Global Briefing, Mar. 14, 2011: New Friends, Old Foes and Fresh Sorrow

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Sorrow and Survival — In a moving dispatch from Sendai, Hannah Beech and Krista Mahr show, in words and pictures, the human toll of Friday’s quake; Michael Schuman assesses the economic outlook; NewsFeed has the latest on the nuke situation.

Let’s Do Lunch — In the latest installment of the FT’s series, Alec Russell has a drink (but alas, no food) with Zimbabwe’s prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai. They chat about iPads, politics and Mugabe’s propensity for naps.

India’s Unique Democracy: A new anthology explores what underlies the liberal traditions of the world’s largest democracy.

Is China Next? — Not according to Francis Fukuyama. In a meaty essay for the Wall Street Journal, the ‘End of History’ author weighs the suggestion that China will “catch the Middle Eastern contagion.” (Ed note: It’s a disease?)  Read TIME’s Austin Ramzy on the matter, here.

Worldly Woman —  The Economist says that German Chancellor Angela Merkel holds the whole world in her hands. Actually, just the EU. But that’s a lot, right?

High Seas, High Stakes — We know Asia isn’t happy about China’s growing naval presence.  The Atlantic‘s Max Fisher asks if China’s offer of help to quake-stricken Japan could change  that by fostering naval cooperation.

Friends and Foes — Natan Sharansky muses on the Middle East uprisings in a piece for the Washington Post. Desiring stability, the West may be tempted to prop up armies and Islamists, he says. Instead, they ought to partner with the democratic dissidents.

The Cricket Cure: The Guardian argues that the Cricket World Cup (currently ongoing) is one of the few things keeping the fractious nation of Sri Lanka together.

With files from Ishaan Tharoor,  Michele Travierso and Hillary Brenhouse