In a massive victory for anti-corruption campaigners,Brazil's supreme court has approved the Ficha Limpa ("Clean Sheet") electoral law, designed to clean up the country's politics. It bars candidates from standing for election if they have been convicted of an electoral crime in the last eight years (be it vote-buying, fraud, or falsifying documents), and bans them permanently if they have been found guilty of a crime by more than one judge. This historic result comes after months of campaigning and battles to overcome political and legal hurdles. It's a huge win for the Brazilian people in their quest for cleaner, fairer politics.
Rupert Murdoch – nicknamed the "Dirty Digger" – flies into London today to try to save his embattled tabloid newspaper, The Sun, after police arrested five senior journalists at the paper last weekend. The media mogul has vowed he will not close the paper in the wake of widespread phone hacking allegations, as he did the News of the World. But Murdoch already faces a revolt and possible legal challenge by angry Sun staff. He'll still be more worried that the escalating crisis will prompt criminal prosecutions in the US, dealing a body blow to his global business interests.
A hopeful sign for democracy in the Maldives – and for climate change activists everywhere: the new Maldivian president has agreed to hold early elections, following the ousting of the country's first democratically elected president, Mohamed Nasheed, last week. Nasheed, an outspoken environmental campaigner, welcomed the India-brokered deal, after he was forced to resign in what he claims was a coup by forces loyal to the country's hardline former president. His supporters have vowed to press ahead with a peaceful demonstration as a "show of strength" in the capital, Male, today.