A free and fair vote in Ukraine's parliamentary elections?
Ukraine holds parliamentary elections on Sunday, the first to be held under President Viktor Yanukovych. Western powers are concerned about the direction Ukraine has been heading in following the 2011 jailing of Yanukovych's main rival, former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The ruling Regions party wants election observers in place to validate the voting. Yet local NGOs claim that the ruling party is engaging in such actions that could skewer the election in its favour.
Sri Lanka organised Saturday the first vote since the government forces defeated the Tigers three months ago. However, the situation is still unsecured and the country still ethnically divided with 300 000 Tamils detained in refugee camps.
On August 7 2008, Georgia and Russia went to war over the small breakaway province of South Ossetia. One year on, tensions on the ground remain high, to the point that there are even fears in some quarters of another war.
Last week, China's Supreme Court said it wished to drastically reduce the number of death sentences handed out each year - reportedly more than the rest of the world put together. But abolishing the death penalty altogether is not on the agenda.
Hernan Castillo, author of a book linking Hugo Chavez to the FARC rebel group, is one of a number of Venezuelan thinkers leaving a hostile country they feel now resembles a police state for fear of persecution for their political views.