First Past the Post: January 16

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East and South Asia

Pakistan’s Supreme Court, in its latest volley over corruption charges against the president, has ordered the arrest of prime minister Raja Pervez Ashraf.

The Supreme Court of Sri Lanka gets a controversial new chief justice.

A crackdown on bloggers in Vietnam.

India and Pakistan are still fighting over Kashmir.

South Korea is also dealing with extraordinary smog.

North America

U.S. president Barack Obama to back additional gun control measures in the United States.

Layoffs for Cirque de Soleil?

Latin America / Caribbean

Former vice president and failed chavista candidate for Miranda state governor Elías Jaua will be the new Venezuelan foreign minister.

Vice president Nicolás Maduro gives the Venezuelan state-of-the-nation speech.

The first outbreak of cholera in Cuba in decades.

Guatamalan president Otto Pérez Molina’s approval rating hits 70%.

Africa

Konna, that strategic town in Mali, may, uhhh, have been recaptured by Islamists?

Kenya’s three top coalitions are set to nominate on Thursday their presidential candidates for March 4 elections.

Europe

Georgia’s top two leaders had a conversation last night during the Orthodox New Year celebrations (pictured above).

Greece’s government stands firm in the face of anti-ND violence.

The governing Civic Democrats have endorsed Karel Schwarzenberg for Czech president. The Social Democrats are still pondering an endorsement.

Right-wing Tories are warning UK prime minister David Cameron not to buckle on the UK’s role in Europe.

Technocratic prime minister Mario Monti calls former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi the ‘pied piper’ of Italian politics.

Middle East

A new election law seems unlikely before Lebanon’s summer elections.

Jeffrey Goldberg breaks an Obama criticism of Israel, and Likud accuses the U.S. president of interference in Israeli elections.

Israeli forces killed a 17-year-0ld Palestinian youth in the West Bank.

Saudi Arabia jails Egyptian human rights lawyer.

Qatar prime minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani says he won’t let Egypt go bankrupt.

On Egyptian water policy.

The link between Bahrain’s repression and U.S. arms.

An independent Iraqi Kurdish state?

Global

The World Elections blog looks to the 2013 elections.

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