News For Everyone to Enjoy In Moderation, Under Very Specific Guidelines

WEEK IN AUTOCRACY: 1-7 April 2012

Following a delayed announcement by the government of Malawi that President Bingu wa Mutharika had actually died earlier this week, Vice President Joyce Banda officially assumed the country's presidency. Mr. Mutharika has said he will challenge the decision.

In Bahrain, an agreement appears to have been reached between protesters–who are ready to die–and the government–who is more than willing to oblige.

In response to Myanmar's democratic reforms, this week the U.S. lifted a travel ban on the country's top government officials, saying that Myanmar's leaders have earned the right to come to the U.S. and see firsthand just how dysfunctional and corrupt democracy can eventually become.

Junta leaders in Mali announced that the country will return to an interim civilian government within days. Those responsible for last month's coup have said that additional practice at leading coups in Mali over the next few years will be very helpful.

The Syria government has reportedly stepped up its attacks on rebels in the days leading up to next week's deadline for all sides to cease fighting. Government officials agree that the cease fire will be much more effective if all rebels are dead well before it goes into effect.

U.S. authorities placed a bounty of $10 million on militant leader Hafiz Saeed in what looks to be the equivalent of a really badass American lottery system in Pakistan.

Yemen's main airport in the capital of Sanaa was shut down late this week after forces loyal to a military ally of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh threatened to attack arriving and departing planes. There is no word yet as to when the country's single daily flight will resume operations.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez held a pre-Easter Mass after returning from a session of cancer treatment in Cuba. The service included prayers for Chavez's health, speeches by supporters, and the commencement of a search for the ideal baby in which to house Chavez's soul in order to guarantee his rule for years to come.

This week, Seif al-Islam, the son of late Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, claimed he was "attacked" while in detention. Fellow prisoners have long complained that Seif is having a tough time differentiating between unsolicited, playful love-making and being "attacked".

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