Uzbeks Unpick Cotton To Please No-Show PM

RFE/RL's Uzbek Service
Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty
In Central Asia, officials often go to great lengths trying to impress visiting presidents or dignitaries, giving them an exaggerated impression of success and happiness.
Regional officials in Uzbekistan's eastern Ferghana Province recently took it a step further.
Local farmers say they were ordered to glue white tufts of cotton back onto their bolls to give an impression of a bountiful harvest of the country's key crop ahead of an expected visit by Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyaev.