Bo Fallout - Reuters reports (exclusively) that Chinese President Hu Jintao has demanded senior Communist Party officials stifle tensions over the ousting of ambitious politician Bo Xilai and show unity as they prepare for a change of leadership, according to its sources briefed on recent meetings. “Hu urged the party to close ranks at a meeting of about 200 officials early this month at a Beijing hotel, declaring the downfall of Bo… to be an ‘isolated case,’” it writes.
Family Affair - Pakistan’s The Nation reports on a CNN interview Thursday by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the son of slain Pakistan leader Benazir Bhutto and current President Asif Ali Zardari, in which he says he holds ex-military ruler Pervez Musharraf responsible for his mother’s death — and that he plans to play a bigger political role. “He (Musharraf) murdered my mother … I hold him responsible for the murder of my mother,” he reportedly said.
Living Up to Stereotypes - Der Spiegel highlights a study which found Germans “incapable of enjoying life.” According to the weekly news magazine: “With low unemployment and solid economic growth, things are going better than ever for Germans. But a new study shows they’re practically incapable of enjoying it. Not only do they find it difficult to cut loose and experience pleasure, but their ‘joy gene’ is broken, researchers say.”
Comparable Candidates – The Guardian argues that President Obama is just as sympathetic to American business interests as his Republican rival, Mitt Romeny, suggesting that the incumbent is also “an apologist for the 1%,” citing the example of his praise for J.P. Morgan following its recent trading loss and his so-called “love affair with the guys who work on Wall Street.”
Surprise Visit – As France’s new President, François Hollande, makes a surprise visit to Afghanistan to visit French soldiers, Al Jazeera reports that he is visiting with the intention of trying to “explain himself” to French troops in the war-torn country by telling them why he has decided to pull them out “a year earlier than his predecessor planned,” and reportedly two years before other NATO combat troops are due to leave.
Election Projection – On the second day of Egypt’s historic elections, Ahram Online, an Egyptian publication, tracks the turnout and trends of the polls, reporting that voter turnout is standing at “roughly 50 per cent,” according to the Supreme Presidential Electoral Commission head, with turnout appearing high in “urban areas.” It says some people have uncertainty about an Islamist president; one Cairo hairdresser remarked: “If an Islamist becomes president, I’ll lose my job because hairdressing will become forbidden.”