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Dynasty begins

The week's news at a glance.

Baku, Azerbaijan

In an emergency session this week, Azerbaijan’s puppet parliament named the son of ailing President Heidar Aliev to be the new prime minister. The appointment means that Ilham Aliev, 41, will become acting president upon the death of his 80-year-old father, a KGB general who has run the oil-rich country since it was a Soviet republic. The democratic opposition denounced the “neo-monarchist” move, and some activists said they feared the elder Aliev might have already died in the Turkish hospital where he’s been lingering for weeks. The opposition has reason to be alarmed. The younger Aliev recently called the democrats “mediocre and amoral people” who would “never” be allowed to assume power.

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