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Dirty Dictator Loot

He is the West African equivalent of one of Muammar Gaddafi's wayward, Lamborghini-loving sons. Teodoro Obiang is a government minister in the tiny oil-rich African nation of Equatorial Guinea and son of the country's brutal dictator.

Equatorial Guinea Condemned for Suspicious Executions

Human-rights groups and opposition parties have condemned the execution of four of President Teodoro Obiang's rivals, found guilty of plotting a coup and killed just an hour later. They allege that the deaths were essentially "political assassinations."

When Lobbyists Work for Authoritarian Nations

Once the province of a few fringe players operating on the margins of Washington, lobbying for foreign countries has become big business for the most prestigious firms in D.C. According to data from the Department of Justice, the number of registrants—forms submitted by people registered to represent foreign countries—grew from about 1,800 in the first half of 2005 to 1,900 in the first half of 2009, the most recent data available.

Bush Pentagon Had Contact With African Coup Plotters

A senior member of George W. Bush's Pentagon policy team met with an associate of Simon Mann, a colorful British mercenary leader, not long before Mann led a team of soldiers of fortune in an unsuccessful 2004 attempt to oust the dictator of Equatorial Guinea.

Walk Into the Light

There has been a lot of talk from oil companies about conducting themselves responsibly in the developing world. So what's been done for these nations? Surprisingly little, unless you are one of the elite in a country such as Angola or Republic of the Congo, where leaders-for-life view state assets as their own cash cows, and place gains in international banks while their people starve.

Trouble On Oily Waters

The International Peace Operations Association has a lot more clout at the Pentagon than the name might suggest. Calling itself an "association of military-service provider companies," it's the closest thing in Washington to a lobbying group for soldiers of fortune.

His Moment Of Truth

Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's controversial president, spent all of 2002 fending off attempts to oust him from power. Massive street protests, organized by political opponents, roiled Caracas.

Still Bush's Best Amigo?

When George W. Bush entered the White House, he had one foreign-policy priority: Latin America. Mexico was the only country that the former Texas governor knew well, and he had big plans for tighter economic and political bonds between all the nations of the Americas.

Perspectives

"The most expensive peaceful reconstruction is still cheaper than the cheapest war." President Bill Clinton, on the price of rebuilding war-torn Kosovo"They took all of our things.

What Is Same

She was making lunch for herself and a friend one Saturday this spring when an unfamiliar feeling swept over her. The 50-year-old social worker had fallen deep into depression two years earlier, and had given up on prescription antidepressants when the first one she tried left her sluggish, sexually dormant and numb to her own emotions.

The 'Sammy' Solution

When a pill purports to fix everything from aching joints to flagging spirits, you can guess it's probably snake oil. But SAMe ("Sammy"), a dietary supplement reaching U.S. drugstores this month, may just buck that rule.