Latest Central Asia News

In this image made from UNTV video, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

Turkmenistan creates new parliament chamber

Sep. 25, 2020 1:15 PM EDT

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — Turkmenistan's authoritarian president, who has an unchallenged hold on power, on Friday signed a constitutional change to expand the country’s parliament to two chambers. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said the move was “yet another important step toward...

FILE - In this March 16, 2020, file photo, Neal Browning receives a shot at the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute in Seattle, in the first-stage safety study clinical trial of a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Many world leaders at this week's virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. But with the U.S., China and Russia opting out of a collaborative effort to develop and distribute a vaccine, and some rich nations striking deals with pharmaceutical companies to secure millions of potential doses, the U.N. pleas are plentiful but likely in vain. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)

'Are people to be left to die?' Vaccine pleas fill UN summit

Sep. 24, 2020 9:39 AM EDT

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — If the United Nations was created from the ashes of World War II, what will be born from the global crisis of COVID-19? Many world leaders at this week’s virtual U.N. summit hope it will be a vaccine made available and affordable to all countries, rich and poor. But with the...

Member state flags fly outside the United Nations headquarters during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2020. This year's annual gathering of world leaders at U.N. headquarters will be almost entirely

The Latest: Venezuela's Guaidó urges nations to decry Maduro

Sep. 23, 2020 8:11 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest from the U.N. General Assembly (all times EDT): 8:10 p.m. He didn’t get a spot at the U.N. General Assembly. But U.S.-backed Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó still put out his own online message during this year’s gathering of world leaders. On...

Taliban delegation attend the opening session of the peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020. (AP Photo/Hussein Sayed)

Afghan officials: Taliban attack checkpoints, kill 28 police

Sep. 23, 2020 12:46 PM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban launched a wave of attacks on security checkpoints in southern Afghanistan overnight, killing a total of 28 Afghan policemen, officials said Wednesday. The violence comes even as Taliban leaders and Afghan government-appointed negotiators are holding historic peace...

An aerial view shows new village houses built by the Chinese government for ethnic minority in Ganluo county, southwest China's Sichuan province on Sept. 10, 2020. China's ruling Communist Party says its initiatives have helped to lift millions of people out of poverty. Yi ethnic minority members were moved out of their mountain villages in China’s southwest and into the newly built town in an anti-poverty initiative. (AP Photo/Sam McNeil)

China uproots ethnic minority villages in anti-poverty fight

Sep. 22, 2020 9:27 PM EDT

CHENGBEI GAN’EN, China (AP) — Under a portrait of President Xi Jinping, Ashibusha sits in her freshly painted living room cradling her infant daughter beside a chair labeled a “gift from the government.” The mother of three is among 6,600 members of the Yi ethnic minority who were...

In this image made from UNTV video, Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks in a pre-recorded message which was played during the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2020, at U.N. headquarters in New York. The U.N.'s first virtual meeting of world leaders started Tuesday with pre-recorded speeches from some of the planet's biggest powers, kept at home by the coronavirus pandemic that will likely be a dominant theme at their video gathering this year. (UNTV via AP)

Russia's Putin urges end to sanctions to boost world economy

Sep. 22, 2020 1:36 PM EDT

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin argued Tuesday that ending “illegitimate sanctions” against countries like his could boost the coronavirus-hit global economy and create jobs, using his annual speech at the U.N. General Assembly to stress the need for multilateral cooperation...

Pakistan says Afghan cross-border fire kills soldier

Sep. 22, 2020 6:16 AM EDT

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Pakistan’s military on Tuesday said a soldier was killed in the country’s northwest by fire from across the Afghan border, a sign of increasing violence in an area that until recent years served as a base for Pakistani and foreign militants. The attack late Monday...

Fahima Mirzaie performs a Sema dance (Sufi Whirling) in Kabul Afghanistan, Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020. Taking on an unorthodox task in her society, the 24-year-old teaches men and women Sufi whirling. Mirzaie spins alongside men at an Afghan Italian restaurant in center of the capital, Kabul. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

Young Afghan women, men perform whirling Sufi dance together

Sep. 22, 2020 3:53 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — A group of young Afghans – both women and men – is coming together in the country's war-torn capital to practice a mystical Sufi Islamic dance. The group’s founder says she sees their whirling dance, known as Sema, as a way of carving out a space in the...

North Macedonia: 61 migrants held following police raids

Sep. 21, 2020 8:26 AM EDT

SKOPJE, North Macedonia (AP) — Police in North Macedonia say they have detained 61 migrants and arrested five suspected traffickers following highway checks and raids on Sunday and Monday. Thirty migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, and Somalia were found hidden in a truck near the central city of Veles. The...

Witnesses: Afghan government airstrikes kill 24 civilians

Sep. 20, 2020 11:08 AM EDT

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Government airstrikes in northern Afghanistan killed 24 civilians, including children, and wounded six others, witnesses told The Associated Press on Sunday. The two witnesses contacted by the AP said most of those killed in Saturday's airstrikes, which struck the village of...