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It's King versus Putin in 'Battle of the Sexes' 2

Openly gay tennis great Billie Jean King will travel to the Sochi Olympics bearing a message of equality and support for gay rights. King will be a part of the official US delegation to the Olympics, but neither President Barack Obama nor any senior member of the US government are expected to attend.

Conflict & Justice

Russia plans a Christmas present for Pussy Riot and the Arctic 30 — but is it just packaging?

The Russian Parliament has passed an amnesty law that covers two very high-profile Russian cases. It calls for the release of the two jailed members of the protest punk band Pussy Riot. And the amnesty is expected to end the prosecution of the Arctic 30, the Greenpeace activists arrested as they protested Russian oil drilling in the Arctic.

Global Scan

'We'll be home for Christmas' may be a reality for Pussy Riot and the Arctic 30

Russia's President Vladimir Putin seems to have once again pulled off a PR "master stroke" by having a routine amnesty law expanded to free two groups at the center of global human rights protests, just before the Sochi Olympics. The world's youngest nation, South Sudan, is suffering from renewed ethic violence. And the illegal practice of shark finning —stripping sharks of their fins — proves hard to end in Costa Rica. All that and more, in today's Global Scan.