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 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

Europe/Americas update: February 12 2019

EUROPE REPUBLIC OF NORTH MACEDONIA The former Republic of Macedonia is now officially the Republic of North Macedonia. The country will roll out changes to documents, currency, license plates, etc. over the next few months. HUNGARY Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is offering to pay Hungarian women to have more Hungarian children: The latest example… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: February 12 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

Europe/Americas update: January 29 2019

EUROPE UKRAINE Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced Tuesday that he will run for reelection in March. The announcement was mostly a foregone conclusion, as is–probably–his eventual defeat. Former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is considered the favorite according to polling. Poroshenko has of course failed to bring the war in eastern Ukraine to an end and… Continue reading Europe/Americas update: January 29 2019