Must-Reads from Around the World: March 1, 2012

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Soe Than Win / AFP / Getty Images

Myanmar democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi (C) applauds during a ceremony at her National League for Democracy (NLD)'s headquarters in Rangoon, Jan. 9, 2012.

The Lady – Exiled Burmese media the Irrawaddy analyzes Aung San Suu Kyi’s prospects for a cabinet post after by-elections on April 1, mooting the health or education portfolios. “Both would be a good fit—she has often emphasized the need to dramatically increase the government’s commitment to the basic needs of citizens—but neither would be particularly high-powered,” writes the online outlet.

Trading Peace – Pakistan’s Dawn is among those reporting Pakistan’s trade normalization with India; the number of items that can be imported from the country will rise from 1,946 to almost 5,600. “This paves the way for granting the Most Favored Nation status to India as mandated by World Trade Organization… removing the discriminatory trade regime that Pakistan has had for India,” says the Hindu.

Projecting Power – With China soon to announce this year’s defense budget, Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily calls for continued double-digit growth citing “the Taiwan question,” long-standing disputes over neighboring islands and the “involvement of great powers” in the Asia-Pacific situation. “Right now, China cannot rely on diplomacy for defense,” it concludes.

Small Steps – North Korea announced plans Wednesday to halt uranium enrichment and nuclear tests in exchange for humanitarian aid from the U.S. The Washington Post writes that while the deal does not address North Korea’s existing nuclear arsenal, it does reflect a willingness of Kim Jong Un to engage with the West. South Korea echoed the cautious optimism of Washington, who called the announcement a “modest first step.” South Korean diplomat Lim Sung-nam stressed to the Financial Times Seoul’s need to see real adherence to the conditions of the deal.

Privacy Woes - Internet giant Google rolled out new privacy guidelines this week despite warnings they could violate E.U. laws. The consolidated policy allows information to be shared across Google-run services like Gmail, YouTube and Blogger. The BBC reports that the French watchdog group CNIL has issued a warning to the tech giant, writing, “The CNIL and EU data authorities are deeply concerned about the combination of personal data across services… and its compliance with European data protection legislation.”

Endangered Species – Author Craig Taylor declares true Londoners extinct in the Sunday Magazine of The New York Times. Immigrants now make up one-third of the city’s population and the changing demographics are reflected in  the look and feel of the city. “London in 2012, like most other global cities, is in significant flux, much less beholden to sepia-tinged notions of what it used to be and much more a product of its new arrivals,” Taylor writes.

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