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

President Needs All the Good Luck He Can Get


Violence broke out after incumbent Goodluck Jonathan won 60% of the vote in presidential elections. It was the first popular mandate for Jonathan, a Christian from the country’s south who was appointed last year when then President Umaru Yar’Adua died. Election monitors deemed the poll, in which 62 million voted, clean, but the party of challenger Muhammadu Buhari, from the country’s mostly Muslim north, contested the result. Riots in northern cities led to 50 reported deaths and hundreds of injuries. Jonathan appealed for calm and unity. Analysts say the unrest is not simply an expression of a religious divide between north and south but the result of political and socioeconomic grievances. Nigeria sits atop some of the richest reserves of natural resources in Africa but is plagued by corruption.

World by the Numbers

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45% U.S. Estimated percentage of American taxpayers who won’t pay income tax in 2010


Number of people who speak the indigenous Ayapaneco tongue; the two are not on speaking terms


Number of civilians a fact-finding commission says were killed by security forces during the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak

$360,000 HONG KONG

First-day earnings of Sex and Zen, a new 3-D porn film–a record haul for a movie in the city


Number of teenage boys being sent to a masculinity camp after schoolteachers identified them as effeminate

Gaddafi Heaps Misery on Misratah


As forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi pummeled rebel positions in the port city of Misratah, aid groups reported hundreds of civilian casualties and claimed the regime was using illegal cluster munitions. The intensity of the assault on the country’s third largest city prompted the rebel leadership to criticize NATO’s inability to fulfill its stated mission in Libya–to stop Gaddafi from killing civilians. The U.S. has scaled back its participation in the NATO operation, and many alliance members are wary of a war for regime change. Others are leaning forward: the U.K., France and Italy have said they will dispatch advisers to counsel the rebels on military and logistics coordination.

Talk Reform, Deliver Repression


Mounting protests pushed the embattled regime of Bashar Assad to declare that it would repeal an emergency law that has been in effect since 1963, when the country’s ruling Baath party seized power. But there was little letup in the government’s brutal suppression of dissent: arrests of opponents continued, along with a violent crackdown on protests in towns across the country. In the industrial city of Homs, police fired live ammunition to disperse thousands of protesters attempting to hold a sit-in at a major public square. A day later, angry funeral processions for the 14 protesters allegedly killed shook the city. More demonstrations are planned, as opponents of the regime sense that the Assad family–Bashar’s father Hafez ruled from 1971 till his death in 2000–may be vulnerable to the same sort of popular uprising that toppled long-standing regimes in Egypt and Tunisia.

A Year Later, Thousands Wait for Help


April 20 marked the first anniversary of the explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig that caused 4.9 million barrels of oil to spill into the Gulf of Mexico. BP, the petro giant blamed for the disaster, created a fund of nearly $20 billion to compensate those whose livelihoods were rocked by the spill. But less than 20% of the fund has been paid out; thousands complain that the compensation process is too bureaucratic.

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Payments breakdown by state

Louisiana $1.2 BILLION

Mississippi $307 MILLION

Texas $106 MILLION

Others $164 MILLION

Alabama $616 MILLION

Florida $1.4 BILLION

Payments breakdown by industry

Food, beverage, lodging $1.1 BILLION

Retail, sales, service $1.3 BILLION

No industry designation $23 MILLION

Multiple industries $44 MILLION

Tourism and recreation $121 MILLION

Seafood processing $199 MILLION

Rental property $377 MILLION

Fishing $616 MILLION


Storm In Three Teacups


Greg Mortenson, whose best-selling 2006 book, Three Cups of Tea, won him international renown, struggled to save his reputation after a searing exposé on CBS’s 60 Minutes reported inaccuracies in the book and alleged misuse of funds raised by Mortenson’s NGO, which helps build schools in Pakistan’s tribal areas. The controversy, instigated by Jon Krakauer, a climber and writer who has traveled in the same region, shocked many who had cheered Mortenson’s school-building effort–considered as effective as bombs in countering jihadism. Mortenson has denied the accusations.

Hope Amid the Wreckage


Cherry blossoms bloom in earthquake-ravaged Miyagi prefecture. As engineers struggled with the threat of radioactive material leaking from the Fukushima nuclear plant, many in Japan continued the slow, painful work of reclaiming their lives from the rubble. Officials say the cleanup will take months, maybe years in some areas.

From Fidel to Raúl: New Party Leader, Same Old Guard


At a party congress in Havana, Fidel Castro, the octogenarian custodian of the Cuban revolution, finally relinquished his place as head of the Cuban Communist Party, leaving the reins of power entirely in the hands of his 76-year-old brother Raúl. Though Raúl has announced plans for the liberalization of Cuba’s economy and gradual reform of its sclerotic political system, he remains surrounded by a clutch of aging, die-hard revolutionaries who marched half a century ago with the Castros in the jungles. Youthful up-and-comers have been sidelined, bringing into question how fast and effective change may be in the Caribbean nation.

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