Frederic Bourke, co-founder of the luxury-handbag maker Dooney & Bourke, is set to enter prison this week for conspiring 15 years ago in what prosecutors called “one of the most audacious” bribery schemes ever attempted in the former Soviet Union.
Azerbaijan closed the Free Thought University, a Western-funded project to promote democracy and human rights, after the government stepped up pressure on opposition groups before presidential election in October.
Azerbaijan’s economy expanded an annual 1.6 percent in the first quarter as the third-biggest oil producer among the former Soviet republics benefited from higher energy prices, President Ilham Aliyev said.
Azerbaijan’s political opposition is seeking to replicate the uprisings that drove out authoritarian rulers in Egypt and Tunisia, this time in a former Soviet oil province that supplies an increasing share of Europe’s energy.
A party loyal to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev offered $13,000 to any member who cuts an ear off pro-opposition writer Akram Aylisli -- and then rescinded the bounty to avoid an international scandal.
Azerbaijan’s State Oil Fund is weighing expansion into new currencies to reflect the impact of faster growing economies after starting to buy Australian dollars and gold last year, its chief investment officer said.