Ankara recently announced that Turkish military service will be reduced from 15 to 12 months. In a country where over half of the population is under 25, this mandatory call to arms has long been traumatic for many conscripts. The number of reported cases of ill-treatment and even torture are rising. According to one association, a Turkish soldier commits suicide every three days - more than double the number of soldiers killed on the front over the past ten years.
Since September 18th, 28 Greenpeace activists and two journalists have been held in a Murmansk jail for taking part in a demonstration against a Russian oil rig in the Arctic. Russia initially accused them of piracy, but the charges have now been reduced to the lesser crime of hooliganism, which carries up to seven years in prison rather than fifteen. Our reporters went to meet them and find out more about their jail conditions.
As Argentina gears up for mid-term parliamentary elections on Sunday, the ruling party appears in trouble. Some critics believe this could be the beginning of the end for President Cristina Kirchner and what they call her "temperamental politics". However, the president's recent health problems - she recently had surgery to remove a blood clot on her brain - could increase voters' sympathy for her.
Hit by soaring electricity prices, Spaniards are taking it upon themselves to cut their bills by creating cooperatives. One such association, which boasts over 400,000 members, is inviting Spanish energy companies to bid for their custom over the next 12 months. The scheme is in defiance of the near-monopoly on the Spanish energy market and shows how consumers are starting to fight back against high electricity bills.
Greenpeace is the one of the most famous NGOs in the world. It raises awareness on environmental issues through often spectacular campaigns. But these operations don’t come without risk. Thirty Greenpeace activists are currently being detained in Russia after their bid to board an Arctic oil rig. Charged with "piracy", they could face up to 15 years in jail.