Author: Inaaya Kalyal

The country’s most important archaeological find has been compared to Machu Picchu. Here’s how to see it At first glance, it doesn’t look like much, just a rectangular meadow in the Pamir foothills of central Tajikistan. But there was a time when this ground reverberated with the thunder of hooves. Occupying a broad saddle, high above the mighty Panj River, this meadow is believed to be an ancient arena for the Central Asian sport of buzkashi, or dead goat polo. The playing field was a centerpiece of a once sprawling settlement, a political and religious capital inhabited for centuries but since lost to…

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Jake Paul and Mike Tyson have been encouraged to cancel their ‘mismatch’ showdown. ‘Iron Mike’ is set to step back in the ring aged 58 to take on YouTube star Jake Paul in a blockbuster summer fight, a fight which has seen him given medical warnings given their 31-year age difference. Tyson has been documenting his training in footage posted to social media, with some fans surprisingly impressed by his punch power and suggesting he will beat Paul. And his new footage crushing the pads with trainer Rafael Cordeiro, has been met by new pleas from fans for Paul to abandon the fight…

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Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiraling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking. In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin Kahhorzoda revealed…

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KATHMANDU: A Yeti Airlines crash in Nepal that killed 72 people almost a year ago was caused by the pilots mistakenly cutting power leading to an aerodynamic stall, a report issued by a government-appointed investigation panel on Thursday (Dec 28) said. The ATR 72, operated by privately owned Yeti Airlines, crashed just before landing in the tourist city of Pokhara on Jan 15 in one of Nepal’s worst airplane accidents in 30 years. There were 72 people on the twin-engine aircraft including two infants, four crew and 15 foreign nationals. There were no survivors. Dipak Prasad Bastola, an aeronautical engineer and…

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Nyon, Manchester, Milan (19/12 – 31) The group phase of the 2023-2024 UEFA Champions League is to conclude this month. Names of the sixteen clubs who will compete in the knock-out phase have been released. On Monday, 18 December 2023, UEFA conducted the draw for the last-16 round, at their headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. Defending champion Manchester City came out from the draw with the biggest smile as they will face off with the arguably easiest opponent. Pep Guardiola’s team will Danish champion Copenhagen, who were down at 37th in the UEFA club coefficient ranking. As the current title holder,…

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This has been a bad year for food prices in the world’s poorest countries. Whether their citizens eat wheat or rice, three calamities have caused grain supplies to dry up: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and its decision to abandon the Black Sea grain initiative; the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has traditionally caused poor harvests across the world; and Indian domestic politics. Spooked by volatile foodgrain prices ahead of a general election next year, India’s government has banned or taxed exports of most kinds of rice and wheat. While India is a large producer of wheat, it really dominates the…

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ISLAMABAD: Care­taker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar on Monday expressed the hope that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will shortly an­­nounce the date of next general elections, which is likely to be held in January 2024. The prime minister defended the caretaker set-up amid the accusation that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif had been given special treatment on his return to the country, by comparing it with the level playing field ensured for general elections in 2018. Mr Kakar was addressing a news conference three days after returning from China, where he had attended Belt and Road Forum (BRF) conference on the 10th anniversary…

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Dropping vestiges of its former military association with Russia, Finland has signed a US$346 million deal with Israel’s Rafael Advanced Systems (RAS) to procure the David’s Sling surface-to-air missile (SAM) as a replacement for its Russian-origin Buk SAM systems.  Around 2010, Finland introduced the US-Norwegian National Advanced Surface to Air Missile Systems (NASAMS) to decommission the Buk and the 9M38 missiles it fires. The deal follows Helsinki formally joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in April 2023, a year after Russia launched its Special Military Operation (SMO) in Ukraine. Finland has also begun actively participating in exercises in the Baltic Sea…

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Jakarta, Surabaya (19/11 – 20) With the elimination of their national team on Saturday, Indonesia’s capabilities to put on its finest show as the host of the 2023 Under-17 World Cup will be tested. Indonesia has been given a second chance to host a global football tournament once again, with the 19th Edition of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup, a moving spectacle held in Jakarta, Surabaya, Surakarta and Bandung, from 10 November to 2 December 2023. This opportunity arrived just months after FIFA stripped out Indonesia’s hosting rights for the 2023 FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The bid wa doomed by…

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The navies of China and Pakistan are holding their largest-ever joint exercises known as ‘Sea Guardian-3’ over the weekend. This is another effort to cement ties between the two nations despite Chinese loans swamping Pakistan by an additional $21B than actually reported. The Pakistan Navy stated that the Sea Guardian-3 combined maritime exercise involving naval vessels, submarines, and submarine rescue ships began with an opening ceremony at the Karachi Naval Dockyard on November 11. A Chinese flotilla consisting of fighter jets, naval vessels, helicopters, a submarine, a submarine rescue ship, and a Marine Corps detachment arrived in Karachi to participate…

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