In Venezuela a recount is likely after Hugo Chavez’s handpicked successor, Nicolas Maduro, barely took 50 percent of the vote against rival Henrique Capriles. The government committed at least 3,200 violations of electoral rules, says Capriles. The close presidential election will heighten tension in the deeply divided nation after 14 years of Chavez rule. And Chavez, who died in March, remained a looming figure in the weekend elections—leading (by recording) pro-government voters in the singing of the national anthem, some of whom told reporters, “I voted for Chavez."
Australia is rejoicing in its first win at the Masters ever. Aussie Adam Scott donned the green jacket yesterday after winning at Augusta National in a playoff with Angel Cabrera of Argentina.
Canada’s foreign service is on strike. If you contact the Canadian Embassy in Washington, here’s the response you’re likely to get: “Thank you for your message … Following a breakdown in contract negotiations with the Government of Canada, members of the Professional Association of Foreign Service Officers are now in a legal strike position and are working to rule. As a result, there may be a noticeable delay in responding to your inquiry. We regret any inconvenience.”
French lawmakers have fast-tracked a gay marriage bill, and the final vote will take place as early as next week. But it has been hugely controversial with opponents—who turned out into Paris streets and across France an estimated 1.4 million to demonstrate last month. They promise more mass demonstrations next week amid calls for the bill’s withdrawal and a nationwide referendum.
Hundreds of Christians hit the streets of Indonesia’s capital this week to urge government action after local officials demolished a church building and threatened to close others at the behest of Islamist forces.