South Asia

Mount Everest Claims Lives of First 2 Climbers of 2021

Two climbers from Switzerland and the United States have become the first fatalities of this year’s Mount Everest climbing season. According to Nepal-based expedition organizing company Seven Summit Treks, 41-year-old Swiss national Abdul Waraich successfully reached the summit of the 8,948-meter peak, but began having problems during his descent. Company …

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Afghanistan Hearing Leaves More Questions than Answers

The U.S. military has completed about 10% of its pullout from Afghanistan. But defense officials left members of Congress with more questions than answers Wednesday, as the U.S. inches closer and closer to President Joe Biden’s Sept. 11  withdrawal deadline. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb has the latest.

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Conviction of Blogger Casts Chill Over Uzbek Media 

Conviction of Blogger Casts Chill Over Uzbek Media 

Fazliddin Mehmonov considers himself a journalist and a blogger, and does not apologize one bit for wearing both hats. The 30-year-old from Namangan, a city in eastern Uzbekistan, admits that he and his colleagues act unprofessional at times. “We are new in this field and too passionate,” Mehmonov said. “It’s …

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India COVID Variant Spreads to Nearly 50 Countries 

India COVID Variant Spreads to Nearly 50 Countries 

A day after declaring the COVID-19 variant first detected in India as one of global concern, the World Health Organization announced Wednesday that the variant has spread to 49 countries.    The U.N. health agency’s new concern about the B.1.617 variant comes as India recorded 4,205 COVID-19 deaths, a new …

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Pakistan’s Feminists Fight Blasphemy Cases

Pakistan’s Feminists Fight Blasphemy Cases

Pakistani feminists say they are determined to fight blasphemy charges filed in mid-April by militant Islamic groups opposed to their International Women’s Day rallies held on March 8.  They rejected as “totally false” blasphemy allegations based on the social media postings of their rallies.   “We’ve seen a weaponization of …

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US Military Coy About Numbers of Troops Leaving Afghanistan

US Military Coy About Numbers of Troops Leaving Afghanistan

The United States’ military footprint in Afghanistan is shrinking at a steady pace, according to U.S. military planners, though they are refusing to say how many troops are still in the country. U.S. Central Command announced Tuesday that it has completed “between 6-12% of the entire retrograde process,” removing the …

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