A mysterious fungus is wreaking havoc on Afghanistan's opium poppies, which account for 92% of the world's supply. Local farmers blame the US military and NATO after a white substance appeared on their crops. The United Nations blames nature.
The head of the United Nations' Office on Drugs and Crime, Antonio Maria Costa, told the BBC that the price of opium has shot up by 50% in Helmand and Kandahar provinces, where US and NATO forces are prepping for a major offensive against the Taliban, who depend on the drug trade for a large amount of funding. But as for a western conspiracy? Costa says no, because this happens from time to time. "Nature really played in favour of the opium economy; this year, we see the opposite situation."
[Image via Getty, chart via BBC]