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south and central asia

The lack of legality in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan | Letters

The lack of legality in the US-led invasion of Afghanistan | Letters

Ian Sinclair takes issue with the idea that the 2001 invasion was legal. Plus Dr Richard Lawson suggests that the west buy Afghan farmers’ opium crop, medicalise it, and use it medicinally in
Coal in decline: Adani in question and Australia out of step

Coal in decline: Adani in question and Australia out of step

Special report: India and China are shifting away from coal imports and coal-fired power while a mega-mine is planned for Queensland. Where does this leave coal in Australia?Coal in decline: an
Delhi’s secret ring railway line – in pictures

Delhi’s secret ring railway line – in pictures

Constructed in 1975 to bypass the crowded stations of Old Delhi, New Delhi and Hazrat Nizamuddin, this line once used to be the lifeline of the capital Continue reading...
Hardline Hindu nationalists campaign against Taj Mahal

Hardline Hindu nationalists campaign against Taj Mahal

Resentment over Muslim emperor building India’s most recognisable monument fuels campaign to push it to margins of historyTimes are tough for India’s monument to love. Air pollution is turning its
Taliban warn US that hostage Kevin King is dangerously ill

Taliban warn US that hostage Kevin King is dangerously ill

Militants, believed to be brutal Haqqani group, urge Washington to accept demands as captive teacher’s health worsensAn American man held hostage by the Afghan Taliban for more than a year is gravely
'150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

'150,000 Americans couldn’t beat us': Taliban fighters defiant in Afghanistan

Rare interviews with militants shine light on resilient movement that resisted both Obama’s surge and now Trump’s ‘killing terrorists’ strategySquatting on the floor, a brown shawl draped over his
Pakistani police arrest men for marching girl naked through village

Pakistani police arrest men for marching girl naked through village

Incident is revenge for brother’s alleged affair and is latest in which village councils use women and girls to settle family disputesPakistani police have arrested eight men for marching a
Aung San Suu Kyi makes first visit to site of anti-Rohingya violence

Aung San Suu Kyi makes first visit to site of anti-Rohingya violence

Nobel laureate, who has faced criticism for failing to speak up for Muslim minority, travelled to conflict-riven Rakhine stateMyanmar’s leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, has made her first visit to the
Outrage at video of Afghan colonel sexually exploiting woman

Outrage at video of Afghan colonel sexually exploiting woman

Graphic video apparently shows official having sexual intercourse with a woman reported to have been pressured for sex after asking for a promotionA video of an Afghan government official appearing to
Facebook allowed child abuse posts to stay online for more than a year, Indian court hears

Facebook allowed child abuse posts to stay online for more than a year, Indian court hears

Post advertising rape videos was also permitted to stay online despite being reported several timesFacebook refused for more than a year to remove a page featuring images of children taken in public
How HIV found its way to a remote corner of the Himalayas

How HIV found its way to a remote corner of the Himalayas

Like many men from Nepal’s Accham district, Sarpa migrated to India for work only to return with HIV. Thankfully, a lessening of stigma – and a greater emphasis on treatment and testing – are making
Prosecutor seeks to investigate Afghan war crimes allegations – and claims of US torture

Prosecutor seeks to investigate Afghan war crimes allegations – and claims of US torture

If authorised ICC would investigate crimes allegedly committed by all sides including US forces, CIA, Taliban and Afghan militaryThe chief prosecutor of the international criminal court is seeking
How Kipling helped quell an Indian mutiny in first world war trenches

How Kipling helped quell an Indian mutiny in first world war trenches

British intelligence enlisted Jungle Book author to counter German propaganda by rewriting soldiers’ letters homeHe was one of Britain’s most celebrated writers of the 20th century, the Nobel
US airstrikes kill scores of civilians in Kunduz province, Afghans say

US airstrikes kill scores of civilians in Kunduz province, Afghans say

Estimates of fatalities from ‘ongoing’ operation varyUS soldier dies of wounds sustained in Logar provinceUS airstrikes have killed scores of civilians in the northern Afghan province of Kunduz,
From the Observer archive: this week in 1947

From the Observer archive: this week in 1947

Reforming the House of LordsThe controversy raised by the Government’s move to curtail the powers of the Lords shows that the issues involved are in danger of not being clearly realised. The
'I miss them so much': Myanmar's lost Rohingya children plead for their parents

'I miss them so much': Myanmar's lost Rohingya children plead for their parents

With half a million Rohingya refugees under the age of 18 in Bangladeshi camps, it has been labelled a ‘children’s crisis’ The lost boy wails. Tears stream down his face as he looks around, frantic.
UK drags heels on sending mass rape investigators to Myanmar

UK drags heels on sending mass rape investigators to Myanmar

Foreign Office specialist group set up in 2012 to highlight pervasive use of sexual violence as a weapon by military not deployed to refugee campsA Foreign Office team specialising in gathering
How India’s battle with climate change could determine all of our fates

How India’s battle with climate change could determine all of our fates

India’s population and emissions are rising fast, and its ability to tackle poverty without massive fossil fuel use will decide the fate of the planet“It’s a lucky charm,” says Rajesh, pointing to the
The Afghan diaspora – in pictures

The Afghan diaspora – in pictures

For the past four years, Dutch photographer Joël van Houdt has been documenting the journeys of Afghan refugees around the world. In Afghanistan, there is a dearth of information about the reality of
UN increases pressure on Myanmar to end violence against Rohingya

UN increases pressure on Myanmar to end violence against Rohingya

Council expresses ‘grave concern’ over human rights violations in a statement that was watered down by China The UN Security Council has called on Myanmar to rein in its military campaign in Rakhine