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: February 18 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN It would appear that a Taliban delegation’s planned trip to Islamabad this week, which maybe/probably would have included a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, fell through for a host of reasons. A formal Afghan government complaint to the United Nations about the Taliban’s violations of its travel ban was part… Continue reading World update: February 18 2019

Europe/Americas update: February 16-17 2019

EUROPE POLAND Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Sunday canceled a planned trip to Israel on Tuesday for a summit of the Visegrád Group (Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic), and his government summoned the Israeli ambassador. The Poles are angry over a comment Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made recently in Israeli media… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: February 16-17 2019

World update: February 15 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN According to US Central Command boss Joseph Votel, the Pentagon may soon reduce its troop presence in Afghanistan by more than 1000 from its current level of around 14,000 (acknowledged) personnel. But the move isn’t related to the ongoing peace talks with the Taliban–instead, it’s apparently an operational decision by new US Afghanistan… Continue reading World update: February 15 2019

World update: February 14 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Pakistani Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry confirmed (sort of) on Thursday that his government will host another round of peace talks between the Afghan Taliban and the United States, but did not specify when that round will take place. The Taliban say they’re meeting with US representatives in Islamabad on February 18, ahead of… Continue reading World update: February 14 2019

World update: February 13 2019

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The Taliban says it will hold another round of peace talks with US representatives in Islamabad on February 18. The US, uh, says it doesn’t know anything about it. That’s a little weird. Assuming the meeting does happen it’s interesting that it will be happening in Pakistan and not at the Taliban’s diplomatic… Continue reading World update: February 13 2019

World update part 2: 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. OCEANIA AUSTRALIA Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s approval rating is up and a plurality of Australians prefer him as PM over Labor Party leader Bill shorten, Labor is nevertheless ahead of Morrison’s coalition in the latest head-to-head polling, 53 percent to 47 percent. Australia’s next election is coming in May (for state… Continue reading World update part 2: February 9-10 2019