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Web-only Exclusives
November 30, 2000

From Our Correspondent: Hirohito and the War
A conversation with biographer Herbert Bix

From Our Correspondent: A Rough Road Ahead
Bad news for the Philippines - and some others

From Our Correspondent: Making Enemies
Indonesia needs friends. So why is it picking fights?

Asiaweek Time Asia Now Asiaweek story

Week of November 24, 1995

BAD VOTE, BUT OK...

European observers stopped short of calling voting in Azerbaijan's general election invalid despite irregularities and "some clear fraud." Opposition comments were franker: "massive fraud" and a farce. President Geidar Aliyev applauded the victory that vastly expands his powers, although the ballot counting is far from finished.

LIFE IMITATES ART

Afghanistan's last remaining film studio took a direct hit from a rocket fired by Taliban guerrillas. At the time the crew of Qais Film Studios was shooting a feature called "No Survival." Rambo-style action hero Sharif Khairkhwa was among the nine people who died at the scene, on a deadly day that in all saw 36 people die in shelling in Kabul.


Week of November 10, 1995

TRAIN INFERNO

Did saboteurs start a fire that killed at least 300 passengers on a Baku subway? Azerbaijani officials played down, but did not rule out, reports that a bomb had caused the worst metro accident in history. Authorities initially blamed the blaze on an electrical fault. Then one official claimed that an explosion had ripped the train apart.


Week of November 3, 1995

MOVING IN

Taliban fighters have dug in just five km south of the Afghan capital of Kabul in their latest bid to capture the city. The Taliban Islamic militia claimed responsibility for bombing raids on Kabul. The government said it had repulsed three Taliban land offensives and stabilized the front line. Privately officials admit the situation is dire.


Week of October 27, 1995

REBELS 'REPELLED'

Afghan government forces claimed they had driven back Taliban rebels advancing on Kabul. Loyalist radio said Sanglakh valley, 30 km west of the capital, and the military garrison at Rishkor, 12 km south, had both been recaptured from the Islamic militia. The Taliban, who control much of the west of the country, denied the report.


Week of October 20, 1995

MILITANTS WARNED

The Taliban militia, which controls large parts of Afghanistan, was threatened with a cut in international aid if it discriminated against women. The warning came from the United Nations in Geneva, where a spokesman said "a lot of support would not be forthcoming" if donor countries felt women and girls were not being given an equal chance.


Week of October 13, 1995

POLL PAYMENT

Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev called elections for Dec. 5 and 9, with candidates paying around $500 to stand. The first election will be for the 57-member Senate, with the poll for the 67-seat lower chamber to follow. A referendum earlier this year gave Nazarbayev sweeping administrative powers. Since dissolving parliament in March, he has ruled by decree.


Week of September 15, 1995

RESURGENCE

The Taliban student militia captured Herat in southwestern Afghanistan Sept. 4, after seizing the Shindand airbase in neighboring Farah province from forces loyal to President Rabbani. The Islamic student group first emerged last year in the south, and reached the gates of Kabul before Rabbani forces repulsed them. The Taliban has recently made startling gains.

LIFT OFF

The new Central Asian republic of Kazakhstan played host to the second Euro-Russian space mission. A Soyuz TM-22 spacecraft, carrying a German and two Russians, blasted off from the country's Baikonur cosmodrome Sept. 3, headed for the Mir orbital space station. Russia has to pay the ex-Soviet republic $115 million dollars a year to use the center.
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