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Fate or fairytale: Can Aung San Suu Kyi become Myanmar’s next president?

YANGON — In the West, Aung San Suu Ky is nearly sacrosanct. Prim yet defiant, she is seen as a righteous Nobel Peace Prize recipient who has suffered through tyranny to lead Myanmar’s oppressed toward a brighter future. Having been released from confinement three years ago, she has announced her intention to run for president. But as the historic election looms, the Nobel laureate’s ambitions are complicated by legal challenges and by her tarnished reputation.

The future of Chinese democracy will be decided in Hong Kong this year

HONG KONG — Few Americans may realize it, but the Communist Party of China is on the verge of allowing some sort of democracy to take root in Chinese soil. Not within the People’s Republic, of course, but in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong. The question is what level of democracy will Beijing allow? The options all pose significant risks to Beijing.

Coup watch: Bloody days ahead for Bangkok

BANGKOK — After protesters yesterday blocked enough polling stations to prevent a new government from forming, Thailand has gone into round-the-clock coup watch. The nation’s dour military head honcho, Prayuth Chan-ocha, is the man who decides whether the tanks will roll. Just as US economists decrypt the Federal Reserve chair’s verbiage, the Thai punditry analyzes their army chief’s phrasing down to the last syllable. And he's getting testy.

The left may win big in Costa Rica, El Salvador elections (VIDEO)

Voters in Costa Rica and El Salvador headed to the polls to choose a new president Sunday, although both votes are likely to end in runoffs.

Bangkok aunties rage against election sabotage

BANGKOK — Vigilantes hellbent on sabotaging elections in the Thai capital were partly successful in blockading and intimidating voters on Feb. 2. But in at least one corner of the city, a team of Bangkok aunties made sure democracy went down swinging. After weeks of invading government ministries, barricading roads and threatening to abduct the prime minister, a self-proclaimed “people’s coup” movement went for broke.

Peaceful start to Thai polls, but don't get your hopes up

BANGKOK — The risk of bloodshed at the ballot remains high, a day after seven people were wounded by gunshots and explosions during a standoff between supporters and opponents of embattled Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in a north Bangkok stronghold of her Puea Thai Party. Voting was called off in the district, along with 10 percent of polling stations nationwide, for fear of possible further violence.

Morsi trial adjourned until Feb. 4

CAIRO — A Cairo court on Saturday adjourned the trial which sees Egypt's ousted President Mohamed Morsi accused of inciting the killing of protesters, while dozens of supporters of his Muslim Brotherhood were jailed for other crimes.

Latin American left eyes El Salvador, Costa Rica votes

The rise of the left in Latin America could get a further boost Sunday with elections in Costa Rica and El Salvador. In Costa Rica, a leftist win in the general election would be unprecedented. In El Salvador, which is choosing only a new president, the left is represented by the FMLN – a party born from a guerrilla army that fought a civil war in the 1980s against an American-backed government. The polarized race between right and left is close is both countries, and a run-off may be needed in both cases, polls suggest.

South Africa: Where it's okay to call an opponent a 'rent-a-black'

JOHANNESBURG — Last week South Africa’s main opposition party announced it would field a black presidential candidate for the first time. This week, the deal fell apart.

Gunmen open fire on protests in Bangkok

Thailand’s election officials have warned they will close polling stations should violence erupt during Sunday’s general election, a near certainty given events in the leadup to polls. In northern Bangkok on Saturday, three people were wounded by explosions and gunshots close to a standoff between supporters and opponents of Thailand's government.
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