First Past the Post: December 21

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East and South Asia

What will it take for Western governments to grant a visa to Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi?

Full results from India’s regional state elections (more to come on those from Suffragio tomorrow).

Older voters swung the Dec. 19 South Korean presidential race to Park Guen-hye.

What comes next for former presidential candidate Ahn Cheol-soo?

The Bank of Japan moves toward the position of incoming prime minister Shinzō Abe.

Xi Jinping gives his full support to beleaguered Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying.

North America

Hoping for a boom in Nova Scotia (I have to say, I’ve seen no place more beautiful in autumn).

Spiegel mocks U.S. gun culture: ‘one nation under guns.’

Latin America / Caribbean

Ecuador’s top banker faked his economics degree.

Happy Mayan end-of-the-world day.

Assurances from Yucatán state governor Rolando Zapata. [Spanish]

Former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva will be investigated for his role in ‘mensalão‘ vote-bying scandal from 2005.


The United Nations has authorized an African-led intervention force in Mali.

Nigeria passes its 2013 budget.

Another small party in Ghana chides the government for irregularities during elections earlier this month.

Kenya’s Jubilee coalition is disintegrating.


Russian president Vladimir Putin’s 4.5 hour press conference.

Urban planning and politics in Moscow.

Without apologizing, French president François Hollande has recognized French’s profondément injuste et brutal colonialism in Algeria.  [French]

Polish president Bronisław Komorowski boosts Poland’s entry into the eurozone.

The pro-life view on Ireland’s new controversial abortion liberalisation law.

Middle East

Egypt’s top elections official steps down two days before the final round of president Mohammed Morsi’s impromptu constitutional referendum.

Bayit Yehudi, the party in Israel that’s most likely to gain seats in Knesset elections on January 22 is targeting English- and French-speaking voters.


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