FP's Global Thinkers in the news

It's been almost two weeks since Foreign Policy released its Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2011, and while the year is nearly up, many members of the list are continuing to make headlines.

Russian anti-corruption blogger Alexey Navalny was arrested on Monday, the day after Vladimir Putin's United Russia -- which Navalny has famously dubbed "the party of crooks and thieves" -- saw losses in an election widely thought to have been less than free and fair.

In a historic trip to Myanmar last week, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Aung San Suu Kyi, whose opposition movement recently announced it will reenter the political system, paving the way for her possible candidacy for parliament.

Pakistan lawmaker Sherry Rehman has been selected as her country's new ambassador to the United States. The move followed the controversial departure of Husain Haqqani, who resigned in connection with a memo sent to former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen.

Meanwhile, Luis Moreno-Ocampo is preparing for the end of his term as International Criminal Court prosecutor; his successor, Gambian judge Fatou Bensouda, was chosen last week.

Syrian political cartoonist Ali Ferzat, who was seized and attacked by security forces in August, has been named one of two recipients of the 2011 Press Freedom Prize, awarded by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde. Fellow Syrian activist Razan Zaitouneh recorded a video message for Foreign Policy, speaking from hiding in Damascus.

Democracy activist Mohamed ElBaradei has expressed concern about religious extremism in Egypt, following the results of the country's November parliamentary elections. ElBaradei is scheduled to give a speech about Egypt and the Arab Spring on Saturday, Dec. 10, at the Cisco Public Services Summit in Oslo.

In other media coverage, Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff and Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker both recently got the big profile treatment, in the New Yorker and the New York Times, respectively. Reuters has also filmed video interviews with several Global Thinkers, including economist Esther Duflo, former Al Jazeera director-general Wadah Khanfar, and social media guru Clay Shirky.

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About that al-Shabab rebranding ...

On Thursday, we noted that Somalia's al-Shabab had joined Twitter amidst reports that it was considering changing its name to reflect the fact that its members aren't as young as they used to be (al-Shabab means "the youth"). Echoing an earlier report on the developments, we suggested the moves might be part of a larger "rebranding" effort by the Islamic militant group.

Al-Shabab's resident tweeter, it seems, isn't happy with that assessment. " All reports of #AlShabaab re-branding are false!" the group's Twitter feed declared earlier today. "Suggestion from Somali scholars was perhaps misconstrued as an official HSM statement." The account added a dose of media criticism  ( "journalists are encouraged to verify and double-check their sources instead of regurgitating unreliable accounts often from subjective media") before turning its attention for the first time to the Kenyan military spokesman tweeting about his country's offensive against the militant group. "@MajorEChirchir 50,000 Ethiopian troops couldn't pacify Somalia; you think a few disillusioned & disinclined Kenyan boys are up to the task?" al-Shabab taunted.

The Kenyan military spokesman, Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir, at first seemed hesitant to engage with the newly minted al-Shabab account, noting this morning that the Kenya Defense Forces "is not keen on twitter war nor propaganda." But Chirchir, it seems, couldn't resist. "With Al Shabaab joining tweeter, lets take fight to their doorstep, lets follow them for a week then unfollow," he tweeted hours later. The mass unfollow -- your newest addition to the brave new world of modern warfare.

Mustafa Abdi/AFP/Getty Images