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The Rundown -- October 31

RFE/RL in the Media
# SB Nation cites RFE/RL reporting on Putin's comments about gay Olympic participation
# Asia Times reprints Frud Bezhan's piece about Afghanistan's "zero option"
Middle East
# Did foreign fighters bring polio to Syria?
# "Does Hizbollah’s Partial Exit From Syria Mean Anything?" - Phillip Smyth, "The National"
# Assad demands end to foreign support for rebels
# "The Secular Syrian Opposition May Be Imploding" - Luke Jerrod Kumer, "The New Republic"
# Iran talks overlook terrorism
# "Iran's Nuclear Black Box" - Eli Lake, Daily Beast
# Other Arab states planning nuclear programs in Iran's shadow
# "Meet the Most Crooked Cop in Afghanistan" - Dan Lamothe, Foreign Policy
# Campaign launched in Afghanistan against abuse of boys
# Iran likely to abandon gas project with Pakistan
# Pakistan says 67 civilians have died in U.S. drone strikes since 2008
# "Pakistan’s Gay Community Quietly Breaking Barriers" - Ron Moreau and Sami Yousafzai, Daily Beast
# al-Maliki's op-ed in "New York Times"
# Beijing's thirst for oil means heavy investment in Iraq
# Putin named world's most powerful person on Forbes list
# New Russian textbooks omit Putin opponents
# Russia breaks "zero waste" Sochi pledge, by massive dumping
# "Activists Feel Powerful Wrath as Russia Guards Its Arctic Claims" - Stephen Lee Myers, "New York Times"
Eastern Europe
# Ukraine to sign $10 billion shale deal with Chevron
# "Chocolate Factory, Trade War Victim" - Andrew Kramer, "New York Times"
# Belarus to host Turkmenistan Culture Days
# FIFA meets with leaders of Serbia and Kosovo
# Jovanka Broz's war decorations stolen
# "The Rise And Fall Of Mikheil Saakashvili" - Max Seddon, Buzzfeed
Central Asia
# New Almaty exhibit looks at Kazakhstan's Stalinist past
Of Interest
# "Spiegel's" guide for whistleblowers
# More people now visiting ESPN on mobile devices than desktops
# "The Snowden Leaks and the Public" - Alan Rusbridge, "The New York Review of Books"