Coptic Church — The Coptic Church in Egypt picked a new pope for the first time in more than 40 years, reports the New York Times. Pope-designate Bishop Tawadros said he would not take on a political role like his predecessor Pope Shenouda III and instead focus on the integration of Egypt’s Christian minority into society. “Coptic activists and intellectuals,” according to the Times, “said the turn away from politics signaled a sweeping transformation in the Christian minority’s relationship to the Egyptian state but also addressed a firm demand by the Christian laity to claim a voice in a more democratic Egypt.”
Cuban Oil — Cuba’s recent failure to find oil in the deep waters off the northwestern coast has dealt a blow to the government’s hopes for an oil-based cash windfall to support its faltering economy, notes Global Post. The island nation was hoping for an oil find in local waters to trigger new foreign investment and the ability to renegotiate its debts, but plans to invigorate the oil industry have come to halt. “Without an oil find to give Cuba a quick financial boost,” wrote Global Post, “communist authorities may need to look onshore for new economic prospects, further liberalizing the island’s small private sector and offering bigger incentives to foreign companies that might invest in agriculture, tourism and other proven moneymakers.”
Diabetes in China — In China, the prevalence of Type 2 diabetes, a disorder linked with consuming excessive calories and physical inactivity, has more than tripled over the past decade. The rising number of diabetes patients, according to Bloomberg, has triggered 20% annual growth in drug sales and has strained health services. Experts projected that China’s diabetes drug market will reach $3.2 billion by 2016, as patients seek newer and costlier medications to avoid blood-sugar spikes and other health complications, such as stroke and heart attack.
Gulf Visit – British Prime Minister David Cameron has begun his visit to the Gulf and Middle East, reports Reuters. The three-day diplomacy and trade trip begins Monday in the United Arab Emirates, and also takes in Saudi Arabia and other locations in the Middle East, in order to “help Britain compete and thrive in the global race.” Cameron’s office added that selling BAE Systems-built fighter jets “would be high on the agenda,” and the PM was at pains to emphasize that alleged human rights abuses in the likes of the UAE and Saudi Arabia wouldn’t be ignored. “On human rights, there are no no-go areas in this relationship,” he said Monday. “We discuss all of these things but we also show respect and friendship to a very old ally and partner.” The trip comes as Cameron faces heat after “salacious and embarrassing” text messages were published between he and Rebekah Brooks, the former executive of Rupert Murdoch’s British newspaper division, according to the AP.
Obama vs. the World – A new poll conducted by MSN has found that President Barack Obama has “overwhelming public support across the world,” except for China, which favored Mitt Romney, when it comes to deciding who should be elected as President. Despite Romney taking a tough stance on China, citing the country for “being a nation of cheats and of stealing intellectual property,” online readers in the People’s Republic backed the GOP candidate 52% to 48%. This unexpected backing “poses something of a dilemma for Romney,” who might not want to be seen as being popular in China, MSN adds. The news comes as China faces a once-a decade leadership transition, that has proven to be very difficult for foreign correspondents to cover, according to a new piece by TIME’s Hannah Beech.