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A Victory for Democracy in Nigeria

Nigeria's President Obasanjo bowed to popular will yesterday and endorsed the legislature’s decision to reject bills that would have made it possible for him to seek a third term. The actions by Nigeria's Senate and House of Representatives, and the president’s wise acquiescence, put to rest fears that Obasanjo might join Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni and Chad’s Idriss Deby in discarding democracy in favor of a personal stranglehold on power. Praise for the move was nearly universal - both within and outside Nigeria.

No News Today

Today's UK Independent Newspaper leads with a full front page graphic designed by Damien Hirst. The headline reads: "No News Today". Then it has a footnote: "Just 6,500 Africans died today as a result of a preventable, treatable disease."

Foreign Aid Reform: The Latest Skinny from the Inside

In his April 26 testimony to House appropriators, new Director of Foreign Assistance Randall Tobias left no doubt about his determination to ensure that the fragmented U.S. foreign assistance regime be overhauled to reflect strategic guidance from the Secretary of State -- and to ensure that U.S. aid advances the administration’s broad foreign policy and national security goals, rather than being driven by the desires of individual agencies or country missions.

NATO Report on China Highlights Rural Challenge

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly has just released a report on “China's Development Challenge.” While the report discusses such topics as foreign investment and China’s energy needs, much of the analysis focuses on the challenge of rural development. This focus on the rapidly growing divide between China’s rural and urban economies and the fear of spreading rural unrest is correct: the problem has been growing for more than a decade.