Must-Reads from Around the World

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Sinan Hussain / AP

Maldives police officers throw tear gas canisters during a clash with the military in Male, Maldives, Feb. 7, 2012. The first democratically elected president Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives resigned Tuesday after police joined the protesters and then clashed with soldiers amid protests over his controversial arrest of a top judge.

Paradise LostMinivan News, an independent news source for the Maldives, has the latest on riots by supporters of former president Mohamed Nasheed, who resigned Tuesday in what increasingly looks like a military coup. The Guardian reports that Nasheed claims he was forced from power at gunpoint. U.S. envoy Robert Blake will visit the Indian Ocean archipelago on Saturday, according to AFP.

Blurred EurovisionDer Spiegel looks at the Azerbaijani government’s hopes to burnish its image by hosting the Eurovision Song Contest in May. As civil rights activists struggle to draw more attention to the country’s human rights violations, organizers of this supposedly “apolitical” event are “standing uncomfortably in the middle,” the German magazine writes.

Pivot Pressure – The Washington Post reports the U.S. will likely scale down plans to build military bases in Japan and Guam due to political obstacles and budget constraints, according to U.S. and Japanese officials. The paper says the change “complicates the Obama administration’s efforts to strengthen its troop presence in Asia.”

Porn & Politics – Three Indian ministers resigned Wednesday over allegations they watched sexually explicit material during a debate in the house assembly, CNN reports. State Minsters C.C. Patil and Laxman Savadi were caught on video viewing what appeared to be several people engaged in a sex act  on a cell phone. The third minster who resigned, Krishna Palemar, is the alleged owner of the phone. The porn video in question is now in such high demand across India that DVD salesmen are working fast to try to meet the rush, according to The Times of India.

Failed Bailout – After more than seven hours of talks, Greek officials have failed to garner the support needed to enact austerity measures. The New York Times reports the main stumbling block is the 325 million euros in pension cuts for 2013 demanded by Greece’s financial backers. Deeper cuts and reforms would further dishearten an already despondent Greek nation, according to the BBC.