Asia/Africa update: April 20 2018

ASIA ARMENIA Anti-Serzh Sargsyan protests hit Yerevan yet again on Friday. A week into these demonstrations, their momentum behind them seems to be growing, not lagging: With larger rallies, spontaneous acts of civil disobedience, escalating numbers of arrests, and nonstop honking, the protests in Armenia’s capital continued to metastasize throughout the city on April 20.… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: April 20 2018

World update: March 3-4 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Despite a stark absence of any evidence to support his case, reformed* Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar insists that he can play an important role in bringing the Taliban to the table for peace talks. He claims to already be communicating with Taliban leaders and has been using his own experience as a rebel-turned-whatever… Continue reading World update: March 3-4 2018

World update: February 21 2018

ASIA PAKISTAN Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ban on holding political office also prevents him from serving as leader of his PML-N party. It also nullified all decisions he’s taken as party leader since the ban was put in place last year, including candidate selection. This could put… Continue reading World update: February 21 2018

World update: January 27-28 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A Taliban attack in Kabul on Saturday killed at least 103 people at last count. The attackers packed a bomb into an ambulance and were able to get past at least one security checkpoint before detonating their device in a crowded area of the city. It’s the deadliest single attack in Kabul since… Continue reading World update: January 27-28 2018

World update: November 11-12 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Concern is mounting in Afghanistan over the Fatemiyoun Division, an Iranian-created force made up of Afghan Shiʿa currently fighting in Syria (and allegedly Yemen). Afghan officials fear that Iran may reorganize veterans of that force once they’re back in Afghanistan, both to serve as an Iranian proxy and for the protection of Afghanistan’s… Continue reading World update: November 11-12 2017

Asia/Africa update: October 31-November 1 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN The big story of the day is obviously the aftermath of Tuesday’s terror attack in New York, and we’ll get to that later but here I wanted to try to say something about the US media’s immediate obsession with Uzbekistan. The attacker, alleged I guess, was an Uzbek national named Sayfullo Saipov, and… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: October 31-November 1 2017

World update: August 16 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Former US ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann writes that, outward appearances to the contrary I guess, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani is reforming the country, starting with its top military brass. The issue, Neumann says, is that the country is so corrupt that Ghani can’t tackle all the challenges at once and progress will… Continue reading World update: August 16 2017