World update: February 28 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday dangled probably the biggest carrot he has in front of the Taliban: President Ashraf Ghani of Afghanistan renewed a call on Wednesday for the Taliban to join peace talks, offering to treat the insurgent group as a legitimate political party, though it has repeatedly rejected similar proposals.   In… Continue reading World update: February 28 2018

World update: February 17-18 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has now had a second provincial governor tell him to get bent when Ghani tried to sack him. Ghani tried, and has apparently failed, to can Abdul Karim Khadam, governor of Samangan Province. Khadam is a member of the Jamiat-e Islami party along with Atta Muhammad Nur, the governor of… Continue reading World update: February 17-18 2018

World update: January 15 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The New York Times has some deep background on the ongoing clash between Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the fired-but-still-there-anyway Balkh governor Atta Muhammad Nur. Ghani’s supporters portray the ex(?)-warlord as corrupt and unaccountable, while Nur contends that Ghani is attempting to sideline him for political reasons. The US may also have a reason… Continue reading World update: January 15 2018

World update: January 6-7 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Reuters has conducted an interview with Atta Muhammad Nur, who remains governor of Balkh even though President Ashraf Ghani, uh, “accepted” his “resignation” almost three weeks ago. While there’s every reason to believe that Atta Muhammad Nur is neck deep in corruption in his Balkh fiefdom, he argues–and he’s probably not wrong–that Ghani… Continue reading World update: January 6-7 2018

Asia/Africa update: December 20 2017

ASIA KYRGYZSTAN The Kyrgyz government shut down an opposition-owned TV network on Tuesday, just a few hours after ordering two independent journalists and a human rights activist to pay around $430,000 in a previously awarded libel settlement in one lump sum rather than over time. So if you had 2017 in your office pool as… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: December 20 2017

World update: December 12, 2017

Happy Hanukkah to those readers who are celebrating! CLIMATE CHANGE Good news from the Arctic: Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever, according to a new US government report that also found Arctic seawater is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years.   The annual report released… Continue reading World update: December 12, 2017

Asia/Africa update: November 27 2017

Obviously I’ve been away for a bit. I’m not going to even begin to cover everything that’s happened in the past week, but I will try to get caught up on a few major things. ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghanistan’s next general election is scheduled for July, and as you may know Ashraf Ghani just canned the… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: November 27 2017