First Past the Post: March 21-22


East and South Asia

Chinese president Xi Jinping’s first overseas trip will be to Russia and then, to Africa.

South Korea’s new nominee for defense minister offers to resign.

The PML-Q in Pakistan is falling apart.

Pakistan is still scrambling to pick a caretaker prime minister until May 11 elections.

Agitating for a presidential-style debate between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi?

Pro-democracy groups form a new ‘Alliance for True Democracy’ in Hong Kong.

Bangladesh’s president Zillur Rahman has died.

Thailand’s leadership encouraged to move beyond the shadow of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

North America

All about the 2013 Canada budget.  Québec is not happy. (When is it ever?)

Liberal Party leader frontrunner Justin Trudeau says ‘just watch me’ about his chances of defeating Tory prime minister Stephen Harper.

Greenland’s new government wants to ban Danish from its national parliament.


More problems in U.S.-Venezuelan diplomacy.

The country remains in a state of suspended animation.

Peruvian author and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa says Venezuela faces a choice between populism and modernity.

Student protestors clashed with chavistas in Caracas on Thursday. [Spanish]

Corporate Brazil prefers Nicolás Maduro as president.

Opposition candidate Henrique Capriles dismisses polls after allegations of cash payments from the government. [Spanish]

Latin America / Caribbean

A second chance for Peruvian mayor Susana Villarán.

Will El Salvador end sovereignty?

Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos is optimistic for a peace accord with the FARC by the end of 2013.

Sub-Saharan Africa


Taking Ethiopia to the next level.

The pardon for Nigerian Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha is a touchy issue.

Senegal’s president Macky Sall fights corruption.  [French]

Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir says he’ll step down in 2015.

Congolese war crimes indictee Bosco Ntaganda certainly seems headed to the Hague.

The ICC still seems set to proceed against Kenya’s president-elect Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya’s new National Assembly will sit next Thursday.


Italian president Giorgio Napolitano is set to likely give center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani the first chance to form a government on Friday afternoon.

UK chancellor George Osborne announced the new budget Wednesday.

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher’s colleagues were a bit wobblier on the 1982 war over the Falkland Islands.

Scottish first minister Alex Salmond announces the date of Scotland’s independence referendum: September 18, 2014.

Tobias Billström, Sweden’s migration minister, apologizes again over his ‘blonde, blue-eyed’ comments and won’t resign.

Former French president Nicolas Sarkozy is charged with campaign violations from financing his 2007 presidential campaign and taking advantage of L’Oréal heiress Liliane Bettencourt.

Cyprus will try to raise money through an Investment Solidarity Fund.

More on the Cypriot financial sector and its now likely demise.

Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem says a levy on Cypriot savers is unavoidable.

Brad DeLong uses the World War interregnum as a history lesson for today’s eurozone.

Malta’s new cabinet.

Germany won’t ban the far-right National Democratic Party after all.

Romania’s Party of Democrats-Liberals (PDL), the main opposition, chooses a new leader this weekend.

Macedonia holds local elections on Sunday.

Russia and Former Soviet Union

Russian prime minister Dmitri Medvedev thinks that both the EU and the Cypriot government are acting like a ‘bull in a china shop.’A key constitutional vote in Georgia’s parliament.

Middle East and North Africa

Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan called for a PKK cease-fire and withdrawal from Turkey.

U.S. president Barack Obama calls for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process in the West Bank.

The Israeli take on the Obama visit.

Pro- and anti-Syria clashes in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

Australia and Oceania

Kevin Rudd rules out any future leadership runs.

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