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Inbox by Harriet Barovick, Milestones by Josh Sanburn, Quotes by Alexandra Silver and World by Ishaan Tharoor

Game’s Up For Gbagbo


After months of political paralysis and violence, forces opposed to Ivorian autocrat Laurent Gbagbo broke past his last line of defense in the country’s main city of Abidjan and placed him under arrest. Gbagbo’s refusal to accept his defeat by Alassane Ouattara in U.N.-monitored elections last November led to a standoff between the two sides that resulted in over 1,000 deaths, with 1 million displaced. After it became clear that pro-Gbagbo fighters were targeting civilians, U.N. and French peacekeepers launched strikes on Gbagbo’s camps in early April while forces loyal to Ouattara swept into Abidjan from enclaves in the north. With Gbagbo gone, Ouattara still has much to do–not least the tricky task of demobilizing the many militias that ran amok during the crisis.

Protesters Turn on Their Protectors


Cairo’s Tahrir Square, center of a mass uprising that led to the ouster of octogenarian dictator Hosni Mubarak in February, was once again occupied by tens of thousands of angry protesters. This time, they aimed their ire at the interim military-led government, seen to be dragging its feet on promises of delivering democracy and prosecuting those in the old regime–including some in the military brass–who are suspected of years of graft and other abuses. On April 9, in a familiar sight, security forces waded into Tahrir Square, injuring hundreds and killing at least two people. But the military then seemed to heed protesters’ calls: Mubarak and his two sons have been detained for 15 days of questioning.

World by the Numbers

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Number of people–a record–who slept in New York City’s homeless shelters in 2010, including nearly 50,000 children



Estimated number of artifacts stolen from museums and archaeological sites since the political upheaval began in January



Percentage of this landlocked country’s population living on less than $1 a day; protests against the ruling monarchy continue



Number of supposed CIA agents and U.S. contractors Islamabad wants kicked out of the country



Severity rating officials assigned to the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plant, the same given to Chernobyl; the rating was later scaled down

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Amount earned by a Chinese “gold farmer” for every $100 spent employing outside help in accruing virtual wealth used in online video games


Amount earned by the average Ugandan coffee farmer for every $100 spent on retail coffee purchases in Western countries


How Online Video Gaming Can Drive Development


The World Bank issued a report looking into the universe of mass multiplayer online games like World of Warcraft. It suggests that enterprises spun off these games have led to a $3 billion industry with huge growth potential. In China and Vietnam, some 100,000 people have been hired to accrue virtual gold and points for Western gamers.

A Truce Has No Takers


Talk of a cease-fire between rebels and the regime of Muammar Gaddafi persisted even while the civil war raged in hot spots across the country. Fighting was particularly fierce around the strategic coastal towns of Brega and Ajdabiyah. Prominent rebel leaders as well as British and French officials urged NATO to take more direct action against Gaddafi’s tanks and artillery that are besieging the beleaguered city of Misratah, where civilian casualties are said to number in the hundreds, perhaps thousands. NATO, though, appeared to be stymied by internal divisions over the best path forward. An African Union delegation led by South African President Jacob Zuma put forward a proposal for a cease-fire that was accepted by Gaddafi but rejected by the rebels, who so far have refused to negotiate with the dictator.

Assad Sticks to His Guns


The southern city of Dara’a was once more the scene of bloody clashes between security personnel and protesters. Some reports said at least 27 civilians were killed in a police crackdown. And the coastal town of Baniyas was shut down by state troops. After a month of protests, say rights groups, the casualty count stands at over 200 dead. But the regime of Bashar Assad still looks capable of fending off this popular challenge to its rule.

Fast Way to Attack Graft


Facing a number of damning corruption scandals, the ruling government in New Delhi had to contend with Anna Hazare, a 72-year-old activist who embarked April 5 upon a “fast unto death” against government graft. Fanned by populist TV networks, a national furor whipped up in support of Hazare. Days later, the government agreed to set up an ombudsman committee that would have the power to investigate any official, even the Prime Minister. Hazare ended his fast. The mass outcry on his behalf is a sign of the growing frustration of many with politics as usual in the world’s largest democracy.

After Much Debate, Veils Face Fines


A controversial and fiercely contested ban on women’s wearing the full-face veil went into effect April 11. Two women were arrested and fined on the first day of the law’s implementation. Many doubt the ban will be vigilantly enforced, as police are too busy to go “burqa chasing” and are weary of inciting trouble.

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