A fragile state lists from DFID

Vanuatu and vote management

We were in Vanuatu on holiday when an election was on One of their candidates touted herself as the official candidate of Jesus Christ.

Fruits and Votes

The following entry is contributed by Henry Schlechta

The small island nation of Vanuatu held an election for the Parliament on 22 January. The election was called after fourteen MPs, including the Deputy Prime Minister and a number of other cabinet ministers, were sentenced to prison terms between 3 and 4 years for bribery. Despite an attempt by the Speaker (who is acting president when the President is out of the country, and is also one of those found guilty of bribery) to pardon himself and the other MPs accused, the sentences stood. Following this, President Baldwin Lonsdale (on the advice of Prime Minister Sato Kilman, who knew that he would likely face defeat in Parliament when it was recalled) called an early election.

I have written more extensively on Vanuatu’s political history here, but that’s quite a long story. It was initially a colony, governed by both…

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Daily routines of famous people

There is nothing new under the sun: Kodak fiends

Nokia phone ~2004 vs. iPhone ~2015.

https://twitter.com/pmarca/status/679842098632249344

https://twitter.com/JustHistoryPics/status/699047605070884866

Are vaccines really necessary

https://www.facebook.com/InsufferableIntolerance/photos/pb.119810451513415.-2207520000.1454049581./581167682044354/?type=3&theater

The Animals – It’s My Life

Heavy drinking is a true passion of eastern Europeans

A handy guide to Islamic sects

Stratfor: Cracks in Putin’s Kremlin as the stress on Russia grows

Fabius Maximus website

Summary: We tend to see the complex politics of America but assume Putin rules a simple autocracy. Here Stratfor describes the fragile Russian state, under incredible pressure from the collapse of oil prices — while a struggle appears to have begun to control its future.

Stratfor

The Kremlin’s Cracks Are All-Too Familiar

Stratfor, 27 February 2016

Summary

February 27 marks the anniversary of the assassination of Russian opposition heavyweight Boris Nemtsov. His killing sparked two weeks of intrigue in Russia’s top political circles, laying bare previously obscured Kremlin infighting and putting President Vladimir Putin’s continued control in question. The dispute, which went far beyond the death of one opposition leader or even broad factional competition, was in fact a struggle over who controls Russia’s future. In this it mirrored a three-year period of division in the early 1920s that ended in a leadership transition and set the trajectory of the Soviet…

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