THE PRESIDENT OF KAZAKHSTAN has opened the parliamentary season of his country on September 2nd, 2019 with the State of the Nation Address. 

Mr. Tokayev was elected on June 9 with 70,96 % of the votes. He has extensive experience having served as Chairman of the Senate, Prime Minister and State Secretary of Kazakhstan. He has been also holding international posts such as the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN and Director-General of the UN Office in Geneva and Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General at the Conference on Disarmament. 

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A satellite image dated 21 August 2019 shows several fires burning in the Brazilian states of Amazonas, Para, Mato Grosso and Rondonia. (Handout – NOAA/AFP/Lehtikuva)

THE EUROPEAN UNION must take action to fight the wildfires raging in the Amazon, Brazil, demand both Ville Niinistö (Greens), a Member of the European Parliament, and Petteri Orpo, the chairperson of the National Coalition.

Almost 73,000 wildfires have been detected in what is the largest rainforest in the world between January and August, representing an 84 per cent increase from the corresponding period in 2018.

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The Amazon wildfires can be seen from space. Image: NASA

Our biggest rainforest, Amazon, is on fire right now for the 19th day. The wildfires - roaring in an area of around 2254 sq. kilometres - are so big that columns of smoke can be seen from space. The Sky in São Paulo went dark on Monday at around 3 pm as the smoke from the fires reached the city. Residents have not experienced a similar phenomenon before; not even in the darkest days of the rainy season.

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Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson (L) and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (R) pose for a photograph before talks at Bute House in Edinburgh during his visit to Scotland on July 29, 2019. - New British Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes his first official visit to Scotland on Monday in an attempt to bolster the union in the face of warnings over a no-deal Brexit. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

The UK’s post-study work offer, part of the new post-Brexit immigration system, compares poorly with international competitors, a new review has found.

The review found countries are increasingly developing competitive migration policies aimed at attracting and retaining international students.

The key findings of the analysis, commissioned by the Scottish Government, and undertaken by Dr Paulina Trevena of the University of Glasgow, conclude:

• The UK Government should introduce a more competitive post-study work offer taking into consideration ease of application and application timescales, programme length, work entitlement and opportunities for applying to the programme after leaving the UK.

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A unique expedition vehicle will participate in many ecological projects happening and planned for the future in northwestern Russia that are part of the big Kolarctic CBC 2014-2020 EU program, which supports cross-border cooperation between Finland, Sweden, Norway and Russia.

In particular, the eco-mobile will be used in the ReARK project, the aim of which is to monitor the Paz, Indem and Vyala rivers in the above-mentioned countries in order to form a plan of action for ecological improvement and sustaining biodiversity.

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Late May in Almaty Kazakhstan, a crowd of international participants form 50 different countries is pouring in to the Ritz Carlton for a 3 day intellectual feast. This is the 2019 Eurasian Media Forum and the audience, at least those who have been here before, are not to be easily surprised by what the event may have to offer. The forum has been prominent and unique in hosting debates between representatives of a wide spectrum of opinion and conduct, but the panel discussion most expected this year was definitely the one opening the final day

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A picture taken on May 9, 2019, shows Saudi cargo ship Bahri Yanbu waiting in the port of Le Havre. - French President defended his country's arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on May 9, 2019 as campaigners focused attention on a new shipment set to leave from the northern port of Le Havre. Human rights groups have regularly denounced France for continuing to supply the Gulf states despite allegations of war crimes and civilian deaths during their military operations in neighbouring Yemen. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

According to the EU’s reporting on arms exports, EU member states issued at least 607 licences worth over 15.8 billion euros to Saudi Arabia in 2016. The main European exporters of conventional arms to Saudi Arabia include the UK, France, Spain, Italy and Bulgaria. Between 2013 and 2018, Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly half of the UK’s and a third of Belgium’s arms exports. Other countries – including Germany, the Netherlands and Norway – have started to restrict weapons sales to the Saudi and UAE-led coalition.

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The Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) is being held from April 25 to 27 in Beijing. President Xi Jinping attended the opening ceremony and delivered a keynote speech. He also chaired the whole leaders' roundtable. The theme of the Forum is "Belt and Road Cooperation, Shaping a Brighter Shared Future". The mainline is to promote the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) for high-quality development. Heads of state and government from 37 countries attended the Forum.

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Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon makes a statement to the Scottish Parliament on Brexit and a second independence referendum, at Holyrood, central Edinburgh on April 24, 2019. LEHTIKUVA / AFP

FM outlines path forward amid ‘broken status quo’.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has today outlined the steps the Scottish Government will take to progress the debate on Scotland’s future in light of Brexit, and the action to be taken to protect the option for an independence referendum to be held within the current term of the Scottish Parliament.

In a parliamentary statement, the First Minister said it was time to build consensus in place of a UK Government system that clearly does not work in Scotland’s interests, and in the face of a constitutional ‘status quo which is broken’.

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The documentary, Slaget om kvalen ("Battle of Agony"), shows grisly footage of Norway's whaling industry, including one bloody scene where a fisherman cuts open a whale and removes its fetus.

Six Russian ecological organisations have submitted an official letter addressed to António Guterres, the Secretary-General of the UN and Harald V, the King of Norway, asking them to stop or limit the quotas for whale fishing. 

The letter makes a strong point that Norway is the only country refusing to accept the moratorium on whale fishing declared by the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling, arguing that it is a historically established national tradition.

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