First Past the Post: January 28

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East and South Asia

Would China block Korean re-unification?

Democracy in Pakistan.

A month in, support for Japan’s new government is on the rise, actually, at 66.7%.

North America

Kathleen Wynne was elected the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party on Saturday night, making her the next Ontario premier and the first LGBT premier in Canadian history.

A joint interview between U.S. president Barack Obama and outgoing U.S. secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Latin America / Caribbean

A nightclub fire that has killed nearly 230 people merits the attention of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff.

An attack on the Dominican Republic’s opposition party headquarters.

Another batty U.S. plot on Cuba, this time originating from the foreign aid sector.

The latest on the Colombian government talks with FARC.

Honduras is officially the most violent country in Latin America.  [Spanish]

Africa

The French troops in Mali are pushing toward Timbuktu.

The local wing of al-Qaeda in Somalia, al-Shabab, has its Twitter account deactivated.

Kenyan prime minister Raila Odinga is leading the March 4 presidential race with 46%, followed closely by deputy prime minister Uhuru Kenyatta with 40%.  Another deputy prime minister, Musalia Mudavadi, lags far behind with just 5%.

Europe

Former social democratic prime minister Miloš Zeman won the Czech presidency in the first-ever direct election on Saturday.

Former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi heaps praise on former fascist leader Benito Mussolini less than a month before Italian elections.

More than 1 in 50 Portuguese have emigrated since 2011.

Wolfgang Münchau asks, ‘What is the point of the European Union?’

A pro-gay marriage rally gathered in Paris over the weekend.

What did Greek opposition leader Alexis Tsipras get out of his trip to the United States? (Read my piece on his appearance at the Brookings Institution in Washington here).

Middle East

After years in a coma, there are signs of brain activity for former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon.

So now we have a state of emergency in three Egyptian cities.

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