Turkmen ruler establishes holiday to honor local dog breed
Berdymukhamedov has published a book about the Alabai breed and has presented Russian President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Medvedev with an Alabai puppy, and according to news reports Tuesday Jan. 26, 2021, he has now declared a national holiday to honor the local dog breed. (Yekaterina Shtukina, Sputnik, Government Pool Photo via AP, FILE)ASHGABAT – Turkmenistan's autocratic leader has established a national holiday to honor the local dog breed, media reports said Tuesday. He published a book about the breed and in 2017 presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with a puppy. In 2019, then Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev was also given an Alabai puppy. Berdymukhamedov's son, Serdar, who heads the international Alabai association, reported to the president that the holiday will feature a beauty contest and agility competitions.
Turkmenistan creates new parliament chamber
ASHGABAT – Turkmenistan's authoritarian president, who has an unchallenged hold on power, on Friday signed a constitutional change to expand the country’s parliament to two chambers. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said the move was “yet another important step toward democratizing our country.”But the newly created upper chamber of parliament membership won't be chosen by voters. The leadership of each of the country’s regions will appoint members, and a seat is guaranteed for any former president. The current unicameral parliament, which will become the lower chamber, is chosen in elections. The constitutional change takes effect on Jan. 1, but it wasn't immediately clear when the new chamber would be formed.