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In Libya, It's One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

The recently appointed Libyan interim Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni resigned on Sunday just five days after taking the job, reigniting concerns about political stability in the country. When Thinni submitted his resignation to the General National Congress (GNC), he cited an attack on his family home by armed militants, which appeared to be an assassination attempt. His decision comes just as the security and political situation in the country has deteriorated significantly.

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The Self-Defense of Odessa

ODESSA, Ukraine — This is a surpassingly strange moment for the people of Odessa, the largest city on Ukraine's Black Sea coast. Outwardly, life couldn't be more normal. Smiling teenage girls stroll arm in arm, admiring the explosion of spring flowers. The myriad cafes and restaurants don't want for customers. And there is even a smattering of foreign tourists, come to admire the magnificent ensemble of 19th-century buildings.

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Democracy Lab Weekly Brief, April 14, 2014

To catch Democracy Lab in real time, follow us on Twitter: @FP_DemLab.

Christian Caryl reports from Ukraine on gnawing fears of a possible Russian invasion. Anna Nemtsova tracks the darkening political climate in Russia.

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'Dialogue' Means Nothing in Venezuela

On Thursday night, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, along with several members of his political party, hosted a night of "dialogue" with the opposition. Of course, this was no real dialogue. The evening showed that the two players in Venezuelan politics cannot agree on anything -- and might have even helped entrench each side's already radicalized positions.

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Desperate for Coffee in Caracas

CARACAS — Tío Conejo, or "Uncle Rabbit," is among the most celebrated characters in Venezuelan folklore. Perpetually under threat from his nemesis, the powerful "Uncle Tiger," the hero manages -- through guile, charm, and no small amount of luck -- to consistently seize the upper hand from his mighty adversary.

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