Cooperation in the Caspian, Mongolia’s lost Turks and top 100 brands boycott Uzbek cotton

A lot of interesting stories this week, so lets get right to it:

Russian Navy Looking For Closer Cooperation With Iran In Caspian – Josh Kucera, The Bug Pit (EurasiaNet): While again a bit outside of our stated country scope, what happens in the Caspian will affect Eurasia and geopolitics in general. If nothing else, it will certainly make the US nervous that Russia and Iran have found a(nother) common cause to unite on – this development is indicative of Moscow’s ‘pivot’ away from the US. 

Dukha, ‘lost Turks’ in Mongolia, Hürriyet Daily News: The article details a new Turkish documentary about “the life of the Dukha, a small population of people living on the outskirts of the Sayan Mountains in Mongolia.” The society is apparently very egalitarian, with everyone sharing everything, no gender being superior to the other and are reindeer herders. There are apparently only 200-400 of the Dukha left divided into two main territorial groups. Interesting read.

More Than 100 Top Brands Boycott Uzbek Cotton Over Forced Labor, RFE/RL: Uzbekistan is (now was?) the sixth largest producer of cotton, but have been widely criticized for forced child labor to the point where children weren’t able to go to schools. When there were reports that fewer children were in the field (following international bands boycotting Uzbek cotton), the BBC reported that instead of children, doctors were forced to not treat people and work in the fields as well.  For no pay.  RFE/RL reports that Wal-Mart and Zara are just two of the top brands who are now boycotting the cotton from Uzbekistan. 

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