Europe/Americas update: May 29 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko, who had to flee to Ukraine in 2016 in the face of death threats because of his criticism of the Russian government, died on Tuesday in Kiev of natural causes. Well, “natural causes” for a critic of Vladimir Putin–he was gunned down outside his apartment building. An investigation is underway… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: May 29 2018

World update: February 13 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN The AP is reporting that Afghan authorities are maintaining two separate tracks of back-channel contacts with the Taliban, one via the country’s intelligence chief Mohammed Masoom Stanekzai and the other via Ashraf Ghani’s national security adviser, Mohammad Hanif Atmar. The existence of these channels leaves open the possibility of a resumption of peace talks, but… Continue reading World update: February 13 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 5 2018

ASIA AZERBAIJAN Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has decided to move October’s presidential election up to April even though the chances of him losing, regardless of the date, are only slightly greater than the chances of me signing a long-term deal to play in the NBA. Aliyev may be looking to hold the vote before any… Continue reading World update: February 5 2018

World update: February 3-4 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan election officials say they’re ready to hold parliamentary elections but that they likely won’t be able to do so until at least October due to security concerns. And hey, there’s no rush. Technically they don’t need to hold this vote until, uh, [checks notes] July 2015. So they have plenty of time.… Continue reading World update: February 3-4 2018

World update: January 5 2018

ASIA GEORGIA Georgian President-turned-Ukrainian governor-turned stateless pariah Mikheil Saakashvili was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison by a Georgian court on Friday, for abuse of his pardon power during his tenure as president. You’ve heard the saying “you can’t go home again”? In Saakashvili’s case it’s literally true. PAKISTAN The Trump administration clarified… Continue reading World update: January 5 2018

Europe/Americas update: December 16-17 2017

EUROPE FAR-RIGHT Leaders of Europe’s various Nazi cosplayer parties gathered in Prague on Saturday to praise Donald Trump and denounce the European Union. That must have been a real fun time. They wanted to make it clear to people that they “are not xenophobes” (a real thing that Marine Le Pen said), they just hate… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: December 16-17 2017