“Beware, my dear Zilkov. The virus of capitalism is highly infectious. Soon, you'll be lending money out at interest,” commented Dr. Yen Lo, the Chinese Communist handler of Raymond Shaw in the 1962 classic The Manchurian Candidate. Now it would appear that the “virus of capitalism” has infected Laos — the Lao Democratic People’s Republic — with the country’s first stock market set to open today. Laotians have high hopes that the Lao Securities Exchange will bring in much-needed foreign investment to the landlocked and impoverished Southeast Asian Communist state. 

The assassination of outspoken Pakistani Governor Salman Taseer has started a new debate in different sections of Pakistani society, and it has clearly drawn a line between the religious elements and the liberal class. The history of Pakistan since 1947 has observed such divisions, which widen when faced with such incidents.

In a gesture of goodwill to Moscow, the government of Kyrgyzstan decided to name a 14,587-foot mountain, located in the Tian-Shan range in northern Kyrgyzstan, the Putin Mountain in honor of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The announcement was made by Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, “who signed the bill to rename the peak,” according to the Telegraph

The second half of the 20th century was defined by the military and ideological rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union. While Russia still maintains a Cold War posture, bearing little difference to its Soviet predecessor, a new Cold War is quickly brewing on the horizon as a new superpower emerges in the East — the People’s Republic of China (PRC). 

Approximately four years after fleeing Iraq in fear of arrest, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is returning to Iraq in triumph.

As the Washington Post reported on January 5, Sadr once fled to Iran, but now returns to Iraq with a significant bloc of power within the Iraqi government: