Hey, you're busy! We know rferl.org isn't the only website you read. And that it's just possible you may have missed some of our most compelling journalism this week. To make sure you're up-to-date, here are some of the highlights produced by RFE/RL's team of correspondents, multimedia editors, and visual journalists over the past seven days.
Given the ongoing developments in Kabul, we are also including content here from Gandhara, an RFE/RL website focusing on Afghanistan and Pakistan that is the go-to source for English-language reporting by our network of local journalists across the two countries.
A hacktivist group that has exposed what appears to be systemic prisoner abuse in Iran explains to RFE/RL's Radio Farda that it is all-Iranian, is working inside the country, and wants to let the authorities know they can no longer hide their alleged inhumane practices. By RFE/RL' s Radio Farda
They got the shots to protect themselves -- and so they could visit bars and clubs. They didn't expect that in a few months, they wouldn't be able to go on vacation. By Lili Rutai
From crippling droughts to deadly flash floods, Afghans are being hit hard by changes in rainfall and other weather patterns blamed on global climate change. By RFE/RL's Radio Azadi and Ron Synovitz
A family doctor in the town of Miercurea Ciuc in Romania's historic Transylvania region says many COVID patients are self-treating at home because they don't want to go to local hospitals. Marton Bokor, a former hospital director and ethnic Hungarian, says patients are renting oxygen equipment and buying medicines from abroad. He explains that it is because some hospitals don't have enough medicines, masks, and ventilators. By RFE/RL's Hungarian Service and Neil Bowdler
Debris Clouds, Endangered Astronauts: What The Fallout From A Russian Anti-Satellite Test Means For Space
"Reckless," "dangerous," and "irresponsible" was how U.S. officials described a Russian anti-satellite missile test. Russian officials pushed back, accusing U.S. officials of hypocrisy. By Mike Eckel
Russian prosecutors have the respected human rights group Memorial in their sights, and other organizations are raising the alarm that this is a watershed moment for the country. By RFE/RL's Russian Service
After the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August, the group's leaders said they would put an end to the cultivation of opium poppies in the country, but they have yet to enact those plans. In the Marja district of Helmand Province, poppy cultivation continues to expand as an economic crisis makes farmers even more dependent on the lucrative crop. By RFE/RL's Radio Azadi
As Russia battles a spike in COVID-19 infections, a hospital ward in St. Petersburg is treating some of the youngest patients. "Many parents say: 'We thought children didn't have complications from COVID-19,'" said Yulia Ordina, the department head. "But unfortunately, that isn't always true." By Artyom Leshko
'It's My Decision': Iran's New Population Law Blasted For Restricting Access To Contraceptives, Abortions
Iran has approved a law that bans sterilization, restricts access to abortions, and prevents hospitals and clinics from giving out free contraceptives. The move is aimed at boosting the country's sharply declining birth rate. But the law has been met with widespread criticism. By Golnaz Esfandiari and Elahe Ravanshad
Denis Chuzhoi, a comic who has lampooned President Vladimir Putin, is the latest Russian comedian to land in hot water for a joke about the authorities. Friends and fellow stand-up performers say that in the current climate, he won't be the last. By RFE/RL