Asia/Africa update: March 16 2018

ASIA AZERBAIJAN The European Investment Bank has approved a loan package of $1.15 billion to support the construction of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP). That project will bring Azerbaijani natural gas to the European market via Turkey, but its financing has been in doubt over its environmental impact, concerns about human rights in Azerbaijan,… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: March 16 2018

World update: February 22 2018

Lots going on here today so I’m going to try to get through everything in one post. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA The Turkish government expects to start facilitating the return of Syrian refugees to Afrin just as soon as it takes that enclave from the YPG. Which should happen, uh, any day now, I’m sure. I… Continue reading World update: February 22 2018

Asia/Africa update: February 14 2018

ASIA ARMENIA The ruling Republican Party of Armenia’s chosen candidate in the country’s March 2 presidential vote (Armenian presidents are voted into office by parliament), former Prime Minister Armen Sargsyan, may not be eligible for the office. Everyone agrees that Sargsyan was a dual Armenian-British citizen between 2002 and 2011. The Armenian constitution requires presidents to… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 14 2018

World update: February 12 2018

ASIA UZBEKISTAN The Uzbek government on Monday suddenly unblocked several media and NGO websites, including Voice of America and Amnesty International, as well as the website for the opposition People’s Movement of Uzbekistan. Many of these sites had been blocked in Uzbekstan for over 12 years. This happened so quickly that it’s hard to know what… Continue reading World update: February 12 2018

World update: February 10-11 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Taliban fighters killed six Afghan policemen late Friday night in an attack on several checkpoints in Helmand province. Meanwhile, residents of Kabul are living in fear of more terrorist attacks and anger, not just at the Taliban and ISIS but also at their own inept government: It is not only the shock of… Continue reading World update: February 10-11 2018

World update: February 9 2018

Maybe everybody’s on their best behavior because of the Olympics, but it seems like the planet is a little quieter than usual today, so as a result we can get away with cramming everything into a single update. MIDDLE EAST SYRIA This has been quite a week in Syria to say the least. The Syrian… Continue reading World update: February 9 2018

Asia/Africa update: February 7 2018

ASIA KASHMIR Al Jazeera has a video report on Kashmiri villagers who say their homes have been destroyed by Pakistani artillery fire in recent weeks: MALDIVES The political crisis in the Maldives is already taking on geopolitical overtones. Former President Mohamed Nasheed asked India to step in and stabilize the situation, and now China is… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: February 7 2018