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Who is Mullah Hasan Akhund? What does the Taliban’s choice of interim prime minister mean for Afghanistan?

The Taliban announced on Sept. 7, 2021, that Mullah Hasan Akhund has been appointed interim prime minister of Afghanistan. The decision comes more than two weeks after the militant Islamist group seized control of much of the country, including the capital, Kabul. The Conversation asked Ali A. Olomi, a historian of the Middle East and Islam at Penn State University, to explain who Mullah Akhund is, and what his appointment may portend for Afghanistan amid concern over human rights in the war-ravaged nation.

What the Gaza conflict means for South Asia

As the latest conflict between Israel and Palestine approaches the two-week mark, it’s worth asking what the crisis means for South Asia, which borders the Middle East

Why India’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is faltering – podcast

In this episode of The Conversation Weekly podcas, as India’s COVID-19 crisis continues, we look at what’s holding back the country’s vaccination rollout and how a shift in strategy on distribution and pricing is causing concern. And we speak to a researcher who went hunting for fungi in the world’s largest seed bank.

India COVID crisis: four reasons it will derail the world economy

The second wave of the pandemic has struck India with a devastating impact

COVID-19 in India: an unfolding humanitarian crisis

There have been many predictions about how many people have had COVID-19 and whether or not this or that country has reached herd immunity. We have seen this before in Manaus, Brazil, and in. The optimism is alas always misplaced and occasionally used irresponsibly

India prepares for Kumbh Mela, world's largest religious gathering, amid COVID-19 fears

Hindu devotees attend evening prayers on the banks of the Ganges River during the religious Kumbh Mela festival in Haridwar, India

Mild winter in Afghanistan threatens staple potato crop

Hussain Ali Rezaie takes a break from the backbreaking labour of working his land by hand. He expresses concern about a lack of snowfall this winter in his mountainous province of Bamiyan, in central Afghanistan – and what it might mean for his potatoes

Nepal elephant ride operators illegally selling animals to India

Padam does not remember when he began keeping elephants at his hotel

Why India is banking on health diplomacy to grow African footprint

India has stepped up its global ambitions and foreign policy re-engagement with African countries in recent years. Its bilateral trade from $7.2 billion in 2001 to $63 billion in 2017/18. India is now the third largest export destination and the fifth largest investor on the continent

Budhi Gandaki: Nepal’s mega-dam remains a mirage

Plans to build Nepal’s biggest ever hydropower project have gone through a bewildering series of politically motivated changes since 2011

Safe water costs 40 times more in coastal Bangladesh than cities

Twice a week, 50-year-old Brajasundari loads a collection of jerrycans onto a pedal cart, climbs aboard and travels three kilometres from her village Kanchrahati to buy water

Water is not distributed evenly across Pakistan

The allocation of the waters of the Indus river system between the provinces of Pakistan was a historic agreement

Climate change adds to woes of lentil farmers in Nepal

After the Hindu festival of Dashain in October, farmers across Nepal head to their fields to harvest their prized rice paddy crop

Eight Hindu Kush Himalayan countries issue a united call

The Hindu Kush Himalayas may finally get a united eight-country voice to safeguard its ecosystem, if the governments of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Pakistan keep the promises made by their ministers and representatives at a virtual summit this October

The many stories of Diwali share a common theme of triumph of justice

As many Indian Americans celebrate the election of the first Black and South Asian woman, Kamala Harris, to the White House, many will also be celebrating the festival of Diwali on Saturday, Nov. 14