Taliban steps up attacks ahead of Afghan Elections

The Taliban has increased the frequency of its attacks ahead of the national elections on April 5. With election workers being kidnapped, would-be suicide bombers being shot in the streets, and journalists being killed – the future is not looking particularly bright for Afghanistan. The election will mark the first time in the country’s history…

Iran Condemns Afghan Opium Trade

Iran’s Anti-Narcotics Headquarters for International Relations has issued a statement condemning the traffic of heroin through Iranian territory. Deputy General Mahmoud Bayat took advantage of a meeting with Sweden’s Foreign Ministry to underline Iranian discontent with the increasingly voluminous quantity of heroin trafficked both into Iranian drug markets and through Iran destined for markets in…

200 casualties in attack by Xinjiang Separtists in Kunming

Knife-wielding assailants stormed the Kunming railway station in southeastern China on Saturday, resulting in almost 200 casualties. According to Chinese state media, there were more than ten assailants who were dressed in black and were both men and women. The attack is said to be the most sophisticated yet that has ever occurred outside of…

The Great Gas Game, Part I

The global shale gas boom has barely begun. It is already old news in North America, but emerging markets in Asia have found that demand consistently outstrips supply, due not only to scarcity, but also to underdevelopment of existing resources. One of the largest sources of undeveloped energy and mineral wealth lies in the Caspian…

Afghan Election Season Kicks Off

The official beginning of the election season in Afghanistan got off to a rocky start. Two aides of presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah were shot dead in the city of Herat in western Afghanistan on February 1. This comes days after former Minister of Water and Energy, and current running mate of candidate Abu Rasool Sayyaf, Ismail Khan, escaped a suicide…