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By David A. Clarke Jr.
Blame Washington's intelligence failure, not lack of police
Topic - Ahmed Sanjar
A repeat of last year's gasoline shortage in Uzbekistan is prompting calls for investment in and modernization of the Central Asian nation's oil industry.
Uzbekistan's prime minister pledged last month to end child labor in the country's cotton fields. But as the harvest season gets under way, human rights activists say children as young as 13 are being put to work under grueling conditions, despite extreme measures to recruit adult labor.
"Gasoline always disappears before the state wants to raise prices. Last year was the same situation — no fuel in November in December and then prices went up in January," said Sanjar, a truck driver in Tashkent.
"And in general, the reason is that those responsible for the purchase of gasoline plundered all the money, and now the state has no money to buy fuel abroad," said Sanjar, who asked that his surname not be used for fear of government reprisals.