First Past the Post: December 10

A nice profile of Leoluca Orlando, the anti-mafia mayor of Palermo.

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi suspends his controversial decree, but empowers Egypt’s army in advance of Dec. 15 constitutional referendum.

Brazilian authorities have arrested the former Turks and Caicos prime minister.

The government of Malta’s prime minister Lawrence Gonzi has fallen after the 2013 budget failed to pass by a one-vote margin (elections are scheduled for March 9).

Moldova leapfrogs Ukraine on Europe’s remaining to-do list.

Xi Jinping’s already differentiating himself from Hu Jintao.

The high price of a bailout for tiny Cyprus.

No major surprises during the second of three presidential debates in advance of South Korea’s Dec. 19 vote.  Another wrap-up here.

Former Tokyo vice governor Naoki Inose leads in the nine-candidate field competing in the Tokyo gubernatorial election on Dec. 16.

More Tory backlash on gay marriage rights in the United Kingdom (which Tory PM David Cameron supports).

Germany’s center-left Social Democrats formally nominate Peer Steinbrück as its candidate for chancellor.  He’s now on Twitter.

The Republican Left of Catalunya is edging closer to coalition with Artur Mas’s CiU.

French president François Hollande now has a 60% disapproval rate (35% approval).

Tzipi Livni is taking aim at… everyone in Israeli politics, including Labor, Yesh Atid and other opponents of Benjamin Netanyahu.

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