Belarus

Opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya urges PM to step up sanctions
Belarus is likely to face serious international consequences for its recent actions – but, it's unclear if they'll have any effect.
For over three decades now the exclusion zone around Chernobyl has been left abandoned, following the nuclear meltdown which
Creepy it may be, but Rillington Place's slow-burn horror is essentially a slice of good old-fashioned British macabre - think Jack the Ripper, Brighton Rock, The Elephant Man, Burke & Hare. Far more frightening than these dark historical dramas are the real-life death penalty cases unfolding around the world right now.
Art matters. And it's hard to think of a theatre company that has proved that more than Belarus Free Theatre (BFT). Now about to celebrate their tenth anniversary, BFT has persisted against the most extraordinary odds to not just confront oppression, but to create challenging and vital theatre.
Over the years I reckon we've all had our run-ins with dress code authoritarianism. Requirements to wear suits ("lounge suits"). Being told you've got to wear a shirt with a collar. Or a tie. The need to turn up in "smart" attire. Or footwear that isn't a pair of trainers. Or trousers that aren't tracksuit bottoms. Tops that aren't football shirts ...
My first impression on arriving in Minsk was astonishment. I have been to many countries in Eastern Europe and several that were behind the old Soviet Iron Curtain, so I had a preconception of what I might see, but the first thing I noticed was that the road from the airport into the city was so smooth and new, it would be a skateboarders dream surface.
What is it about railway stations that conjures up ghosts of the past? I'm standing on the platform in Pastavy (or Postavy), deep in the Belarussian countryside, almost exactly 100 years since my friend Stu Seidel's grandfather, Julius Seidel, stood on this same platform (or one very like it) and boarded a train to start a new life in the New World.