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Afghans Could Face Struggle for Humanitarian Aid After Earthquake | World In :60 | GZERO Media

Afghanistan earthquake adds to woes on economy, hunger & women's rights

Ian Bremmer shares his insights on global politics this week on World In :60:

Will the Afghan earthquake worsen the situation there?

It is a pretty substantial earthquake. Looks like hundreds are dead. And of course, this is on the back of the Taliban taking over, the economy falling apart, a lot of food stress and women being knocked back into the Stone Age. So much that had been fought for over 20 years, trillions of dollars spent. The focus of course recently has been all about Ukraine. And of course the global impact there is much bigger, but we should not forget that the reality of life at Afghanistan today for anyone that wants to be a free citizen and particularly for women and young women is absolutely unconscionable. Not a lot of support after the initial outreach for those that are trying to get out to become refugees to be welcomed in other countries. This is a disaster. It deserves humanitarian aid, even though it has to go through the Taliban and certainly deserves allowing more Afghans to get out. That is a big problem.

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Paige Fusco

What We're Watching: Taliban ditch poppies, another Chinese COVID mishap, Darfur war crimes tribunal

Taliban ban poppy cultivation

Fulfilling a long-held promise, the Taliban have banned the cultivation of poppies, the main ingredient used in heroin and other opiates. “If anyone violates the decree, the crop will be destroyed immediately, and the violator will be treated according to Shariah law,” the group said. Afghanistan is by far the largest producer of opium, accounting for 85% of all production globally. (After the Taliban took control last year, opium production increased in the country by 8%.) Indeed, the move comes as the Taliban are vying to gain recognition from the international community as the legitimate ruler of Afghanistan and unlock millions of dollars worth of foreign reserves currently held in US banks. However, as cash runs dry from the opium trade, regular Afghan farmers who depend on the crops for their livelihood will feel the economic pain. Observers are warning of an impending calamity in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, which is already reeling from economic collapse with reports of Afghans being forced to sell their children and organs to survive.

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Talks With Taliban Won’t Legitimize Them (US Already Did That) | Pakistan's Hina Khar | GZERO World

Talks with Taliban won’t legitimize them (US already did that)

Want the Taliban to form a more inclusive Afghan government? Talk to them. Otherwise, don't complain about millions of starving Afghans.

That's the advice of Hina Khar, Pakistan's former foreign minister, to Western nations who say they don't want to "enable" the regime.

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Petraeus on the Afghanistan Crisis | GZERO World

Petraeus on the Afghanistan crisis

Former CIA chief and four-star general David Petraeus, who once commanded US forces in Afghanistan, has been a harsh critic of President Biden’s disastrous withdrawal from the country. Now, as Afghans face one of the worst humanitarian crises of the modern era, Petraeus tells Ian Bremmer how he thinks the United States can still help avert total disaster.

But when it comes to sending aid to the Afghan people, Petraeus acknowledges that challenges remain. “The question is, how do you bring that to bear for the people without enabling the Taliban government, which we won't recognize, I'm sure, if ever?”

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Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia

REUTERS/Adriano Machado

What We're Watching: Bolsonaro heads to Moscow, Biden moves on frozen Afghan funds, Tunisia's dwindling democracy

Bolsonaro’s bold move. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is heading to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin despite objections from the US and his own aides about the timing, given the Ukraine crisis. But “Tropical Trump” may think the time is just right to try and boost his domestic popularity with some time on the international stage. He’s currently trailing former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the run-up to Brazil’s October election. With over 600,000 COVID deaths since the panbdemic started and a battered economy, Bolsonaro also needs to bring home some bacon. Moscow recently issued a two-month ban on exports, and since Brazil is the biggest buyer of Russia’s nitrate fertilizer, Brazilian farmers are worried about their crops. Bolsonaro is expected to ask Putin to revoke the ban. If he secures the deal overseas, will it give him a boost back home?

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Ahmed Rashid Outlines the New Political Reality in Afghanistan | GZERO World

Ahmed Rashid outlines the new political reality in Afghanistan

The Taliban regime is struggling to govern Afghanistan. The country faces potential famine and economic hardship, with a long winter ahead. Many Afghans feel desperate and are likely to flee as refugees or risk their lives in widespread protests. What can we expect to see from the Taliban under these conditions?

Few people know more about the Taliban than journalist and author Ahmed Rashid, who wrote the book on the group — literally. In the months after 9/11, his critically acclaimed 2000 study, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil & Fundamentalism in Central Asia, became a go-to reference as the US geared up to invade Afghanistan and knock the militant group from power. Rashid spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World about the so-called “Taliban 2.0.” How much has the group changed since the days of soccer-stadium executions, television bans, and blowing up world heritage sites?

Watch the GZERO World episode: Taliban 2.0: Afghanistan on the Brink (US AWOL)

Ian Explains: Has the Taliban Changed Since the 1990’s? | GZERO World

Has the Taliban changed since the 1990’s?

The Taliban regained total control of Afghanistan on August 30, 2021, when the US withdrew after twenty years of war. But the militant group claims to have reformed, and has even tried to show a softer side, perhaps to contrast the barbaric scenes from the last time they were in control from 1996 until 2001.

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Will Any Countries Recognize the Taliban? | GZERO World

Will any countries recognize the Taliban?

No country is in a big hurry to recognize the Taliban, explains journalist Ahmed Rashid, even those that likely will do so in the future: Pakistan, China, and Russia. “They understand that if they recognize the Taliban, it's going to lead to a major division in the international community,” he told Ian Bremmer on GZERO World.

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