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Opposition Victory Signals New Direction For Georgia

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has conceded defeat in parliamentary elections in the former Soviet republic, clearing the way for the opposition Georgian Dream party to form a new government. The country's new ruling party says it will continue a pro-Western stance but also seek to restore ties with Russia.
NPR

Panic Rises In Iran As Currency Plunges To New Lows

Crowds of anxious Iranians are flocking to foreign exchange offices as the rial continues to plummet; it lost about one-third of its value in just a day. Tough economic and banking sanctions, and an oil embargo, are at the heart of the crisis. Tehran is blaming outsiders, and seems unable to stop the free fall.
NPR

Syria, Running Low On Friends, Angrily Sheds Another

Syria gave the Hamas leader shelter for years. Now Syria has denounced him in withering terms, a sign of the changing alliances in the Middle East.
NPR

Russia May Be Poised To Regain Influence In Region

Elections in Georgia, Ukraine and Lithuania are being closely watched in the West as a test of whether former Soviet states will shift closer to Russia. Russian president Vladimir Putin, for his part, has made political, economic and security reintegration of former Soviet republics a priority.
NPR

Pope's Butler Professes Innocence, But Says He Betrayed Pontiff

The case has been an embarrassment to the Vatican and the butler faces up to four years in prison on charges he stole documents pointing to corruption.

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