Europe/Americas update: June 14 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA Russia is hosting the FIFA World Cup for the next month–perhaps you’ve heard about that. Which is a nice chance for Vladimir Putin to parade himself around like a world titan. It’s also a nice chance for a bunch of young Russians and young foreigners to meet and mingle. But is that such… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: June 14 2018

Europe/Americas update: February 7 2018

EUROPE RUSSIA Vladimir Putin disclosed his finances on Wednesday per Russian election rules. He made around $116,000 per year from 2011 through 2016, and his assets include about $240,000 in the bank, a small apartment, and a couple of cars. In a similar spirit of transparency, I would like to reveal my own finances, which… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: February 7 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: January 24 2018

There doesn’t seem to be all that much news today. My theory is that most of the people who normally make news are at Davos. Here’s the thing: I don’t give a shit about Davos, and I particularly don’t give a shit about the stuff that happens at Davos that gets made public. Add to… Continue reading World update: January 24 2018

World update: January 3 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN Indiana University’s Nazif Shahrani argues that one of Afghanistan’s problems is that the office of the president, regardless of who holds it, is too powerful: The 2004 Afghan constitution invests the president with more powers than former Afghan kings had before the republican period. Among them is the power to appoint all government officials,… Continue reading World update: January 3 2018

World update: November 2 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN Eurasianet helpfully tries to counter the emerging media narrative that Uzbekistan is little more than ISIS’s training facility: Such instant analysis falls short, mainly because it has to oversimplify in order to make a pattern plausible, many regional scholars contend. Edward Lemon, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harriman Institute at Columbia University, warned… Continue reading World update: November 2 2017

Europe/Americas update: October 6 2017

EUROPE RUSSIA Moscow has started warning that it could retaliate for any harsh treatment its media outlets receive in the US by doing likewise to US outlets in Russia. RT is apparently being asked by the Trump administration to register as a foreign agent and disclose information on its employees, so you might expect to… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: October 6 2017