- Mexico has emerged from Brazil’s shadow to become a magnet for investors, but Enrique Peña Nieto still faces formidable challenges.
- Chuck Hagel will be confirmed as secretary of defense this week: the difference between his “principled realism” and John McCain’s “full-throated defence of American exceptionalism” could become one of the defining moments of Barack Obama’s second term.
- Stephen Smith, former editor of Libération and Le Monde, mulls over the French invention in Mali — “The bigger question is not why France decided to intervene but why America has held off.”
- Caracas is a failed city and the Tower of David, the world’s tallest slum, is a symbol of that in Jon Lee Anderson’s piece on what Hugo Chávez wrought in Venezuela.
- The air base at Minakh, north Syria, has been a stubborn holdout, but there are signs of attrition among government troops.
- The New York Times reports that it has been attacked for four months by Chinese hackers.
- El Pais has pubished ledgers showing business donations and payments to Spain’s ruling Popular Party that show that prime minister Mariano Rajoy benefited from a slush fund.
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