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The Rundown -- December 20


NOTE: "The Rundown" is taking a short hiatus. It will return January 3.
RFE/RL in the Media
# UPI cites Golnaz Esfandiari's interview with John McCain
# "The National" quotes RFE/RL liveblog on Ukraine protests in profile of Klitschko
# "Asia Times" quotes Baz Mohammad Abid, a reporter for the RFE/RL Afghanistan Service
Russia
# Putin says Khodorkovsky may be freed soon
# Pardoning spree "a calculated move"
# A rundown of the "misbehavior" of a U.S. general in Russia
# "Born in the USSR" - Peter Pomerantsev, "London Review of Books"
# "Can a China-Russia Axis Bankrupt the US?" - J. Michael Cole, The Diplomat
# Photos: Native Siberians at the turn of the 20th century
Ukraine
# Yanukovych warns protesters to "control their ambitions"
# "Why Ukraine Spurned the EU and Embraced Russia" - Elizabeth Piper, Reuters
# Ukraine would have received $26 billion in EU loans and grants if it had signed EU pact
Eastern Europe
# "Belarus Gets Jealous of Putin’s Cut for Ukraine" - Anna Maria Dyner and Ievgen Vorobiov, "Financial Times"
Middle East
# ISIS, the jihadist group expanding rapidly in Syria
# Senate Foreign Affairs Committee approves bill allowing aid ties to military governments (Egypt, for instance)
# "Turkey's House of Cards Moment" - Piotr Zalewsk, "Time"
Iran
# Ten Democratic Committee chairs rebuke Menendez's sanctions effort in letter
# Iran says if talks fail it will enrich more uranium
# "On Iran and Syria, Tests of Diplomacy Intertwine" - Mark Landler, "New York Times"
# Iran culture minister mocks ban on satellite channels
# Iran to hold air force drills over Strait of Hormuz
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# Local army commander brokers turf-sharing deal with Taliban
# Most Americans want to keep some U.S. forces in Afghanistan
# Europe says Afghanistan still needs assistance
# Pakistan protests may force U.S. to fly cargo out of Afghanistan
# Pakistan army raid in Waziristan said to kill dozens of civilians
# Haqqani slams "mistreatment" of Indian consul
# Pakistan court calls for review of CIA doctor's case
Caucasus
# A symposium on secularism in France and Azerbaijan
Central Asia
# Germany says stolen cars may have ended up in hands of people close to Tajik president
# Cutting edge theatre of murdered founder thriving in Uzbekistan
Balkans
# Ethnic Albanians in Macedonia disappointed with pace of EU accession talks
# Serbia will not join NATO, says FM
Of Interest
# PostTV will stop having "shows"
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