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Podcast: The Blender Year-Ender

German soldiers of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) approach locals during a patrol in the village of Isa Khel in the Chahar Dara district.
It's a Blender year-ender with a look at three hot spots in our coverage area as we talk with RFE/RL service directors about the major developments of 2011.
In Afghanistan, U.S.-led forces are set to hand over security responsibility in 2014 to Afghan forces. Some of the transition has gone smoothly, but militants continue to cross the border from Pakistan, brutal attacks by the Taliban have continued, and reconciliation efforts appear to have collapsed. Correspondent Ron Synovitz sat down to talk about the year's with Akbar Ayazi, a regional director of broadcasting for RFE/RL responsible for Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and Iraq.
In Belarus, former presidential candidates faced political trials, the economy was thrown into crisis, driving the country closer to Russia, and anti-government protesters came under intense pressure. Belarus service director Alexander Lukashuk covered these issues and more about troubling turns of 2011.
Akbar Ayazi
Akbar Ayazi
And in Azerbaijan, practicing journalism remained a dangerous business this year. Journalists faced prison, threats, and even murder. RFE/RL editor Brian Whitmore spoke with Azerbaijani service director Kenan Aliyev about the poor state of media freedom in the country.
This week’s host is Bruce Jacobs.
It's A Blender Year-Ender -- 12/23/11 (Episode 50)
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