More sanctions against Russia approved by US

US President Obama has decided to increase sanctions against Russia by targeting large banks that support large energy and defense firms. Instead of targeting individuals connected with Russian support of operations in Ukraine and Putin’s inner circle, this new move is far more sweeping. According to White House statements, it will not cut off entire…

Afghanistan – Worst Car Bombing Since 2001 Kills 89

Southeastern Afghanistan was shaken yesterday by a car bomb which struck a market in Paktika Province, obliterating more than twenty shops, killing at least 89 and wounding approximately 40 others. The attack, which took place in the Orgun district of Paktika, does not appear to have been targeted in the same way as recent car…

Afghanistan Faces Ethnic Rift Following Final Vote Count

With all votes counted in Afghanistan, tensions are rising as some have been quick to anoint Ashraf Ghani as the new Afghan president, while others, including leading opposition candidate and previous frontrunner Dr. Abdullah Abdullah have labeled the election a “coup” and have refused to recognize the results of the election. The Afghan Independent Election…

113 Sentenced in Xinjiang

Chinese authorities bent on dispelling separatist sentiments from its troubled Western province of Xinjiang have announced sentences for an additional 113 ethnic Uighurs on charges ranging from inciting terrorism to possessing “terrorist” materials. The sentences handed out are of no less than ten years, and include 69 life sentences. The charges brought fourth against the…

Crimeans vote to split from Ukraine, rejoin Russia

The Crimean referendum election on Russian annexation took place yesterday. With more than 50% of the vote accounted for, exit polls demonstrate that an overwhelming majority (close to 95%) of Crimeans supports the secession from Ukraine, as reported by the head of referendum committee Mikhail Malishev However, instead of defusing tensions, the referendum has merely…

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 II

Turkmenistan is not the only source of LNG in Central Asia. Iran has long hoped to marshal its LNG resources but its central problem is the hesitancy of its neighbors to enter into a partnership to develop pipeline infrastructure. This is partially due to the harsh economic sanctions placed upon the Iranian economy on account…