First Past the Post: February 7


East and South Asia

Paul Krugman examines Japan’s economy.

Yunnan province in China ends its re-education system.

In a key speech, Gujarati chief minister Narendra Modi edges closer to a national campaign in 2014.

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew turns 90 this year.

Three more people in North Waziristan were killed Wednesday by U.S. drone strikes.

Taiwan gets a new premier and cabinet.

North America

The administration of U.S. president Barack Obama will release additional legal memos to Congress concerning the target killings of U.S. citizens abroad who are leaders of al Qaeda.

On the threat of German-speaking Americans.

Canada and the European Union edge closer to a free trade agreement.

Latin America / Caribbean

Colombia’s largest rebel group FARC calls for the legalization of cocaine farming (pictured above).

The Falkand Islands / Islas Malvinas come to yet another crossroads, but Argentine foreign minister Héctor Timerman denies that the upcoming status referendum is legitimate.


France wants to pull out of Mali by March.

Looking to Eritrea’s future.

Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, who face charges in the International Criminal Court, will learn next week if they are eligible to run for the presidency (and vice presidency).


Cyprus is Greece, but with dodgier banks.

Italy’s leftist coalition considers an alliance with technocratic, reforming prime minister Mario Monti.  [Italian]

Ireland’s Dáil has passed emergency legislation to liquidate the Anglo Irish Bank.

The European Union turns to a budget summit.

Annette Schavan, Germany’s education minister, plagiarized part of her Ph.D. thesis.

Kosovo argues that a meeting between the heads of state of Serbia and Kosovo is de facto Serbian recognition of Kosovar independence.

The by-election in Eastleigh to replace scandal-plagued Liberal Democrat Chris Huhne in the U.K. will take place February 28.

A delicate dance between outgoing Czech president Václav Klaus and his successor Miloš Zeman.

Middle East

Tunisia’s prime minister, Hamadi Jebali, moves to dissolve the government after the assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid Wednesday.  More analysis here.

Hamas and Fatah are in unity talks.

The U.S. Central Intelligence Asia has been using a base in Saudi Arabia to launch drone strikes.

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