Must-Reads from Around the World, May 4, 2012

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Britain's Prime Minster David Cameron (left) and Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg attend a reception to mark International Women's Day at 10 Downing Street on March 8, 2012 in London, England

Mid-Term Blues – The U.K.’s two ruling coalition parties, the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, both suffered setbacks in local elections Thursday. The Guardian is live-blogging the results — including for the London mayoral race. Its assessment: “Labour has soundly beaten the Conservatives in the local elections in a result that has been welcomed by the opposition as evidence that it is mounting a strong fightback.”

Signs of Unity – The Kathmandu Post reveals details of Thursday night’s signing of a new power-sharing deal by Nepal’s major political parties to hand over leadership of the next national unity government to the Nepali Congress (NC) by a May 27 deadline. “The NC-led government will conduct the next general elections in the country within a year, according to the five-point agreement signed by top leaders of three major political parties,” it says.

Continuing Conflict – Exiled Burmese media outlet the Irrawaddy reports on negotiations between the Burmese government and the Karen National Union, the political wing of the rebel Karen National Liberation Army. “[The KNU] says that it believes Naypyidaw is sincere about peace talks but warns that substantive political issues remain to be discussed and that the 2008 Constitution will likely need revising in advance of any durable settlement,” it writes.

American Victory? – In the wake of President Barack Obama’s surprise address from Bagram airbase in Afghanistan, the Washington Post questions why America is in Afghanistan “for the long haul,” suggesting that the U.S. government has “done all that is humanly possible” to break the threat of al-Qaeda launching attacks from Afghanistan, which “smells like victory.”

Olympic Mockery – The British Foreign Office has accused Argentina of “disrespect” over a commercial depicting an Argentinean Olympic hopeful training on a British war memorial in the Falklands, reports The Daily Telegraph. The tagline, which has been interpreted as mockery, reads: “To compete on English soil, we train on Argentine soil.”

Facebook’s Fans – Following Facebook’s filing of a new version of the prospectus for its upcoming public offering, Reuters argues that dependence on Facebook is not only for “social networking junkies,” explaining that “bankers are pegging their careers on floating the firm.” The story says big advertisers are also relying on it, as shown by “its ballooning revenue,” as well as online gaming companies and smaller app-building firms.

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