Joint Tajik-Turkmen Railway Project Nears Groundbreaking

Tajik Minister of Transport and Roads Hayrullo Asozodas announced that his country, along with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, have agreed to the final set of terms that would precede the construction of a multinational railway that would connect Tajikistan and Turkmenistan by way of Afghanistan. The railway project has been in the works since 2013, when…

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Malaysian airlines flight shot down over Ukraine

Yesterday, a Malaysian airlines passenger jet crashed in rebel-controlled part of eastern Ukraine near Donetsk. Responses have been numerous and contradictory, some Ukrainian officials immediately pointed fingers at separatists, some at Russia itself, and others at “terrorists.” The plane was a Boeing 777, and according to statements released by US officials, the plane was shot…

Grim outlook for Iranian nuclear deal, sources say

Ongoing nuclear negotiations in Vienna between the P5+1 powers and Iran have faltered in recent weeks as the deadline agreed upon last November rapidly approaches. British Foreign Minister William Hague made a public statement that expressed concern about the gulf of differences that remain on any potential agreement, saying that any deal was far from…

Ukrainian Separatists retreat to last stand

Separatist militias in the Ukrainian cities of Donetsk and Luhansk have retreated to fortified barricades in anticipation of advancing government forces through the eastern provinces. Key bridges into the towns have been blown up, and separatist leaders complain of having been abandoned by Russia. Ukrainian government officials said that they succeeded in sealing the previously…

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…

China bans Xinjiang Muslims from Ramadan Fast

In another development to the rapidly deteriorating relations between the ethnic Uighur population and Chinese authorities, government departments in Xinjiang have banned Muslim staff from fasting during the month of Ramadan. Authorities did not provide a rationale for the ban, citing only that the ban was enacted “in accordance with instructions from higher authorities.” Officials have consistently…

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…

Ukraine tense over Russian gas supply

To compound already-bursting tensions between Ukraine and Russia, the Russian oil and gas company Gazprom has raised prices to the country by 37% by cancelling a discount and even threatening to cut supplies entirely. This, according to a statement delivered by Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan, means that Ukraine will be forced to pay $368.50…