GROZNY, Russia (Reuters) – Vladimir Putin stares from a dozen pictures on rooftops and facades along Putin Avenue in a Chechen capital sparkingly rebuilt from ruins left by the troops he sent to quell rebellion a decade ago.
While an opulent facelift has removed the physical scars of war, Chechens fear Putin’s return to Russia’s presidency next year could mean a turn for the worse for the Muslim republic.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Al Qaeda is providing Russia’s Islamist insurgency in the North Caucasus with increasing amounts of money and vocal support, according to a lengthy report by a prominent Washington think tank.
The mainly Muslim regions along Russia’s southern frontier are beset by near-daily shootings and bombings, carried out by rebels fighting for a separate Islamic state in an insurgency underpinned by two post-Soviet wars in Chechnya.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – New media and depictions of financial turmoil were on display at Moscow’s fourth Biennale, which kicked off on the weekend across the capital giving a much-needed boost to Russia’s modern art scene.
Called “Rewriting Worlds,” many of the 64 featured artists, from 33 countries, are exhibiting for the first time at Russia’s largest art show, in a plush department store and trendy galleries dotted across Moscow.
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Fashion designer Tom Ford has opened his first women’s clothes store in Moscow, giving a confidence boost to Russia’s reviving luxury goods market.
With his black hair slicked back, the 50-year-old Texan said on Thursday night he was not phased by the prospects of another economic recession in Russia, which previously ranked as the fourth-largest buyer of luxury goods.
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Staff sergeant Luis Badillo prefers to leave his NATO base for weekend dinners, and head instead to local cafes where he can share jokes with Afghan colleagues in their native language.
Since arriving three months ago in beautiful but impoverished central Baimyan province, the 33-year-old New Yorker has stunned his Afghan and U.S. work mates by taking up Dari, one of the country’s two main languages.
BAMIYAN, Afghanistan, Sept 10 (Reuters) – Staff sergeant
Luis Badillo prefers to leave his NATO base for weekend dinners,
and head instead to local cafes where he can share jokes with
Afghan colleagues in their native language.
Since arriving three months ago in beautiful but
impoverished central Baimyan province, the 33-year-old New
Yorker has stunned his Afghan and U.S. work mates by taking up
Dari, one of the country’s two main languages.
KABUL, Aug 29 (Reuters) – The leader of the Afghan Taliban
said his group wants to boost the country’s mining and energy
sectors once it regains strength after the NATO-led force
fighting them pulls out in 2014.
Interest in economic stability and investment in mining
marks a new approach for the resurgent Islamist group, ousted
from power by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001.
SPIN BOLDAK, Afghanistan (Reuters) – Alim Mohammad surveys the stretch of land he has guarded for the last four years, squinting under the sunlight from a cliff overlooking what the United States calls the most dangerous place in the world.
The Afghanistan-Pakistan border is porous, long and teems with illegal activity, from the Taliban insurgents who hop back and forth to the enormous amounts of weapons, explosives and narcotics that are smuggled across it.
KABUL (Reuters) – NATO and Afghan officials are stepping up efforts to battle the insider threat in their war against insurgents, which has seen an increase in attacks by local security forces against their foreign partners, a U.S. navy expert said Thursday.
The Taliban have managed to recruit Afghan security forces and pay bribes for uniforms to impersonate them, said Navy Commander Derek Reveron.
KABUL, Aug 23 (Reuters) – The Afghan government is trying to
curb a booming population by promoting birth control but such
efforts have been met with caution from aid groups and
opposition from Islamic scholars.
The Ministry of Health warns Afghanistan’s population of 30
million will double in as many years, stunting opportunities for
economic growth in one of the world’s poorest countries.