Eurasianet - Turkey: How Durable is Gülen Movement? - Turkish spiritual leader Fethullah Gülen, 72, has long been rumored to be in a precarious state of health. But well-informed followers offer assurances that the international network of schools, businesses, media-outlets, and civil-society organizations that his movement has built is prepared for a stable transition.
Kazakhstan: Evidence Emerges of Government Jobs For Sale - It has long been rumored that huge bribes change hands in Kazakhstan to secure public-service jobs and law-enforcement positions that come with small salaries but enormous potential to make a few bucks on the side.
RIA Novosti - Kremlin Says Magnitsky Blacklist ‘Blow’ to Russia-US Ties - The publication by the United States of a blacklist of Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is a “blow” to bilateral relations and interference in Russia’s domestic affairs, the Russian presidential spokesman said
Russia Today - North Korea ready to develop relations, ensure stability ‘as a responsible nuke state’ - North Korea, which, despite tension, is getting ready to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder Kim Il-sung, said it was ready to conduct relations “based on the ideals of peace and sovereignty” and contribute to security and stability in Asia, and in the whole world “as a responsible nuclear-weapon state.”
Turkey fears of Islamic challenge to secular state - Turkish pianist Fazil Say received a suspended 10-month jail term on Monday for mocking Islam on Twitter. Secular Turks have become increasingly concerned over what they see as the creeping Islamization of society.
The Diplomat - A Russia-China Alliance Brewing? - On March 22nd, shortly after assuming the post of President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping headed off to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Observers were watching the two leaders closely, looking to divine whether or not they could overcome past divisions to achieve a new level of cooperation in bilateral ties. What came out of the two leaders’ meeting and what does it augur for the future of Sino-Russian relations?
The Tehran Times - Afghans celebrate selection of Ghazni as Capital of Islamic Culture - Located about 140 kilometers south of Kabul, today Ghazni (also Ghazna, Ghaznin or Ghuznee) accommodates approximately 140,000 inhabitants.
BBC - Afghan farmers return to opium as other markets fail - Three times as much opium was produced in Helmand last year as when British troops went there in 2006, and a new UN forecast says that this year's crop will be even higher. Opium is the raw material for heroin, and most of the illegal drugs for sale on the UK's streets come from Afghanistan.