December 19, 2013 | NPR · Russia's parliament has passed a measure that could grant amnesty to thousands of people in prison or under investigation in the justice system. The amnesty could mean freedom for some people arrested during anti-government protests, such as members of the punk band Pussy Riot and the crew of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, but critics say it's really notable for the prisoners who would not be freed. They also say it's another example of how justice in Russia is subverted to the will of one man, rather than independent institutions.
December 19, 2013 | NPR · Russian president Vladimir Putin says he will pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky as part of an amnesty passed by Russia's parliament for thousands in prison or under investigation. For more on the potential release of Khodorkovksy, who was once the wealthiest man in Russia, Melissa Block talks to Susan Glasser, editor of Politico magazine.
December 19, 2013 | NPR · On the first day of 2013, President Obama expressed a hope that the new year would bring "a little less drama, a little less brinksmanship." In fact, the year saw high drama, a government shutdown, and the failure of Obama's major domestic priorities.