Must-Reads from Around the World: March 5th, 2012

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Mikhail Voskresensky/Reuters

President Putin — Unsurprisingly, Vladimir Putin won a third term as Russia’s president Sunday. In an op-ed following the election, Russian language opposition newspaper Kommersant urges those disappointed by the re-elction of Putin the appreciate the lessons of the past two years of political protest. “Over the past 24 months, Russian society has matured to such an extent that it may only be years from now that we’re really able to appreciate the scope of the changes,” the editor writes.

Wukan Elex — CNN reports on the weekend’s unprecedented grassroots democracy exercise in the Chinese fishing village — and the end of a deputy chief bid by Xue Jianwan, whose father’s December death in custody sparked protests that ultimately led to the vote. “[She] gave up her short-lived political career after family pressure proved even harder to overcome than official intimidation,” it says.

Fighting Famine — Paul Salopek, a Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign correspondent, writes about the human suffering in the Horn of Africa after making “a long walk with Daasanach nomads in northern Kenya, well inside the disaster zone, to see what it was like to move, as most famine victims do, on foot, through a landscape of chronic hunger,” in Foreign Policy‘s feature article ‘The Last Famine.’

Checkpoint Raid — The New York Times reports on a brash raid in the Anbar province of Iraq in the early hours of Monday. Gunman, dressed as SWAT, attacked the homes of police officers and sprayed checkpoints with bullets leaving more than 26 dead. Government spokesman Mohammed Fathi, told reporters the attackers claimed to have warrants for the arrest of the slain.

Diplomatic ConversationsThe Atlantic’s Jeffery Goldberg sat down with Barack Obama for a lengthy discussion on Israel and Iran.The president reveals his belief in a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program and a sometimes difficult relationship with the Israeli prime minster Benjamin Netanyahu. Obama addressed the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) over the weekend, saying there has been “too much loose talk of war.” He is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu later Monday.

Dynasty — The Times of India reveals Congress has begun to shield Rahul Gandhi (the general secretary of the All India Congress Committee) from criticism after exit polls show that the party may not do well in important assembly elections in crucial state Uttar Pradesh. “Amid the suspense over results, senior leaders praised Rahul for his strenuous campaign but added that a negative outcome would be because of its organizational weaknesses,” it states.