Sunday, December 21, 2014

Under The Black Flag

Tracking Islamic State

Tribal fighters take part in an intense engagement with Islamic State militants in Iraq's Anbar Province. (file photo)

As IS Advances, Anbar Leader Urges More Air Strikes

As clashes continue between Islamic State (IS) gunmen and Iraqi security forces in Iraq's beleaguered Anbar province, the chairman of Anbar's provincial council Sabah Karhout has called on the United States and its allies to carry out fresh air strikes against the militant group. More

Power Vertical

How Russia Is Ruled

Podcast: What Happens Next?

By all accounts, 2014 was a momentous year. So what happens now? Listen to a special year-end edition of the Power Vertical Podcast. More

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Caucasus Report

Regional Smoke Detector

Ingushetian leader Yunus-Bek Yevkurov

Jailed Ingush Oppositionist Faces New Criminal Charge

Businessman Iles Tatiyev, 42, who chairs a North Caucasus NGO that promotes cooperation between the executive branch and civil society, has been charged with money-laundering just weeks before he was due to qualify for pre-term release from jail for good behavior. More

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Odds, Ends, And Autocrats

Vladimir Mamatov’s sluggish delivery of his question to Putin during the press conference was the result of two strokes he survived.

Putin Jokes That Journalist Who Survived Stroke Was Drunk

Russian President Vladimir Putin has regularly used his annual news conference to deploy colorful metaphors and one-liners while projecting an image of wry self-assurance. But this tack took a wrong turn at this year’s event on December 18. More

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Abuses Uncovered

Belarus Law May Hit Online Media

Lawmakers in Belarus have passed legislation allowing the state to close any Internet news site that receives two warnings about content in a single year. More

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Qishloq Ovozi

Blogging Central Asia

Customers queue for fresh meat in Ashgabat.

Journalist Questioned In Turkmenistan Over Fresh Meat Story

It's true that not many media organizations can report from Turkmenistan on a regular basis. RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, does and its correspondents just discovered one of the boundaries in reporting. More

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Persian Letters

Notes Of An Iran Watcher

Professor Sadegh Zibakalam (left) speaks as former legislator Ahmad Shirzad looks on at a conference about Iran's nuclear program at Tehran University on December 17.

Nuclear Program Has 'Hurt Iran More Than Iraq War'

Iran's nuclear activities and ambitions faced rare, blunt criticism at a roundtable at Tehran University, where one of the speakers said the damage done by the nuclear program was greater than that by the 1980-88 war with Iraq, which left tens of thousands dead and caused much devastation. More

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