Asia-Pacific

Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev Signals U-Turn on Alternative Energy

From small villages to big cities, wherever you go in Kazakhstan these days, billboards offer reminders that Astana is gearing up to host Expo 2017, the next World’s Fair. Kazakhstan helped secure the right to host the event with a pledge to emphasise green energy alternatives. But now it appears that Kazakhstan is red-lighting its own green transition.

Asia: So Close and Yet So Far From Polio Eradication

The goal is an ambitious one – to deliver a polio-free world by 2018. Towards this end, the multi-sector Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is bringing out the big guns, sparing no expense to ensure that “every last child” is immunised against the crippling disease.

Kashmir Flood Carries Away Humble Dreams

Rafiqa Kazim and her husband Kazim Ali had a simple dream – to live a modest life, educate their four children and repay the bank-loan that the couple took out to sustain their small business.

Central Asia Hurting as Russia’s Ruble Sinks

Pensioner Jyparkul Karaseyitova says she cannot afford meat anymore. At her local bazaar in Kyrgyzstan’s capital, Bishkek, the price for beef has jumped nine percent in the last six weeks. And she is not alone feeling the pain of rising inflation.

The Nagoya Protocol: A Treaty Waiting to Happen

For over 20 years, Mote Bahadur Pun of Nepal’s western Myagdi district has been growing ‘Paris polyphylla’ - a Himalayan herb used to cure pain, burns and fevers.

Pacific Islanders Take on Australian Coal

The recent blockade of ships entering the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia, has brought much-needed attention to the negative impacts of the fossil fuel industry on global climate patterns. But it will take more than a single action to bring the change required to prevent catastrophic levels of climate change.

Pakistan’s Ahmadis Faced with Death or Exile

Two years ago, gunmen shot dead Farooq Kahloun’s newly married son Saad Farooq, 26, in an attack that severely injured Kahloun, his younger son Ummad, and Saad’s father-in-law, Choudhry Nusrat.

Pacific Climate Change Warriors Block World’s Largest Coal Port

Climate Change Warriors from 12 Pacific Island nations paddled canoes into the world’s largest coal port in Newcastle, Australia, Friday to bring attention to their grave fears about the consequences of climate change on their home countries.

Kyrgyzstan Looks to Alternative Fuels Ahead of Looming Winter Shortages

Each winter in Kyrgyzstan the energy situation seems to worsen; blackouts last longer, and officials seem less able to do anything to improve conditions. This year is expected to be particularly difficult.

Ahead of Myanmar Trip, Obama Urged to Demand Extractives Transparency

Lawmakers here are urging President Barack Obama to put transparency in the extractives sector at the centre of an upcoming trip to Myanmar.

Vanuatu Puts Indigenous Rights First in Land Reform

Stemming widespread corruption in the leasing of customary land to investors is the aim of bold land reform, introduced this year in the Southwest Pacific Island state of Vanuatu, which puts the rights of traditional landowners above the discretionary powers of politicians.

Can China Pacify Its Restive Minorities Peacefully?

The Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti was recently sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism.

In Pakistan’s Tribal Areas, a Nobel Prize Is a ‘Ray of Hope’

For girls living in northern Pakistan’s sprawling tribal regions, the struggle for education began long before that fateful day when members of the Taliban shot a 15-year-old schoolgirl in the head, and will undoubtedly continue for many years to come.

New Trains, New Hopes, Old Anguish

The kids of Kodikaman, a dusty village straddling the newly laid railway line in Sri Lanka’s northern Jaffna District, enjoy a special treat these days.

Karabakh Question Clouds Armenia’s Eurasian Union Accession

Armenia has finalised its accession to the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, an intended regional counterweight to the European Union. But while Armenian and Russian officials focus on future prosperity, some Armenian observers believe membership in the bloc could exacerbate Armenia’s security challenges.

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