A roundup of regional reports.
# Middle East relationships are complicated. RFE/RL's infographic
helps to make sense of them.
# A timeline
of tragedy in Syria's civil war.
# Correspondent Richard Solash spoke to U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu
, who slams Russia's ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children, saying Moscow is "doing a great disservice to itself."
# Solash also reports that U.S. prosecutors are looking to seize property
they say was purchased with stolen "Magnitsky case" money -- a move that may prompt Congress to add more Russians to the Magnitsky sanctions list.
# U.S. Senator John McCain
tells Radio Svoboda that he wrote his op-ed to make sure Russians know the truth about things like the death in custody of Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky and laws that effectively ban homosexuality.
# The unexpected release
of several prominent political prisoners in Iran looks to many like the start of a shift toward moderation. Correspondent Golnaz Esfandiari looks at whether the move a sign of more changes to come in Iran.
# A top Islamic body in Pakistan is reportedly poised to recommend that DNA be allowed as primary evidence in rape cases
, marking a reversal in the religiously conservative country and following public outrage over the alleged rape of a five-year-old girl in the city of Lahore earlier this month. Correspondent Frud Bezhan reports.
# Bezhan also reviews the new book
by writer Nushin Arbabzadah, who has challenged widely held conceptions on Afghanistan in “Afghan Rumor Bazaar: Secret Sub-cultures, Hidden Worlds, and the Everyday Life of the Absurd.”
# Azerbaijan's second televised debate between presidential hopefuls descended into chaos
when one candidate hurled a bottle of water toward the main opposition candidate, Camil Hasanli.
# As the "white gold
" harvest begins anew in Central Asia, Uzbekistan yields to international pressure and grants access to monitoring teams to observe the cotton harvest
. Correspondents Dan Wisniewski, Farruh Yusupov, and Farangis Najibullah report.
# The return of DSK: Serbia has chosen Dominique Strauss-Kahn
, the libidinous former head of the IMF and onetime Socialist hope for the French presidency, as an economic advisor. From Web Managing Editor Andy Heil writing for Transmission
# Also from Transmission, the Swedish PR man who used teddy bears
to embarrass Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka over his miserable rights record is at it again.
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