Over the past three years, investment in Bulgaria has nosedived more than 75 percent, and foreign investment has fallen 650 percent, according to the Bulgarian Industrial Association. In 2012, the country went from 38th to 53rd place in terms of international competitiveness, and the amount of capital from Bulgaria into neighboring countries climbed to 60 percent. Trade unions and businesses are now asking the government for a variety of measures to improve the business climate in the country.
A U.S. federal district court in New York City has allowed an amended complaint from Universal Trading & Investment Co. (UTICo) to collect on two federal judgments worth a total of $41 million from former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and 12 other defendants, including her exiled husband Oleksandr Tymoshenko, the Kyiv Post reported. A 2005 Massachusetts court judgment that awarded UTICo $18.3 million from United Energy Systems of Ukraine, a company once controlled by Yulia Tymoshenko, was uncollectible because she had unlawfully drained the company's assets. A second judgment in favor of UTICo against Tymoshenko is valued at $23 million.
Russia is planning to deploy cutting-edge technology, including drones, robotic vehicles searching for explosives and high-speed patrol boats sweeping the Black Sea coast to make sure the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi will be "the safest Olympics in history," according to the Associated Press. But intelligence analysts and regional experts warn that an Islamic insurgency raging across the North Caucasus Mountains that tower over the seaside resort of Sochi presents daunting threats. Despite the deployment of tens of thousands of Russian troops, police officers and private guards equipped with high-tech gadgetry, the simmering unrest in the Caucasus could put President Vladimir Putin's pet project at risk.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden urged Kosovar Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi June 10 to swiftly implement a deal meant to normalize ties between Kosovo and Serbia, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The deal, which was brokered by the European Union in April, is designed to create power sharing between municipal bodies in the Serb-majority north of Kosovo and the ethnic Albanian-led central government. Under the deal, Serbs in the north will retain their own autonomous bodies for health care, education and other matters. The police and courts will be administered under the central government's laws, according to RFE/RL.
Stephane Richard, the chief executive officer of France-based Telecom Company, Orange, was taken in for questioning June 10. Richard was questioned about his involvement with a payout to businessman Bernard Tapie, who received a large sum from the French government following arbitration in 2008. At the time, Richard was working for the French Finance Ministry. It is claimed Tapie received the payout in a settlement dispute due to his support of former French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Christine Lagarde, the former French finance minister, was also taken in for questioning.
Former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers told National Geographic in a documentary that around 22 U.S. nuclear weapons are based on Dutch soil. The revelation comes after years of speculation over the whereabouts of the weapons. Lubbers, who was prime minister from 1982 to 1994, said the weapons were stored at the Volkel Air Base in the town of Uden, in Brabant, Netherlands. Lubbers claims his knowledge of the weapons is based on his experience working at the base in 1963.
Six men who were charged with attempting to bomb an English Defence League rally were sentenced to a total of more than 100 years in prison June 10. According to prosecutors, the men were inspired by extremist material. The plot was uncovered by chance June 30, 2012 following an EDL rally in West Midlands, England, after police checked the defendants' car in a routine search. In the car, they found numerous weapons including shotguns, swords, knives, a nail bomb and a partly assembled pipe bomb.
Riot police and vans moved into Taksim Square in Istanbul June 11, the main site of recent Turkish protests. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to break down barricades set up by the protesters and to regain government control over the square. The protests began two weeks prior, as a demonstration against plans to redevelop the city's Gezi Park. The move by riot police came ahead of an agreed June 12 meeting between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and protest leaders.
Princess Madeleine, fourth in line to the Swedish throne, married U.S.-British businessman Christopher O'Neill June 8. The couple met two years ago in New York City, when the Princess was working for the World Childhood Foundation. The ceremony took place at the Royal Chapel in Stockholm. In attendance were around 500 guests, including princes and princesses from Norway, Denmark, Luxembourg and Monaco. Princess Takamado of Japan was also there, as well as John Taylor, the bass player for the band Duran Duran. The ceremony was considered a small and private affair despite being broadcast live on Swedish state TV.