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Motives for Tajikistan violence murky

Many in Tajikistan were shocked through the announcement that the disaffected deputy defence minister was accountable for attacks on security structures within the capital Dushanbe on Friday

Nine cops were wiped out when militants brought by Gen Abdukhalim Nazarzoda released the assaults Procedures against his group are ongoing in the Romit gorge about 50km (30 miles) east of Dushanbe

Why would a senior security official attack their own co-workers seize weapons and conceal inside a gorge together with his fans?

You should observe that the federal government is supplying hardly any information making these attacks difficult to analyse

Mr Nazarzoda would be a area commander throughout the civil war within the the nineteen nineties and fought against government forces included in the U . s . Tajik Opposition (UTO)

Following a peace agreement in 1997 he became a member of the military and grew to become a commander Other people from the UTO which in fact had a 30% quota underneath the peace deal became a member of the federal government However the integration in to the condition structures never was smooth

Edward Lemon a doctorate student in the College of Exeter who studies Tajikistan states Leader Emomali Rakhmon has progressively moved against his former competitors and consolidated energy across the nation The introduction to energy-discussing contracts from time to time results in violence

Thus an effort to arrest former warlord Mirzahuja Akhmadov in 2008 led to an ambush where the mind of special forces was wiped out

Afterwards however Mr Akhmadov supported government procedures against other former area commanders – moving which guaranteed him immunity from prosecution a minimum of for the moment

When influential commander Mullo Abdullo who was not seen for nearly ten years came back to Tajikistan in ’09 government bodies released a unique operation to capture him with what it referred to like a counter-drugs campaign

Throughout the operation Mirzo Ziyoyev former emergency minister and among the leaders of UTO was shot dead Mullo Abdullo was eventually wiped out this year

Thus as Mr Rakhmons energy increased with time he grew to become the much more bold in getting rid of former area commanders who still had their armed supporters who could challenge him

And recently the federal government has cracked lower around the opposition Islamic Renaissance Party that was fundamentally from the UTO throughout the civil war Its leader fled the nation fearing persecution and also the party continues to be effectively banned

Some experts see the situation of Mr Nazarzoda up to now another illustration of the government authorities growing attack on anybody who are able to oppose the regime

However Mr Nazarzoda is not near to the opposition previously decade Based on Parviz Mullojanov a Dushanbe-based political analyst he wasn’t involved with politics and didn’t pose any threat towards the leader

Besides area commanders don’t have the political or military forces they’d before he states

So motives behind the deputy ministers decision to consider arms and switch from the government aren’t obvious However suggestions the attacks really are a reflection of accelerating Islamic radicalisation ought to be given caution

Regardless of the routines concern over radical Islam the truth is that many of the recent conflicts in the united states happen to be less about religion and much more about local politics states Mr Lemon

Regardless of the causes of the attacks the federal government clearly feels it must do something

This Year whenever a group which was underneath the command of the former warlord wiped out a burglar service general within the east of the nation the federal government sent 100s of troops with heavy equipment and armoured automobiles Formally 30 rebels and 17 soldiers were wiped out

This time around again the federal government may wish to punish the gunmen in the same way They’ll attempt to provide the message that anybody who opposes the federal government is going to be destroyed

Huge search for general in Colombia

President Juan Manuel Santos (R), sent his defence minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon (LC) to lead the investigation.


The Colombian authorities have begun a huge search operation to find a general abducted by left-wing Farc rebels on Sunday

The abduction of Ruben Dario Alzate marks the first time in 50 years of conflict that a general has been taken

President Juan Manuel Santos has suspended the next round of the peace talks which have been taking place in Havana for the past two years

He sent his defence minister to the region where the general was taken

The president demanded that the kidnappers free Brig Gen Alzate safe and sound

During the peace talks, the Farc (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and the government did not declare a ceasefire

Brig Gen Alzate was travelling along the Atrato river in the northern province of Choco by boat

He stopped at a village called Las Mercedes, about 15km (10 miles) from the provincial capital Quibdo to talk to the local community.

Rebels thought to belong to the 34th division of the Farc met him there, reports say.

The rebels searched him and took him and two other people – lawyer Gloria Urrego and Capt Jorge Rodriguez Contreras – captive, the army says.

