Norwegian-French Eva Joly to run for president in France

The latest candidate to jump into the 2012 French presidential race has quite a background - once a beauty queen and au pair, later a muckraking prosecutor, and now a member of the European Parliament for the Green-Europe Ecology party. But the most striking part about 67-year-old Eva Joly's past may be a citizenship record that would make Donald Trump's hair spin. From the Guardian:

Born in a working-class suburb in Norway, she came to Paris as a young au pair to finance her legal studies and ended up marrying the son of the bourgeois family she was posted to, despite their disapproval. She now holds joint Norwegian-French nationality and will be the first dual national to run for the French presidency.

This April, we explored how, in many countries worldwide, it's perfectly legal for individuals who were not native-born or who have dual citizenship to serve in the country's highest offices. For instance, Thailand's Oxford-educated Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is also a British citizen, which reportedly could put him in legal trouble for alleged human rights abuses from last year's Red Shirt protest movement. Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, forced out of office by a Hezbollah-backed uprising in January, has Lebanese and Saudi citizenship.

Joly's dual citizenship should create an interesting side story during election season in France, whose government was a key proponent of the changes in the Schengen agreement this summer targeted at restricting illegal immigration into Europe. She probably won't get elected, but, with a reputation for speaking her mind, she'll at least make for some fireworks.



Bashir to Sudan: The good times are over

It's one thing to talk about austerity measures in places like Ireland and Greece where people have been living well off booming markets and generous welfare states, but in a country that falls between Malawi and Afghanistan in its level of development, one wonders how much more austere life can get

Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir said on Tuesday the north will launch austerity measures to compensate for the loss of oil revenues after the south's secession and bring in a new currency.

North Sudan lost 75 percent of its 500,000 barrel-a-day oil production after the south became independent on Saturday. Oil is vital to both economies.

North Sudan, where 80 percent of 40 million Sudanese, has been hit by a scarcity of foreign currency and high inflation. Khartoum has tried to lower dependency on oil but economists say the pace of diversification has been slow.

"We have placed an emergency programme for the next three years," Bashir told parliament, adding that an "austerity measures package" had been started and a revised budget with no new taxes or duties would be presented to the assembly.

The Sudanese people could certainly be forgiven for wondering where all that wealth was when Khartoum did control all the oil. Statistically, at least, Sudan is likely to get quite a bit richer without the comparatively impoverished south.