Berlin to pull out troops from Turkish base
BERLIN • Germany's Cabinet yesterday backed the withdrawal of troops from the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey following Ankara's refusal to allow German lawmakers access to its soldiers there.
Germany plans to move its 280 troops to an air base in Jordan after Turkey refused to allow German lawmakers to make what they see as a routine visit to the base, saying that Berlin needs to improve its attitude towards Turkey first.
Turkmenistan scraps utility subsidies
ASHGABAT • Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has ordered his government to scrap the gas-rich Central Asian nation's generous system of utility subsidies, state media reported yesterday, possibly indicating the government faces financial pressure.
For 24 years, households in the former Soviet republic of 5.5 million people have been entitled to free supplies of electricity, water and gas for cooking and heating, although they have been rationed in recent years.
Draft law gives Polish MPs clout over courts
WARSAW • Poland's ruling party is poised to approve a law giving politicians more sway over the judiciary, a plan that risks further souring relations with the European Union over human rights and the rule of law.
A draft law that entered parliamentary debate yesterday aims to give Parliament the right to pick judges who sit on the country's influential judiciary council and shorten the panel's term. The aim is to make the judiciary more efficient and boost politicians' control over the courts.