First Past the Post: September 17

Silvio Berlusconi’s one-time supposed protegé, Angelino Alfano, now says that Berlusconi is the ‘natural candidate’ to lead Berlusconi’s center-right Popolo delle Libertà in the upcoming 2013 Italian elections.

Richard Morgan’s thoughtful piece on being a long-term permanent resident in the United States.

Romanian prime minister Victor Ponta comes to Brussels.

Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Hezbollah, has spoken out in Beirut in favor of the ongoing protests in the Middle East.

Last week’s German constitutional court ruling may jeopardize the European Central Bank’s plan from ten days ago to purchase debt directly from eurozone countries.

Dutch caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte and Labour leader Diederik Samsom’s discussions for a new Dutch government so far seem promising, but it’s a long road to forming a coalition — the next step is Thursday’s report to the parliament from negotiator Henk Kamp.

On the rise of Wang Yang, the liberal party head in Guangdong province.

Madrid’s regional government leader Esperanza Aguirre has stepped down after nine years.

Foreign policy and the Venezuelan presidential election.

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