No, seriously: Election jokes banned in Brazil

Do you have a whole list of killer Dilma Rousseff jokes you just can't wait to try out on Brazilian television audiences? You're out of luck:  

With the first wave of on-air political ads starting Tuesday, Brazil's comedians and satirists are planning to fight for their right to ridicule with protests in Rio de Janeiro and other cities Sunday.

They call the political anti-joking law - which prohibits ridiculing candidates in the three months before elections - a draconian relic of Brazil's dictatorship era that threatens free speech and is a blight on the reputation of Latin America's largest nation.... Making fun of candidates on air ahead of elections is punishable by fines up to $112,000 and a broadcast-license suspension.

Only a few fines have ever been handed out. But Tas and others say that has been sufficient to cause TV and radio stations to self-censor their material during elections. The law holds that TV and radio programs cannot "use trickery, montages or other features of audio or video in any way to degrade or ridicule a candidate, party or coalition."

Let me get this straight. In Brazil it's legal for candidates to run under names like DJ Saddam, Chico bin Laden, Kung Fu Fatty, and Second King of the Prawns, but not legal for comedians to make fun of them? Interesting. 

Anyone know any good Brazilian politics jokes? Leave them in the comments.



Pakistan's ISI: Militants, not India, are the greatest threat to national security

Pakistan's intelligence agency, the ISI, has concluded that India is no longer the primary threat to the country's security. Displacing New Delhi for the title are Islamist militias operating in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province:

A recent internal assessment of security by the Inter-Services Intelligence, Pakistan's powerful military spy agency, determined that for the first time in 63 years it expects a majority of threats to come from Islamist militants, according to a senior ISI officer.

The assessment, a regular review of national security, allocates a two-thirds likelihood of a major threat to the state coming from militants rather than from India or elsewhere. It is the first time since the two countries gained independence from Britain in 1947 that India hasn't been viewed as the top threat.

In the words of Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University, the report is nothing short of "earth-shattering." To be clear, the ISI's findings aren't yet supported among members of the Pakistani military, or in the higher reaches of government. But keep your eye on this.