Mikhail Khodorkovsky

Global Scan

Vladimir Putin offers an early Christmas present to a man once considered his biggest rival

Mikhail Khodorkovsky has spent a decade in a Russian prison colony, convicted of tax fraud and other malfeasance. But before he went to jail, he was the richest man in Russia — viewed as a legitimate challenger to Vladimir Putin. Some have speculated it was that threat, more than any misdeeds, that sent him to prison. But Friday, Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky and released him from prison. That and more in today's Global Scan.

Global Politics

For Vladimir Putin, it's been a very good year

President Vladimir Putin is in a gracious mood this holiday season. And why not? He snubbed the US by taking in Edward Snowden, he kept the US and its allies out of Syria, and prevented Ukraine from drifting westward. Maybe that's why he's pardoning so many high-profile opponents.