So, Egypt, you want to be a BRICS country?

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy has spent the past three days in India on his first state visit to the country. Before heading to New Delhi, though, he floated an odd -- and more than a little ambitious -- idea.

"I am hoping BRICS would one day become E-BRICS where E stands for Egypt," he told India's The Hindu in an interview in Cairo published this week.

It's a bold proposal. The Kremlin has acknowledged the comments but didn't seem particularly enthused about the idea, and it's unclear whether Morsy broached the subject in his meetings with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The BRICS -- that's Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa -- are an economic alliance of top-tier rising powers, the crème de la crème of the developing world. Egypt? Not so much.

Let's put this in perspective. The average GDP of the BRICS countries in 2011 (in current U.S. dollars, according to the World Bank) was $2.78 trillion dollars. Egypt? $230 billion. The country's development isn't exactly in high gear, either. The instability of the revolution has dealt a blow to Egypt's economy, and its estimated growth rate for 2012 is a meager 2 percent, which places it behind four of five BRICS countries. Even as Morsy was meeting with Singh, he was sharing the front page of Egyptian dailies with the news that BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Hyundai are planning to withdraw from the Egyptian market as new customs laws take effect.

Morsy knows this, and clarified that he hopes "the E-BRICS would emerge when we start moving the economy." So it's something of a longer-term goal. Perhaps Morsy might consider one of these starter coalitions instead? Then again, the MIKT (Mexico, Indonesia, South Korea, Turkey) countries, which are moving beyond "emerging market" territory, have an average GDP of $973 billion, so it might still be a stretch. In the same interview with The Hindu, Morsy expressed a desire to be more active in the Non-Aligned Movement. It's probably a good place to start; the NAM is far less discriminatory.



A running list of North Korea's near-daily threats (updated)

If you're having a hard time keeping track of the multitude of threats issued by North Korea in the last few weeks, you're not alone: Kim Jong Un's young regime is on a seemingly endless tear of warnings and provocations. From threats of a nuclear holocaust to artillery strikes near disputed borders, here are the latest shots across the bow from the Hermit Kingdom, beginning with those that followed international sanctions over Pyongyang's third nuclear test in February:

1. We now have "lighter and smaller" nukes, and we're not afraid to use them against the United States.

2. Are you ready for the silent treatment? We just cut our military hotline with South Korea.

3. We also just tore up all previous non-aggression pacts with South Korea.

4. In response to these UN sanctions, we're going to "exercise the right to a pre-emptive nuclear attack."

5.  We're ready for "all-out war."

6. We just invalidated the 1953 amristice, so anything's fair game.

7. Seriously, that armistice agreement has been invalidated.

8. Now we're sharply increasing the number of training flights for our fighter-jets.

9. Not impressed? How about we turn South Korea's Baengyeong Island into a "sea of fire"?

10. Now we're conducting live-fire drills near a disputed maritime border.

11. Just FYI, our military personnel are standing by to "annihilate the U.S. imperialist aggressors." 

12. At this very moment, all of our citizens are singing a song about wiping out the "U.S. imperialists."

13. We're so serious about going to war that we conducted a practice drone strike.

14. That's it: We're conducting air-raid drills.

15. We will order "strong military counter-action" if the U.S. conducts more B-52 bomber sorties.

16. Seriously, we'll destroy your military bases in Japan and Guam if you fly one more B-52 bomber around here.

17. One more move and we'll start taking hostages ... American hostages. 

18. Don't mess with us, we just set our field artillery units to the "highest alert."

19. Remember when we cut our military hotline? Well we actually have another military hotline, but not anymore because we just cut that too.  

20. Also, we're going to let you in on a secret: We can now drop bombs on Hawaii, Washington, Austin, and Los Angeles.

21. Come to think of it, the U.S. mainland is like a "boiled pumpkin" vulnerable to attack.

22. Now we're blocking access to the Kaesong industrial complex, which we may close off permanently if you don't take us seriously. 

23. We now have "final approval" to nuke the United States.  

24. A word to the wise: Do not "misjudge the will of the army and people of the DPRK to annihilate enemies."  

To be continued...