A spokesman for the Farc in Havana declined to comment, saying the rebels’ negotiators were still investigating the incident. ‎

‎‎Writing on Twitter, President Santos also demanded an explanation from Defence Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon as to what Brig Gen Alzate was doing in an area of high rebel activity dressed in civilian clothes. ‎

‎More than two years ago, the Farc announced they would stop their policy of kidnapping people in order to show their good will ahead of peace negotiations.

But after seizing two soldiers recently in the eastern province of Arauca they clarified that that policy applied only to civilians, not to military targets.

An estimated 220,000 people have died in five decades of armed conflict in Colombia. ‎

President Santos was re elected on a promise of driving the peace process forward but Colombians are getting increasingly impatient with the slow pace of progress at the peace talks.

Scottish No vote relief for firms

No supporters celebrated the outcome of the referendum


Many businesses have spoken of relief over Scotland’s rejection of independence, but said the No vote was the start of a period of change.

However, banking giant RBS said it would not now move its head office to London

The bank said it would be business as usual for all our customers across the UK

Businesses in favour of independence were disappointed with the referendum outcome

Financial services companies including RBS, Lloyds, TSB, Standard Life, Clydesdale, and Tesco Bank had indicated that they would move headquarters or parts of the business south if Scotland had voted Yes

RBS said The announcement we made about moving our registered head office to England was part of a contingency plan to ensure certainty and stability for our customers, staff and shareholders should there be a Yes vote.

That contingency plan is no longer required. Following the result it is business as usual for all our customers across the UK and RBS it added

Standard Life confirmed that it would not be moving any operations to England

They’ve the plans have been shelved for now. We’ve no plans to move any of our operations a Standard Life spokesman said

Lloyds Banking Group said it remains committed to having a significant presence in Scotland

However, BBC business editor Kamal Ahmed said that the response from Lloyds was far more equivocal” than the one from RBS.

I am told the bank did not want to make a final statement on its legal home until other significant regulatory matters are dealt with he said in a blog post

That sources tell me, includes ring-fencing  the government’s proposals to split retail and investment banking. Lloyds wants to keep its options open until those plans are finalised, which is not likely to happen until 2018 he added

The Bank of England, which had contingency plans in the event of a Yes vote for independence, declined to comment.

Business lobbying groups said that firms were relieved over the outcome of the vote

The CBI said “business has always believed that the Union is best for creating jobs”.

“This is a momentous day for our United Kingdom and this result will be greeted by a collective sigh of relief across the business community,” said John Cridland, CBI director general.

However, the group warned that devolution should not undermine the strength of the single internal market

Pro-independence group Business for Scotland said that it was disappointed that the opportunity to improve Scotland through independence has been lost

Huge credit due to the Scottish people who have, by and large, conducted the biggest political debate there is with good grace, good manners and some sparkling wit said Business for Scotland chairman Tony Banks.

Like others who campaigned for a Yes vote, I’ll continue campaigning for a better Scotland. We won’t have all the tools that we would have had after a Yes vote but we’ll all do what we can to improve things as much as possible

Business group the Institute of Directors (IoD) Scotland said that political groups and businesses needed to “get together to focus on growth

Greater fiscal and political autonomy for Scotland are on the way and previously opposing groups now need to work together, and with the business sector, to make sure that the outcome is successful said IoD Scotland executive director David Watt.

One of the key issues of the referendum was the outcome for Scotland’s oil and gas industry in the event of a Yes or No vote.

Government policy on taxation of Scottish energy resources is now one of the issues to be decided as Scotland is granted powers under further devolution.

Oil & Gas UK, a lobbying group for the energy industry, called for the government to press swiftly ahead with fiscal reform

It added that recommendations to maximise the economic recovery of our oil and gas resource should be implemented

Energy giant Shell added that the decision for Scotland to remain in the UK reduces the operating uncertainty for businesses based in Scotland.

Lord Haskins, former chairman of Northern Foods, said there could be “consequences for supermarkets that took positions supporting a No vote. He told the BBC there was a danger supermarkets could be shunned by shoppers

John Lewis, which in the build-up to the referendum had said that prices could rise in Scotland in the event of a Yes vote, said it had no comment to mak

Asda, which had also warned of price rises, said The Scottish market is important to us

I always said that it was for the Scottish people to decide their own future in a democratic referendum,” said Asda chief executive Andy Clarke.

