First Past the Post: December 27


East and South Asia

The victim of a Delhi gang rape — an incident that has angered much of India — has been transferred to Singapore for medical treatment, although she’s quickly becoming the Mohamed Bouazizi for women’s rights throughout South Asia and beyond.

Delhi police may have detained and assaulted women who attended the anti-rape protests.

Sumit Galhotra on the increasing violence in India for journalists covering the anti-rape protests throughout the country.

Tim Duy on the monetarization of fiscal deficit spending in Japan (but really with consequences for central banking globally).

Shinzō Abe was sworn in yesterday and announced his (right-leaning) cabinet.  The full line-up.

Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari may be gearing up to hand over leadership of the Pakistan People’s Party to his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

A potential alliance between former Indonesian president Megawati Soekarnoputri and current president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in advance of 2014 elections?

North America

Former U.S. president George H.W. Bush’s condition is worsening, and he’s currently in intensive care.

In defense of Michèle Flournoy as U.S. defense secretary.

Latin America / Caribbean

Estimates for Paraguayan GDP growth in 2013 are 10.5%.  [Spanish]

What happens on January 10 if president Hugo Chávez cannot be present in Venezuela for his inauguration?

Coca licensing in Bolivia.


Former South African president Nelson Mandela goes home from the hospital.

Kenyan justice minister Eugene Wamalwa backs deputy prime minister Musalia Mudavadi for president after Mudavadi’s departure from the Jubilee coalition.


The ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children is approved by Russia’s Senate.

A group of centrists backing technocratic, pro-austerity prime minister Mario Monti is taking shape.

On the eve of an election year, Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union holds a 41% to 27% advantage over the Social Democratic Party, a seven-year high, according to a new Forsa poll, though Merkel’s coalition partners, the Free Democrats win just 4% and the German Greens win 13%. [German]

Middle East

The defection of Syria’s commander of military police seems like a material development.

Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi, showing humility, calls for unity after pushing through referendum on Egypt’s new constitution.

Potentially harsher charges for former Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

Likud doesn‘t necessarily want an alliance with Tzipi Livni.