First Past the Post: January 15

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East and South Asia

Understanding Tahir-ul Qadri’s march on Islamabad.

A guide to the seven candidates running for Bangkok governor.

South Korean president-elect Park Guen-hye’s transition team hits a snag.

Ai Weiwei dons a gas mask (pictured above) to protest Beijing’s latest smog attack.

North America

Vice President Joe Biden is getting some serious credit these days.

Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig on the prosecutorial bullying of Aaron Swartz.

The race for the leadership of the Ontario Liberal Party enters its final stretch with Sandra Pupatello in the lead for now.

Latin America / Caribbean

FARC’s ceasefire is set to end January 20 with talks ongoing with the Colombian government in Cuba.

Buenos Aires governor Daniel Scioli rebuffs Argentina president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over foreign currency reserves.  [Spanish]

Africa

A permanent ceasefire in the Central African Republic.

Le Monde considers the divisions of Mali.

Mali’s Info Matin on the French intervention.  [French]

Europe

UK prime minister David Cameron tackles his country’s role in the European Union.

Iceland suspends talks to join the European Union in advance of elections in April.

Why Russia’s stirring doubts about a European bailout for Cyprus, and an interview with the Cypriot finance minister.

How France came to wage war in Mali.  Former prime minister Dominique de Villepin is pessimisticCharlemagne‘s take.

France’s government will proceed with a push for same-sex marriage despite protests over the weekend.

Germany’s SPD challenger for chancellor, Peer Steinbrück, is not doing so well.

A trial of former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi on charges of paying for sex with an underage prostitute will proceed, notwithstanding the February 24-25 elections.

Middle East

A retrial for former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak.

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