World News Brief, Tuesday April 19

Nigeria incumbent on course for victory, but peaceful election turns sour (+analysis); Five dead after Green Zone bombing in Baghdad; Raul Castro pro-term limits, says failures are "embarrassing"; Chinese artist still missing; Six months before Fukushima plant is safe; and more

Top of the Agenda: Goodluck Jonathan Set for Reelection

Incumbent Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan (NYT) has secured a strong lead in his bid to win reelection. Following a peaceful voting process over the weekend, news of Jonathan's likely victory sparked protests by his rival's supporters in the country's north. The BBC reports that riots have broken out in the cities of Kano and Kaduna, where youth backers of Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim, clashed with police, claiming the election was rigged in the south. The African Union said the election was Nigeria's best poll in decades.

Experts say the allegations of vote rigging and street riots demonstrate the sharp divisions between the mainly Muslim north (al-Jazeera) and the predominately Christian south. The constitution requires the winner to get at least one-quarter of the ballots in at least two-thirds of the states plus the capital, in order to avoid a runoff. Jonathan, a Christian, has reached that threshold. An official announcement of the election results (CNN) could come as early as today.


Nigeria's elections this month were the most unpredictable since the restoration of civilian government in 1999. In Foreign Affairs, John Campbell and Asch Harwood discuss whether a fair and free ballot will restore legitimacy to the embattled government.

This article from the Economist discusses the Nigerian political landscape leading up to this month's presidential elections.


This article from al-Jazeera provides background information on incumbent President Jonathan.


In this CFR Conference Call, John Campbell discusses the elections in Nigeria, as well as policy recommendations from his book Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink.


PACIFIC RIM: Fukushima Shutdown to Take Months

A timetable released by Fukushima (FT) operator TEPCO says it will take three months to stabilize the plant's cooling system and another three to six months to achieve a "cold shutdown," where the reactor's uranium is safe from heating up again.

China: Activists across the globe staged protests against the imprisonment of artist Ai Weiwei (Guardian), who was arrested by Chinese authorities for tax evasion, bigamy, and spreading pornography on the web. His whereabouts remain unknown.



- Green Zone Bombing in Baghdad
- Afghan Defense Ministry Attacked
- Raul Castro Proposes Term Limits


This is an excerpt of the Daily News Brief. The full version is available on