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Ukraine is a divided country — caught between the European Union and Russia's efforts to create new ties with former Soviet countries. We update this weekend's violent protests and government concessions, and hear why Ukraine matters to Russia, the US and the global economy. Also, Egypt's army chief, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, eyes the presidency, and exporting America's culture war with a campaign against homosexuality.

Banner image: Medical volunteers carry a wounded anti-government protester at the site of clashes with riot police in Kiev January 21, 2014. Photo: Vasily Fedosenko/Reuters

Making News Egypt's Army Chief Sisi Eyes Presidency 7 MIN, 36 SEC

In Egypt today, General Abdul Fattah el-Sisi, was promoted to the highest rank in the Army, which makes him eligible to run for president. He was made head of the Army by the elected President Mohammed Morsi — who Sisi later deposed. Kristen Chick is in Cairo for the Christian Science Monitor.

Kristen Chick, Christian Science Monitor (@kristenchic)

Main Topic Ukraine: the Man in the Middle 33 MIN, 35 SEC

Geographically, Ukraine is midway between the liberal democracies of the European Union and the authoritarian oligarchies of the former Soviet Union. It's also in-between economically and politically and, in recent weeks, tensions have led to increasingly violent protests. Over the weekend elected President Victor Yanukovich made strategic concessions, but they weren't good enough for angry demonstrators, who are calling on him to step down. In Kiev and other cities around the country, they've occupied government buildings, and police seem unable to enforce new laws designed to crackdown on dissenters. How long can it last? Is there a risk of civil war? What are the stakes for Russia's Vladimir Putin?  What about the US and the consequences for the global economy?

Will Englund, Washington Post
David Kramer, Freedom House (@FreedomHouseDC)
Lilia Shevtsova, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (@CarnegieRussia)
Anders Åslund, Atlantic Council (@anders_aslund)

Putin's Russia

Lilia Shevtsova

Today's Talking Point Are US Evangelists behind Foreign Anti-Gay Laws? 9 MIN, 17 SEC

Roger Ross Williams is an Academy Award-winner, who's director and producer of the new documentary God Loves Uganda, about the efforts of US evangelists to export the culture wars. One of those evangelicals, Scott Lively, is being sued in federal court in this country for inciting the persecution and murder of gays and lesbians in Uganda, as we hear from Alex Seitz-Wald of the National Journal.

Roger Ross Williams, filmmaker (@RogerRossWill)
Alexander Seitz-Wald, National Journal (@aseitzwald)

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