First Past the Post: January 24-25

East and South Asia

A closer look at Jakarta governor Joko Widodo, a rising star in Indonesian politics.

Kim Yong-jun was named prime minister-designate by South Korean president-elect Park Guen-hye.

PML-F politician Pir Pagara may become Pakistan’s caretaker prime minister.

Japan’s trade deficit climbs to its highest level since 1980.

North America

U.S. vice president Joe Biden is ‘intoxicated’ by a 2016 presidential run.

The Globe and Mail endorses Sandra Pupatello for Ontario Liberal leader.

Former Ontario Liberal frontrunner Gerard Kennedy seeks a last-minute boost.

Latin America / Caribbean

Foreign Policy examines gay rights in the Americas.

Guatemalan president Otto Pérez Molina takes his fight for an alternative anti-drug strategy to Davos.  [Spanish]

Africa

Zimbabwe is set to approve a new constitution.

Will Sudan further disintegrate?

Europe

A surprisingly gentle response from German chancellor Angela Merkel to UK prime minister David Cameron’s EU speech.

A more ridiculed response from UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The Catalan parliament approved a declaration supporting an independence referendum by a 85-41 vote.

Kosovo considers its first ambassador to Belgrade.

Spain’s unemployment rate rises to 26%.

Polish prime minister Donald Tusk is hospitalized.

The Czech presidential campaign nears its end, each candidate on the Czech economy, and tattooed former candidate Vladimír Franz will vote for Miloš Zeman.

Speigel interviews former Russian finance minister Alexei Kudrin.

Icelandic EU accession talks are merely delayed, not terminated.

Middle East

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will seek a broad-based coalition that includes both Yesh Atid and Bayit Yahudi.

Government loyalists have won the Jordanian parliamentary elections that most other parties boycotted.

Egyptian parliamentary elections will occur in three or four months, according to president Mohammed Morsi.

Sri Lanka aims to ban sending women to Saudi Arabia to work as housekeepers.

Turkey has a surprise cabinet reshuffle.

Leading Sunni cleric Abdul Malek al-Saadi is coming out against Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Global

A nickel glut.

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