I have been neglecting Central Asia, especially when there are such tasty tidbits to ponder such as 'who can get the most leverage out of a natural resource' and 'how can a national constitution be subverted to stay in power under a thin veil of legitimacy'.
1) Flour and water: Bonnie Boyd has a nice piece on water politics in upstream Tadjikistan and downstream Uzbekistan -- while, via Registan, Victoria Panfilova, has some poignant observations on how poor wheat harvest in Central Asia open the door for some power politics by Russia.
2) Straight outta Tashkent: the gentlemen at Registan have a nice section on Alisher Usmanov. The debate in the comments section is also interesting. Usmanov has allegedly engineered the shutdown of former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray's website as part of a libel suit. You can read Murray's allegedly libelous full-post there as well.
I'm not sure that buying significant shares in English Premier League teams will do any more for Usmanov's reputation than it does for Thaksin Shinawatra. Having said that, if Allan Cowan at Partick Thistle could find a nice, benign former-dictator to sink some cash into The Jags he'd probably be up for it.
3) Straight outta Tashkent part 2.: We are all stunned at the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan's choice of a candidate for the upcoming presidential election. I wonder who would have thought of that first? Nobody expects Vladimir Putin.