Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood party, the Freedom and Justice Party, said unofficial exit polls showed 56.5 percent of voters cast ballots favoring the draft constitution in a first round of voting on Saturday. A majority of voters in urban centers of Cairo and Alexandria voted down the constitution, which will severely restrict religious and other liberties, and the vote fell way short of the 90 percent approval rating predicted by President Mohamed Morsi.
Former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe won election in Japan Dec. 16 in a landslide—handing authority back to a party that promises monetary easing and more government spending. The leftward tilt at home appears less likely to translate into significant change in Japan’s posture overseas, where it has made significant increases in military spending and in confrontation with China in the last year.
While NATO prepares to send Patriot missiles into Turkey as part of defensive posture against Syria, it appears the U.S.-led treaty alliance is low on precision-guided munitions—with stockpiles at critical levels following NATO’s air war with Libya.
Tehran’s embrace of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to be cooling.
Militants detonated a car bomb in Peshawar that killed at least 17 and injured more than 70. The Taliban maintains a strong presence in Pakistan’s Khyber region.
Today is December’s deadliest day in Iraq, as a series of attacks by gunmen and bombers have killed at least 25, following a string of attacks on Sunday—all spread across central Iraq—that killed 19 people.
The British battle over same-sex “marriage” already has brought to the forefront the clash over religious freedom—something that’s little debated in marriage battles in the United States.
We’re following: The Dec. 15 helicopter crash in Nigeria that killed two top officials in Kaduna state, one of the northern Nigeria states frequented with attacks by Boko Haram. Both governor Patrick Yakowa and the National Security Adviser Gen. Owoye Azazi are Christians, and Azazi was a proponent of designating Boko Haram a terrorist organization under U.S. law. No word yet on the cause of the crash.