First Past the Post: February 8


East and South Asia

Quartz catalogues China’s accounting scandals.

Myanmar catches on to the central bank independence trend.

The European Union is softening its position on Gujarati chief minister Narendra Modi, who will likely be the BJP candidate for prime minister in 2014.

South Korean president-elect Park Geun-hye announces her second pick for prime minister, former prosecutor Chung Hong-won.

Nepal’s Maoist leaders go for a facelift.

North America

The U.S. Senate interrogates CIA director nominee John Brennan on drone strikes.

On our continuing series of stories on the German language in the United States.

Things don’t end well when you step into a boxing ring with Justin Trudeau.

Latin America / Caribbean

‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier (pictured above), who returned to Haiti in 2011 after 25 year in exile failed to show for a hearing on possible human rights abuse charges.

Miranda state governor and opposition leader Henrique Capriles lashes out against charges of corruption from the chavista government.

The Economist considers the reelection of Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa.

The Rios Montt trial in Guatemala will begin in August.  [Spanish]

Trinidad gets ready for its annual Carnival this weekend. Get your fete on!


The Nigerian opposition forms the All Progressive Congress to challenge president Goodluck Jonathan.

The two major Kenyan presidential candidates face internal strife.


London mayor Boris Johnson is haranguing deputy prime minister Nick Clegg.

One-time Labour leader challenger David Miliband speaks out on the UK’s role in Europe in an interview with Spiegel.

SYRIZA narrowly leads New Democracy in Greece, neo-nazi Golden Dawn remains in third.

Not the most auspicious start to the EU budget talks.

Leftist Puglia regional president Nichi Vendola is not happy about a potential Bersani-Monti coalition.  [Italian]

Middle East

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will hold his first post-election meeting next week with Natfali Bennett, Bayit Yehudi leader (and onetime Netanyahu chief of staff).

Things are not going so well in Tunisia.

If it’s Friday, more mass protests in Cairo.


Although budgeted to collect $2 billion in revenue, Australia’s new mining tax has raised just $126 million in its maiden year.

An interview with New Zealand prime minister John Key.

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