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The Rundown -- May 6

Afternoon Update

RFE/RL Target Region

# The OCCRP rap sheet on Naser Kalmendi
# The organ-trafficking scandal in the Balkans continues to unravel
# A handless Kazakh man was denied a UK visa for lack of fingerprints

# Preparations in Moscow
# Russia says there is a growing chance of outside intervention in Syria

Of Interest
# "I was swallowed by a hippo"
# The forthcoming book on the Hanging Towers of Babylon

U.S. Politics/Foreign Policy
# "Al Gore's Golden Years" - Steve Fishman, "New York"
# "Buzzfeed" goes international
Morning Edition

RFE/RL In The Media

# "UPI" cites RFE/RL reporting on Iran's elections
# "IWPR" cites RFE/RL reporting on forced psychiatric ward stays in Kazakhstan
# Former RFE/RL colleague Muhammad Yaqoob Sharafat has passed away

International Press Review

# Dissidents are staying largely quiet in the run-up to the polls
# Tehran's fashion police hit the streets for mother's day

# The Russian opposition seems to be fading (and still in the dock)
# "Celebrating Press Freedom Russian-Style" - Alexei Pankin, "Moscow Times"
# Russia is getting about $70 million per seat to fly U.S. astronauts to space and back

# Inside Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat's election strategy
# On the campaign trail with the PPP
# MI6 was also handing bags of cash to officials in the Afghan government
# The Kajaki Dam project to Afghanistan

# Welcome to Erbil, tourist hub of Iraq
# New archeaological evidence of the famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon

# An Israeli strike in Syria targeted Iranian missiles
# Syria calls it "an act of war"
# "The New Yorker" on the Syria debate inside the White House

Boston Bombing
# A Canadian jihadi told Russian authorities about Tamerlan Tsarnaev
# Conspiracy theories abound in Kyrgyzstan

Of Interest
# Test-firing the first 3D-printed gun
# The paradox of web site comments
# How @breakingnews works
# Branding militant groups

U.S. Politics/Foreign Policy
# James Dobbins is the new SRAP