– French voters elected Socialist Party candidate François Hollande on Sunday, ousting incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. Holland promised to shift the economic burden onto the rich and to resolve the protracted euro sovereign-debt crisis by softening the current prescription of austerity. Hollande said he wants to speed up the withdrawal of French forces from Afghanistan.
– While police and anti-government protesters clashed outside the Kremlin on Sunday, Vladimir Putin, who some argue has ruled Russia since 2000 — first as president and then the past four years as prime minister — took the oath of office in a brief ceremony. “I consider service to the fatherland and our nation to be the meaning of my life,” Putin told guests at the Kremlin.
– For the past several years the U.S. has been has been secretly releasing high-level insurgents in Afghanistan from military prisons, allowing American officials to use prisoners as bargaining chips in restive provinces where military power has proven ineffective.
– Intelligence committee chairs Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) of the Senate and Mike Rogers (R-MI) of the House said on Sunday talk shows that they’ve found “that the Taliban is stronger” since the U.S. put in an additional 30,000 troops in 2010.
– The New York Times reports that an attacker in an Afghan Army uniform opened fire on coalition soldiers in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, killing one service member, possibly the latest in a recent string of so-called green-on-blue assaults on coalition soldiers by their Afghan partners this year.
– On an Asian tour, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “commend(ed) the steps” taken by India to roll back its purchases of Iranian oil, one of the many factors contributing to tougher economic times in Iran as the government there cuts subsidies and prices rise.
– The post-war condition afflicting soldiers often known by its initials, PTSD, could soon have the ‘D’ — for ‘disorder’ dropped from its name and instead be known as “post-traumatic stress injury,” potentially lessening the malady’s stigma.
– Syrians voted in parliamentary elections but, despite efforts from the government to portray the elections as a significant political reform, analysts said the vote for the 250-person People’s Assembly is unlikely to defuse the standoff between the government and opposition.