Latest Central Asia News

China says 85% of citizens will use Mandarin by 2025

Dec. 01, 2021 02:15 AM EST

BEIJING (AP) — China is launching an aggressive campaign to promote Mandarin, saying 85% of its citizens will use the national language by 2025. The move appears to put threatened Chinese regional dialects such as Cantonese and Hokkien under even greater pressure,...

Unique effort reopens girls' schools in an Afghan province

Dec. 01, 2021 01:18 AM EST

HERAT, Afghanistan (AP) — High school girls are sitting at home almost everywhere in Afghanistan, forbidden to attend class by the Taliban rulers. But there’s one major exception. For weeks, girls in the western province of Herat have been back in high school...

Rights group: Taliban kill, abduct dozens of ex-officers

Nov. 30, 2021 08:25 AM EST

KABUL (AP) — Taliban fighters have summarily killed or forcibly “disappeared” more than 100 former police and intelligence officers since taking power in Afghanistan, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday. The group pointed to continuing retaliation against the armed forces of the...

Opposition in Kyrgyzstan challenges election results

Nov. 29, 2021 09:46 AM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Scores of opposition supporters in Kyrgyzstan rallied Monday to challenge the results of a parliamentary election that was swept by parties loyal to the country's president. Sunday's election came just over just over a year after a forceful change of...

US eliminated from Davis Cup Finals after loss to Colombia

Nov. 28, 2021 19:25 PM EST

U.S. captain Mardy Fish hinted at a lack of passion within his team after the record 32-time champion Americans were eliminated from the Davis Cup Finals by following up a lopsided loss to host Italy with a humbling defeat to Colombia on Sunday. The Americans left Turin...

Kyrgyzstan's parliamentary vote boosts president's clout

Nov. 28, 2021 15:47 PM EST

MOSCOW (AP) — Kyrgyzstan held a parliamentary election Sunday just over a year after a forceful change of government in the ex-Soviet Central Asian nation and voters backed parties supporting the country's new president, according to early results. President Sadyr...

Asian leaders at economic summit vow to help Afghanistan

Nov. 28, 2021 14:13 PM EST

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan (AP) — The leaders of several Asian countries called for boosting their economic ties and pledged to provide assistance to Afghanistan during a summit in Turkmenistan on Sunday. The countries, which are part of the 10-member Economic Cooperation...

Kazakhstan plays Iran anthem for Syria at FIBA WC qualifiers

Nov. 28, 2021 08:33 AM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria’s sports federation has complained to basketball's world governing body after Kazakhstan welcomed its team with the Iranian national anthem, instead of the Syrian, to the game at the first leg of Asian qualifiers for World Cup 2023. Syrian...

Pakistan says militants kill 2 soldiers near Afghan border

Nov. 28, 2021 01:19 AM EST

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AP) — Militants targeted a Pakistani military post in the northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border, killing two soldiers in a firefight, the army said in a statement. The Pakistani army's media wing said late Saturday that militants attacked a...

Afghan prime minister defends Taliban's rule amid crisis

Nov. 27, 2021 13:42 PM EST

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghanistan’s Taliban prime minister defended the group’s rule in a public address Saturday, saying it was not to blame for a worsening economic crisis and is working to repair the corruption of the ousted government. He also dismissed international pressure...