Egypt

A well-known Egyptian comedian has been released on bail after a warrant was issued for his arrest. Bassem Youssef gained notoriety following the Arab Spring revolution in Egypt by uploading videos of his comedy in which he mocked the leading public figures. Soon after, he was contracted to host a comedy show on an independent television station. These current legal issues stem from a skit that Youssef performed on the show in which he satirized Egyptian President Morsi by granting him the title ‘Super Morsi,’ which is meant to expose the different governmental powers that Morsi has continued to adopt throughout his term in office. This incident also forces many to wonder just how much freedom the press really possesses in this post-Mubarak era of Egyptian government.

Venezuela

Ever since Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death, candidates have been campaigning to fill his empty position. The candidates have been using harsh words against one another throughout the process, but the enmity has reached a new low; the current Interim President Nicolas Maduro (who was the Vice President under Chavez) has declared that his opposition are the “heirs of Hitler.” Maduro is a leftist who is running primarily against the conservative Henrique Capriles, who lost to Chavez in the Presidential election last October. It is widely predicted that Maduro will defeat Capriles in the special election.

Cyprus

After difficult negotiations, the Cypriot government and the main financial institutions in the Eurozone have come to an agreement about how to resolve the current debt crisis in Cyprus. The plan involves absorbing 60 percent of all deposits over 100,000 euros, a move which is unprecedented. The majority of the absorbed money will become shares of the bank, and the rest will be transferred into a new fund which will not accumulate interest for previous owners and which may be subject to future write-offs if necessary. There are also capital controls in place because of the fear that once large depositors have the chance they will attempt to move their money off the island, which could worsen the economic situation. The Cypriot government has made it clear that they will avoid a departure from the Eurozone at whatever the cost.