We serve 1.8 million customers every week and our single price file means that the price they pay in Perth is the same as they would pay in Portsmouth, irrespective of higher operating costs. That is a point of difference for our business and something of which we are very proud.”

Downton star leaves behind Matthew Crawley for US action role

Dan Stevens quit Downton Abbey at the height of its popularity to take on Hollywood


He gained legions of fans in both Britain and North America playing aristocratic heartthrob Matthew Crawley in ITV’s Downton Abbey. Now Dan Stevens has become part of a new elite of young British actors making their names in Hollywood thanks to their television success

The 31 year old from Croydon, South London, has just shot six feature films in a year, including his first leading movie role – The Guest, an independent comedy horror, in which Stevens plays an ex-soldier programmed to kill anything and anyone who gets in his way.

“This was not written for me in any way, I had to beg for the part, Stevens explains. “I just read it and the wonderful thing is that it is so playful, and crosses so many genres  there are echoes of Terminator 2 in there, and other action franchises, as well as horror and black comedy. I was laughing out loud.

I met Adam Winguard, the director who is a bit of a cult celebrity as he also made a very similar film to this, You’re Next, and I think what tickled him was the idea of the first scene, when this solider, David, rings a doorbell. The family open it, and there he is  the guy from Downton Abbey as you’ve never seen him before.

The actor adds that he had to promise to lose weight and shape up so I’m nothing like that period drama hero, so hopefully after a few scenes audiences then forget about Matthew Crawley; it’s just the initial comic reaction Adam wanted.

Stevens, who is married with two young children, made the transition to making films in the US in 2012, after two hugely successful years playing Matthew Crawley in the ITV series, which gave the Cambridge-educated actor his first starring role.

The character’s love story with his distant cousin Mary, played by Michelle Dockery, was a hit with audiences, and Stevens’s untimely exit from the series caused uproar on social media, who questioned whether he was making the right decision to leave.

But now, as well as The Guest, Stevens has roles in Night of the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, where he plays opposite Ben Stiller; The Cobbler with Adam Sandler; and the thriller A Walk Amongst the Tombstones, playing opposite Liam Neeson.

Other young British actors who have made the transition from TV to starring parts in Hollywood include Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones, who was the leading man of 2014 blockbuster Pompeii; Emilia Clarke, also from Game of Thrones, who will play Sarah Connor in the next Terminator film in 2015; and his co-star Michelle Dockery, whose next project, the drama Selfless, sees her play opposite Ryan Reynolds

We are just very, very lucky to have been in the right place at the right time Stevens admits

I think there is a fluidity to the industry that there has never been before and television stands alongside film in terms of quality. While many of us have done film work before, it is the popularity of Game of Thrones and Downton Abbey that are giving actors like me these chances

These shows are so beloved, so hugely popular, especially in the States, that I guess we all have a familiarity with audiences, they feel like they know us, as we’re in their living rooms every week

Downton and Game of Thrones have thrown a lifeline to our industry in Britain and I think the popularity of British talent over in North America has never been greater.

I always feel very honoured when I’m awarded roles like this one in The Guest, where I’m a typical American anti-hero – they really don’t have to do it, they’ve got plenty of outstanding people of their own to pick. It’s a hugely competitive place and if you have any success at all, you have to be grateful.

I was so sorry to leave Downton and devastate fans,” he continues. I’m still saying sorry to them in the street. And I already believe that I will never get to do anything else in my career that has that level of devotion from its audience. But at some point you have to make a jump

The first blockbuster Stevens had a part in, 2013’s wikileaks drama The Fifth Estate, had subdued critical reaction, but The Guest has a rare 100% fresh review from the movie website Rotten Tomatoes, and Time Out calling it a welcome switch-up for Stevens. Those blandly blond good looks, here accessorised with an apple pie American accent, are put to sinister use

The actor confesses, though, that he has no handbook for how to have a successful movie career, I have no idea what my next move should be

I’ve just decided to do films that regardless of budget, nurture and foster a great atmosphere on set. The Guest was one of those, because it was just an incredibly playful atmosphere with a very unique sort of script. And then the next moment I am lying on the floor in the Night At The Museum, playing Sir Lancelot, watching Ben Stiller do his stuff.

That’s when you pinch yourself, when you can’t believe what’s happening, and how on earth you’ve achieved this level of popularity, almost completely by acciden