Must-Reads from Around the World: March 26, 2012

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Aaron Tam/AFP/Getty Images

Hong Kong chief executive elect Leung Chun-ying (left) and his wife Regina Leung gives a thumbs up sign at a press conference after Leung Chun-ying won the Hong Kong chief executive election on March 25, 2012

Noisy Neighbors – China’s Global Times reacts to the Hong Kong election Sunday, by a small elite circle, of Leung Chun-ying as new Chief Executive with an opinionated ode for the region and the mainland to improve their sometimes fractious relationship. “Both sides need to look at each other rationally … We are both Chinese, and can surely tolerate each other’s differences,” the paper pleads.

Corporate Assassin– The Sydney Morning Herald profiles an apparent contradiction in terms: a successful businessman more concerned with preserving the environment than profits. Australian Geoff Cousins led a successful campaign against the destruction of Tasmania’s native forests and now spearheads efforts to stop a gas-processing plant in one of the world’s last great wilderness areas.

Looking West – GlobalPost reports on the new Western Studies Institute at an ultraconservative Islamic University in Saudi Arabia, its first NGO dedicated to promoting understanding between the West, particularly the U.S., and the Middle East. Its significance? “It is notoriously difficult for anyone — a Saudi or a foreigner — to get government permission to set up an NGO of any kind,” it writes.

Democracy Wins –  The New York Times examines the role of youth culture in the recent presidential election in Senegal. Support from the country’s young population aided president-elect Macky Sall’s victory over two-term president Abdoulaye Wade. TIME’s Alex Perry explores what the ousting of Wade means for democracy in the West African nation.

Standing Alone – The Washington Post reports that Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) has taken its last nuclear reactor offline, leaving only one working nuclear facility in Japan, out of 54. The remaining reactor, on the northern island of Hokkaido, is scheduled to go offline in May for maintenance. It’s unclear if the facility will be restarted, as none of the other facilities shut down since the Fukushima disaster in March 2011 have been restored.

Church and State – Many religious groups in Hungary now risk losing their status as churches. Die Welt looks at a new law, which gives parliament the ability to downgrade religious organizations from churches to associations with legal and financial consequences. The new rules expose larger questions of the influence of the conservative Christian political party in Hungary.