Newsletter: FP Editor’s Pick

1  Last best hope. The international community’s decision to freeze billions of dollars in funding has left Afghanistan on the brink of a financial crisis. Money exchangers may be its last defense against disaster, Nafay Choudhury writes.  
2  New focus. Following Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s departure announcement, many of the candidates to succeed him are focusing more on taking a tougher line on China than controlling the coronavirus, William Sposato writes.  
3  Mixed messages. With the Taliban back in control, many people in the Hazara Shiite community fear a return to large-scale persecution. The way the group treats the Hazara could predict how it governs, Tom Mutch writes.  
4  Diplomatic dispute. Lithuania’s decision to exchange diplomatic offices with Taiwan sparked ire from China. The outcome of the conflict could be a bellwether for Beijing’s ability to bend small countries to its will, FP’s Robbie Gramer reports.  
5  Afghanistan erupts. After the Taliban claimed they eliminated all resistance in the Panjshir Valley, thousands of Afghans have taken to the streets to challenge the group’s extremist rule and fight for their liberty, Lynne O’Donnell reports.