First Past the Post: February 22

East and South Asia

On Japan’s reinflationary policy.

Japan is likely to enter talks to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Police general Pongsapat Pongcharoen leads polls to become the next governor of Bangkok.

North America

U.S. president Barack Obama is meeting Japanese prime minister Shinzō Abe.

Latin America / Caribbean

‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier avoids court again.

Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez still has respiratory problems.

Sub-Saharan Africa

Uhuru Kenyatta has pulled out of the Feb. 25 presidential debate.

Europe

Checking in on Cyprus.

The Pirate Party is sinking in Germany.

Former Italian prime minister Romano Prodi points to Mafia and bureaucracy as his country’s top problems.

Chinese investment in Greenland at the forefront, a couple of weeks before elections.

YouTrend helpfully notes in its coverage of the ‘papal conclave’ to be held around Feb. 24 or 25 that the ‘gioviale cardinale di Piacenza’ has about 33.5 cardinals supporting him, while the ‘prelato pelato di Monza e Brianza’ has about 32.  A close race indeed.

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Does an incumbent president really hold post-election talks with his challenger if the vote wasn’t rigged? The latest from Yerevan.

Life in prison for Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko?

On Moldova’s political crisis.

Middle East and North Africa

Egyptian elections will begin on April 28.

Egypt’s feud between the Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood.

Australia and Oceania

More Kevin Rudd bait.

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