It may have been a relief to many when the World Cup's vuvuzelas finally stopped blaring, but now the Rainbow Nation's winter of good feeling is emphatically over. A recent government workers' strike grew so massive that the Army was called out to keep hospitals open.
Somalia's future looks more precarious every day. Last week's African Union summit ended with promises that Guinea and Djibouti would send battalions of reinforcements to keep the AU's embattled peacekeeping force in Mogadishu from being overrun by the Islamist militants of Al-Shabab. But the mission may be doomed nonetheless; most AU members see scant chance of success in Somalia and now fear their presence may be making things worse.
When human rights Watch criticized the results of Ethiopia's May elections, in which the ruling coalition "won" an improbable 545 out of 547 seats, leaders in Addis Ababa didn't ignore the influential NGO. Instead, they paid tens of thousands of demonstrators to gather in the capital and denounce the report.
To a casual observer, the tens of thousands of people who poured into the central square of Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on May 25 to peacefully celebrate the country's elections might have been mistaken for a massive symbol of democratic progress in a poor and troubled part of the world. In fact it was quite the opposite.
Why we don't care about Somalia anymore.
Provincetown, Mass., may very well become the gay Niagara. With Massachusetts' ruling to legalize same-sex marriages set to take effect in less than six months, merchants in Provincetown--long a gay mecca--are readying for a tidal wave of gay and lesbian honeymooners to strike Cape Cod's tip. "People used to go to Niagara Falls for their honeymoon," says tourism director Pat Fitzpatrick. "We'll have a lot of gay and lesbian couples whose first thought is Provincetown." Travel agents...