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The Rundown -- December 18


RFE/RL in the Media

# ThinkProgress cites RFE/RL coverage of Russia's Ukraine bailout
# "US News and World Report" quotes RFE/RL interview with U.S. Amb. to Russia McFaul
# In "Harvard Business Review" piece, Jeffrey Gedmin writes about dilemma he had at RFE/RL
# Read Daud Khattak in Foreign Policy on division within the Pakistani Taliban
Ukraine
# Opposition leaders vow to block Russian $15 billion bailout in parliament
# "Ukraine's Protesters Show Its Leaders How to Govern" - Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg
# Can Klitschko be Ukraine's next president?
# "How Putin Outfoxed the West" - Christian Neef and Matthias Schepp, Spiegel
Russia
# Obama sends openly gay athletes to represent U.S. in Olympic delegation
# Sochi gay scene in decline
# "Putin's New Shock Jock" - James Kirchick, Daily Beast
# Shake Shack in Russia
Eastern Europe
# Georgia and Moldova -- Markets for EU pork
Middle East
# Assad may stay
# In "New York Times" op ed, Saudi Ambassador says country "will go it alone"
# Obama is "losing Egypt to Russia"
Iran
# Zarif protests sanctions expansion in phone call with Kerry
# Iran said to have kidnapped dissidents inside Iraq
# Sen. Nelson may go to Iran to recover Levinson
# The "black swans" that could scuttle the nuclear deal
# The Israeli intelligence operative from Tehran
Iraq
# Charts show stunning increase in Iraq violence this year
# Sixty-five people killed in wave of attacks
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Attack on helicopter kills six U.S. troops, but still not clear who's responsible
# Afghanistan Ambassador to UN says security agreement will be signed "in a timely matter"
# UN envoy says Afghanistan has continued to make steady progress towards stability
# What kind of Afghanistan will foreign forces leave?
# Pakistan rules out military action against Taliban
# Pakistan's "political renaissance"
Caucasus
# Azerbaijan arrests election monitoring head, conducts business meeting with UK FM
Central Asia
# "Forced Labor Lives On in Uzbekistan’s Cotton Fields" - Mansur Mirovalev and Andrew Kramer
# "Green economy investment fund" for Kazakhstan
Balkans
# Serbia will start EU accession talks on January 21
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