World update: February 22 2019

ASIA PAKISTAN The Financial Action Task Force warned Pakistan on Friday that if it doesn’t clean up its links to extremist groups by May it will likely land itself on the FATF’s blacklist. Pakistan is currently on the group’s “gray” list, which makes it harder for Islamabad to access international funds, but getting bumped to… Continue reading World update: February 22 2019

World update part 1: February 9-10 2019

Tonight’s updates didn’t really fit into any of my usual groupings, but they were too long for one post, so I mashed them together as best I could. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA The Syrian Democratic Forces, with US help, announced late Saturday that they’ve begun the “decisive battle” to wipe out the last remnants of ISIS’s “caliphate” in eastern Syria. ISIS still controls a small piece of territory around two villages in Deir Ezzor province, small enough that it can still… Continue reading World update part 1: February 9-10 2019

Asia/Africa update: February 6 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN After trading assertions and denials all day, the Trump administration and the Taliban concluded that there is no timetable for a US withdrawal from Afghanistan. So pretty much where they were before the day started. Earlier on Wednesday, Russian media quoted a Taliban negotiator saying that the US had agreed to pull half… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 6 2019

Asia/Africa update: February 5 2019

ASIA KAZAKHSTAN Nursultan Nazarbayev on Tuesday denied reports that he’s planning to call a snap election. Nazarbayev had set off speculation by inquiring as to the constitutional length of his presidential term. Apparently, though, he wasn’t doing so in order to stand for reelection. Instead, Nazarbayev wanted to know what powers he would retain after… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 5 2019

World update: February 4 2019

We’re in the midst of Kumbh Mela, a major Hindu pilgrimage festival that began in mid-January and runs through early March. With apologies for not saying so earlier, best wishes to any Hindu readers who are celebrating. ASIA ARMENIA/AZERBAIJAN According to Eurasianet, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev have met “three… Continue reading World update: February 4 2019

Asia/Africa update: January 19-20 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban carried out a car bombing in Logar province on Sunday morning that killed at least eight Afghan security forces. Meanwhile, in northern Afghanistan’s Sar-e Pul province, a recent surge in Taliban activity has displaced about 40 families from the province’s Kohistan hinterland into the provincial capital. The Taliban is trying to… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: January 19-20 2019

World update: November 28 2018

ASIA GEORGIA Salome Zurabishvili, the candidate of the ruling Georgian Dream party, won Tuesday’s presidential runoff election with almost 60 percent of the vote, besting challenger Grigol Vashadze. Georgian Dream is the party of Bidzina Ivanishvili, the richest man in Georgia and the man many believe is really running the country behind the scenes. Zurabishvili,… Continue reading World update: November 28 2018