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Armin Rosen argues that Somalia is doing far better than the al-Shabab attack in Kenya suggests. Declan Galvin explains why Kenya's government should be careful about overreacting to the attacks. (The photo above shows Kenyans observing the funeral of a victim of the Westgate mall attack.)
Anna Nemtsova looks at the impact of the letter from prison written by Pussy Riot member Nadezhda Tolokonnikova.
Christian Caryl ruminates on the challenge nationalism poses to the Russian nationalist movement.
Juan Nagel dissects Venezuela's unhealthy dependence on China.
Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez surveys the possibilities of Google's new worldwide constitution database.
And Peter Tinti looks at the challenges facing Mali as it tries to rebuild its democracy.
And now for this week's recommended reads...
Sudan's grassroots movement, Girifna, documents the popular protests that erupted after President Omar al-Bashir cut fuel subsidies.
On Politico, Dennis Blair and Daniel Calingaert remind democratic leaders that they must take a stand against oppressive dictators.
Pranab Bardhan, writing for the Boston Review, compares two brands of development economics: the little and the big.
The Carnegie Endowment's Ashraf El-Sherif outlines how Egypt's besieged Muslim Brotherhood might fight to maintain its power.
The International Crisis Group examines policy toward Yemen's restive South as the country's transition misses deadlines.
The Burma Partnership blames the Burmese army for the continued violence in ethnic states.
The Atlantic Council's Frederic C. Hof picks apart the United States' reason for snubbing the Syrian interim government. The Council also criticizes U.S. and European inaction toward the struggling countries of the Arab Spring in a report by Danya Greenfield, Amy Hawthorne, and Rosa Balfour.
In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof argues that we may see the end of extreme poverty in less than twenty years.
Uriel Sinai/Getty Images
As Kenya struggles to cope with the aftermath of the Westgate Mall attack, one of the biggest problems the country will face is likely to come from within: its own thirst for revenge.
CARL DE SOUZA/AFP/Getty Images
Last week the UN finally released a controversial report that accuses Uganda and Rwanda of supporting rebels in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When a leaked version of the report first appeared in October, Uganda's Army spokesperson, Felix Kulayigye dismissed it: "It's hogwash, it's a mere rumor that's being taken as a report," he told Radio France Internationale. "It's undermining the credibility of the mediator which is Uganda, and when you undermine the credibility of the mediator you are actually undermining the entire process."
PETER BUSOMOKE/AFP/Getty Images
On Friday, the Burmese monk Shin Gambira, one of the leaders of the 2007 protests, was reportedly detained by the authorities. Earlier this week, opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi received formal approval from the election commission to run in the parliamentary elections in April and a UN envoy said Burma was considering allowing foreign election observers in to monitor the polls. The US waived one of its sanctions against the country, making it easier for Burma to get help from international financial institutions, and reports indicated CIA director David Petraeus may travel to Burma later this year. According to a report ranking countries on their respect for the rule of law, Burma ranked last out of 197 countries, offering the least legal protection for foreign companies and investors.
Thailand's ruling party submitted a plan to the Parliament to amend the country's constitution, which was drafted after the 2006 coup. A similar attempt four years ago led to large protests.
Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), the country's notoriously powerful spy agency, faced a rare wave of court actions against it. Although most of the cases have little chance of success, some analysts believe they demonstrate new resolve on the part of the judiciary to curb the power of the security establishment.
Two Tibetan brothers are said to have been shot down by Chinese security forces. They had been on the run since participating in January protests against Chinese rule. This comes after another Tibetan protester was reported to have set himself on fire in China's Sichuan province. A Chinese human rights group said that a dissident writer had been sentenced to seven years in jail for inciting subversion in a poem he wrote. Three other dissident writers have been sentenced to jail in the past few months.
The Maldives President resigned - under duress, according to him - after three weeks of protests and a police mutiny. Since then there have been violent clashes, and the Maldives' Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant against the former president and the former defence minister. The UN arrived Friday to meet with both parties.
(As FP's Joshua Keating noted in his report on the turmoil, the incident reminds us coups have become an increasingly rare phenomenon in recent years.)
Spain's notorious international human rights judge Baltazar Garzon, most famous for indicting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998, was convicted for overstepping his jurisdiction and barred from the bench for 11 years. (The photo above shows a pro-Garzon demonstration in Madrid.)
PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP/Getty Images
Transitions is the group blog of the Democracy Lab channel, a collaboration between Foreign Policy and the Legatum Institute.