 1992, after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Rakhmon is often seen on state television surrounded by well-wishers who sing him odes and address him as "your highness."
Tajikistan(***)s former imperial master Russia opened a military base here in 2004. Last month, Rakhmon ratified a deal with Russia to extend Moscow\(***)s military presence until 2042.
MAXIM SHEMETOV / POOL/EPA
Tajiks are ethnically close to Persians, and their language is similar to Farsi. Ethnic Tajiks make up 84 percent of the population, Uzbeks 12 percent, Kyrgyz 0.8 percent and Russians 0.5 percent.
Tajikistan is the poorest of the 15 post-Soviet nations. It became a member of the World Trade Organization in March 2012. Monthly wages average just $135.
Forty-seven percent of Tajiks live below the poverty line, according to World Bank data, and the country\(***)s per capita gross domestic product was just $860 in 2012 - putting it on par with many countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than half of Tajikistan\(***)s labour force works abroad, mostly in Russia, and sends home remittances to support their families - like Shadi Madaminov, above.
Tajikistan\(***)s economy is highly dependent on agriculture. Cotton is the most important crop, and its production is closely monitored, and, in many cases, controlled by the government, according to the CIA World Factbook.
Tajikistan is the only former Soviet state with Islam as its official religion. Sunni Muslims make up 96.6 percent of the population and Shia Muslims 2.8 percent.
Tajikistan is one of the main routes for Afghan heroin entering Russia and Europe. But the government aggressively pursues drug traffickers.
Tajikistan has good relations with its neighbours, especially with China. In 2012, the two countries signed agreements for China to extend $1bn in direct investment to Tajikistan.
Migrants complain of being sent to squalid shelters, as France unveils plan to reduce asylum processing times.
Europe, France, Migrants
Despite reforms, lifting of sanctions and 'opening', political activists in Myanmar continue to face arrests.
Human Rights, Asia, Myanmar
Changing climate, unpredictable rains dry out the land, threaten the pastoral way of life in Somaliland.
Poverty & Development, Environment, Africa
Tensions rise as Greeks from both side of the bailout debate take to the streets to withdraw money and express angst.
Politics, Europe, Greece
An inside look at the devastating impact of the Greek financial crisis on ordinary citizens.
Business & Economy, Europe, Greece
Can Afghan archaeologists take on the Chinese and the Taliban to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site?
Arts & Culture, Asia, Afghanistan
In war-torn Afghanistan it is not the Taliban that poses the greatest threat to women - it is their own families.
Human Rights, Women, Afghanistan
After decades of tension and hostility between the two nations, has change finally come to US-Cuba relations?