Residents of Madagascar are worried by violent rioting that followed the government's closure of an opposition TV station. Protesters retaliated by attacking a government station and other facilities, according to the Associated Press. Forty-three people have been killed during the rioting, which the government hopes to calm with promises of reopening the dissident station, which is owned by the mayor of the nation's capital, Antananarivo.
The rioting follows a powerful cyclone that has reportedly displaced thousands of people and put the population as a whole on edge. Conditions have exacerbated the power struggle between the president and the media mogul, who offended the leader by broadcasting an interview with an exiled former leader. The president, Mark Ravalomanana, took power in what looks like a "color" revolution after he claimed victory in a 2001 vote despite election officials ordering a runoff. Ravalomanana has since been re-elected and has survived a coup attempt. The mogul, Andy Rajoelina, has strong support in his city but is supposedly being undermined by his state government. A pro-Rajoelina Wikipedia entry claims that the government's pretext for closing his station was flimsy, since other channels showed footage of the same controversial interview with the man Ravalomanana defeated for the presidency.
I honestly find this interesting, and I think more people ought to notice political crises in foreign lands, and not just when the U.S. has interests involved. I credit the local paper with running even a short item on the conflict. But to be just as honest, I thought it might be funny to run the story along with the cartoon picture. I've never seen the movies, so I always wondered what the characters were scared of -- and now I know.