East and South Asia
Former constitutional judge Kim Yong-jun will head the transition committee of incoming South Korean president Park Guen-hye.
The Narendra Modi for prime minister bandwagon moves on quietly.
Cacique democracy in the Philippines (h/t Tyler Cowen).
Bloomberg examines the ‘princelings’ of the Chinese Communist Party (with a seriously awesome graphic).
Shinzō Abe’s new Japanese government will review the plan to phase out Japan’s nuclear power by the 2030s.
U.S. general Norman Schwarzkopf, who led the United States-led mission to free Kuwait from Iraq in 1991, has died.
The United States prepares to jump off the so-called ‘fiscal cliff,’ with only meager hope resting on the U.S. Senate to broker a deal.
Latin America / Caribbean
The government of Argentine president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner gets a setback from the country’s constitutional court in its media-empire fight.
A summit between Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan and former president Olusegun Obasanjo in advance of 2015 elections?
South African president Jacob Zuma is in the doghouse for some impolitic remarks about whites and pets.
In Ghana, the New Patriotic Party prepares for its day at court.
Spain’s Bankia is once again in trouble.
The Vatican indicates it will back a new Italian government headed by technocratic incumbent Mario Monti. Here’s the link to the piece in the Vatican’s daily newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano. [Italian]
Belgium’s king, Albert II (pictured above with EU president Herman Van Rompuy), warns against populist scapegoating.
Russian president Vladimir Putin indicates he will sign a bill banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. parents.
The liberal secular opposition’s leaders — Hamdeen Sabahi, Amr Mousa and Mohammed ElBaradei — will now be apparently investigated for treason by Egypt’s new Muslim Brotherhood-backed president, Mohammed Morsi.