World update: March 23 2018

This will be the last update for March. I’m taking next week off and will return the first week of April. It’s also going to be an early and abbreviated update. Apologies. HUNGER The United Nations World Food Program boss, David Beasley, said on Friday that the number of “acutely hungry” people in the world–people… Continue reading World update: March 23 2018

World update: January 13-14 2018

By way of a site update, with tomorrow being a holiday in the US I’m not 100 percent sure I’ll be blogging. If not then I’ll be back on Tuesday with two days’ worth of bad news. ASIA AFGHANISTAN Afghan officials say that peace talks are underway in Turkey between Kabul and the Taliban. They’ve… Continue reading World update: January 13-14 2018

Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 2018

ASIA AFGHANISTAN A Friday morning Taliban attack on a police outpost in Farah province killed three Afghan police officers. US forces on Thursday reportedly bombed an Afghan government-aligned militia in Nangarhar province after one or more members of that militia opened fire on US special forces troops amid some kind of argument. At least 13 militia… Continue reading Shithole update #2 (Asia/Africa): January 11-12 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

Asia/Africa update: November 3 2017

ASIA AFGHANISTAN International Criminal Court prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wants to open a formal investigation into war crimes committed in Afghanistan. Because Afghanistan is an ICC member, she can investigate the actions of American personnel even though the US is not an ICC member. Obviously she’ll also be looking at alleged crimes committed by the Taliban… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: November 3 2017

Asia/Africa update: October 3 2017

ASIA UZBEKISTAN Uzbekistan seems to be going through a bit of an identity crisis these days. Since taking over as president last year, Shavkat Mirziyoyev has been taking steps to loosen up the country’s ultra-repressive political environment, for example by releasing political prisoners like activist Azam Farmonov, who was freed on Tuesday. He’s presumably doing this to… Continue reading Asia/Africa update: October 3 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