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RFE/RL's Summer Reading - A Regional Round-Up Of Top News


Graphic for a Facebook page urging blood donations to help those injured in Iran's recent earthquakes

Graphic for a Facebook page urging blood donations to help those injured in Iran's recent earthquakes

A round-up of our top-trending stories this week:

AFGHANISTAN: Afghan officials say at least 36 people were killed and more than 100 injured when three suicide bombers attacked Zaranj, the provincial capital of southwestern Nimroz Province. The triple bombing was followed by another blast a few hours later in northern Kunduz Province, where a remote-controlled bomb, hidden in a motorcycle, detonated in a crowded market, killing at least 10 people.

IRAN: In the immediate aftermath of the twin earthquakes in Iran that killed more than 300 and left thousands homeless, Facebook emerged as an important tool in mobilizing help for survivors and providing accurate news of events on the ground. Radio Farda correspondent Hannah Kaviani reports.

TATARSTAN: Following a police raid on the group's compound earlier this month, our Tatar-Bashkir Service interviewed members of an Islamic sect in Kazan that has lived underground for over a decade. Children living with the group were sent to hospitals for check-ups, and one mother described being forcibly separated from her children during the raid. Some members of the sect may face charges of criminal negligence.

KAZAKHSTAN: Don't be a rude parker in Almaty or you may end up on a popular Kazakh website that encourages users to submit their photos of examples of inconsiderate drivers. Blocking exits or leaving cars in the middle of children's play areas get scofflaws "named and shamed," and now the website has teamed up with the police to "find and fine" errant parkers. Manshuk Asautay of our Kazakh Service reports.

RUSSIA: About 100 psychologists and other academics have signed an open letter calling the expert conclusions used by the prosecution in the Pussy Riot trial a "professional disgrace." Without the expert analysis, prosecutors would have been unable to argue the case on charges of "premeditated hooliganism…motivated by religious hatred or hostility" against three members of the feminist punk rock collective. Radio Svoboda correspondent Maryana Torocheshnikova has this report from Moscow.

TAJIKISTAN: Shortly before surrendering on August 12 to authorities in eastern Tajikistan, Tolib Ayombekov -- a former opposition commander from the Tajik civil war linked to the recent killing of a high-ranking security chief -- gave an exclusive interview to Salimjon Aioubov of our Tajik Service, discussing his prospects for surrender, and expectations of justice.

TURKMENISTAN: And, finally, we offer a unique way to cool off in the summer with a pictorial visit to at Turkmenistan's Melon Festival.

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