First Past the Post: February 28


East and South Asia

Haruhiko Kuroda is formally nominated as the next governor of the Bank of Japan.

Thailand and the southern Muslim rebel group Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) sign their first peace accord.

Still a rocky start for South Korean president Park Guen-hye.

A death sentence for Jamaat-e-Islami leader Delawar Hossain Sayedee in Bangladesh over 1971 war crimes.

Chinese intellectuals pen an open letter for greater freedoms.

North America

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry shows off his French language skills.

Steve Clemons from The Atlantic ponders the post-Hagelian moment in U.S. politics.

Latin America / Caribbean

Venezuelan vice president Nicolás Maduro has met with ailing president Hugo Chávez.

Sub-Saharan Africa

South African finance minister Pravan Gordhan presents a tough 2013 budget.

James Verini in Nairobi considers the upcoming Kenyan election for Foreign Policy.

Former Kenyan finance minister Uhuru Kenyatta, who served under prime minister Rail Odinga, blames Odinga for the economic conditions of the past five years.

Rwandan president Paul Kagame will not seek a new term in 2017.


Five Star Movement leader Beppe Grillo calls center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani a ‘dead man talking’ and refuses to discuss any alliance, complete with corpse-like illustration (pictured above).  Original blog post here.  [Italian]

For March Madness fans of U.S. college basketball, here’s the ‘Sweet Sistene’ bracket for choosing a new pope.

Frank Stonach is shaking up Lower Austria.

Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte calls for a eurozone exit clause.

Slovenian prime minister Janez Janša has been ousted by parliament.

Middle East and North Africa

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu will ask president Shimon Peres for a 14-day extension to finalize coalition talks.

Former television news anchor Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid would win a new set of Israeli elections.

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