Lukashenko names a successor?

Autocratic Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is bringing a special guest with him as he visits Latin American leaders in Cuba, Ecuador, and Venezuela -- his 7-year-old son, Kolya. While Lukashenko has two adult-aged sons, it is his youngest son that is most frequently in the public eye, accompanying his father for official visits -- including a recent meeting with the Pope -- and casting his father's voting ballot.

At a recent meeting with Hugo Chavez in Caracas, Lukashenko seemed to reveal his plans for Belarus's future leadership, as reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty:

"You're correct in pointing out that my kid is here alongside us. This shows that we have seriously and lastingly established the foundation for our cooperation, and that in 20 to 25 years there will be someone to take over the reins of this cooperation."

Father and son were also recently seen in matching military outfits; Kolya was sporting his infamous golden pistol

Leaders are usually a bit more coy about designating future heirs -- especially at Kolya's age -- but subtlety isn't really Lukashenko's style.  




Microsoft office in Greece attacked

Luckily, no casualties:

Fire gutted the ground floor of the blue four-storey HQ of the U.S. software giant, blackening its walls with flames, on the eve of yet another European summit seeking a solution to a regional debt crisis first unleashed by Greece.

At least two attackers were involved in the sophisticated assault at 4.45 a.m. (0145 GMT) in Maroussi, a northern suburb of the sprawling Greek capital, police said.

Brandishing pistols and an automatic rifle, they kept security guards at bay and set fire to the van carrying three gas canisters and five cans of gasoline. No one was hurt in the early morning assault.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility and police said it was too early to say who was to blame. Suspicion, however, fell on left-wing militants, who have a long and violent history in Greece. Anti-terrorist units were investigating the incident.

I don't want to suggest that some terrorist attacks are more justified than others, but this does seem to be yet another example of Greek anti-capitalist militants' penchant for nonsensical target selection. During a time of economic distress, when Greek citizens have demonstrated their rage at the political and economic elites in Athens, Brussels, and Berlin with unprecedented support for extremist parties, why exactly is the vanguard of the revolution choosing to go after Microsoft?