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The Rundown -- January 8


RFE/RL in the Media

# "Moscow Times" and RIA Novosti cite RFE/RL interview with the Kyrgyz Grand Mufti who just resigned following a sex scandal
# "Kyiv Post" cites RFE/RL Ukrainian Service's interview with husband of beaten journalist
Middle East
# Saudis back Syrian rebels despite risks
# Factional strife in Syria
Iraq
# Iraq begins deploying for Fallujah assault
# "Iraq’s Best Hope for Peace Is Replacing Maliki" - Stephanie Gaskell, Defense One
# "The al-Qaedastan Threat" - Eli Lake, Daily Beast
# "McCain" says Obama administration "blew the whole thing"
# U.S. and Iran deny recent reports of cooperation in Iraq
Iran
# "France, Iran and the 'Front of Mistrust'" - John Vinocur, "Wall Street Journal"
# Khamenei issues fatwa against online chatting between unrelated men and women
# More unmarried couples living together
# Fifty senators said to support new Iran sanctions bill
Afghanistan/Pakistan
# In book, former Defense Secretary Gates criticizes Obama's convictions on Afghanistan
# U.S. says Afghanistan has weeks, not months, to sign deal
# Reports that Musharraf will leave Pakistan for medical treatment
Russia
# Two percent of Muscovites attend Christmas services
# Bob Costas says NBC won't ignore Russian anti-gay laws during Olympics
# "Fortress Sochi" - Simon Shuster, "Time"
# "Power Without Purpose" - Nina Krushcheva, Project Syndicate
# "Russia’s ‘Spare Individuals" - Maxim Trudolyubov, "New York Times"
Eastern Europe
# Maidan's fashion star
# Patriarch Kirill criticizes Ukrainian church members for "goading people"
Of Interest
# Dieudonné, denying anti-semitism, says he's not "chosen between the Jews and the Nazis"
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