The Putins of the world should be terrified by what just happened in Sri Lanka. "In retrospect, former Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa probably regrets his decision to campaign for reelection on the slogan that voters should stick with his administration because he was a "known devil" and his opponent was an "unknown angel." At the time, Rajapaksa's hold on power had seemed unshakable; his repressive, authoritarian government, rock solid. But on January 8, he was peacefully voted out — and, just as surprisingly, failed in what appears to have been an attempted coup to remain in office. Rajapaksa's loss of power shocked the world, and not just because so many expected him to hold on."
What the hell just happened in Yemen, explained. "The two rebellions are not directly linked, but the Yemeni government's inability to fight informs its failures against the other, and the weaker that the government gets, the easier it will be for both groups to grow unchecked."
Boko Haram's massacre in Nigeria: what happened and why. "The Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram launched its worst attack ever in the northeastern town of Baga, where it killed hundreds or possibly more. The motivation is unclear, but it appears aimed at intimidating Nigerians into not voting in the coming presidential election. Key context is the military's indifference to northern Nigerian lives. Its troops fled almost immediately, and had itself previously massacred Baga's residents." And also, Before-and-after satellite photos show the scale of Boko Haram's worst-ever attack.