Salman Taseer’s life came to a tragic and premature end on 4 January, when the governor of Pakistan’s Punjab Province was gunned down in broad daylight, by one of his security guards. The assassin, Constable Mumtaz Qadri, quickly turned himself in to authorities, and made clear that he killed Taseer simply because the governor had vociferously called for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws—stringent legislation that makes it illegal for anyone to insult Islam, and prescribes the death penalty for those who do.
He had yet to serve a single day as Florida’s newest Senator, but already exhortations of “Marco Rubio, Presidente” emanated from crowds at his campaign victory party. Four years after becoming Florida’s youngest-ever speaker of the state legislature, riding a wave of Tea Party support and capitalizing on a divided Republican electorate, on 2 November Marco Rubio beat out former Governor Charlie Christ and was elected to serve as Florida’s junior Senator in the 112th US Congress.
Richard Holbrooke’s impact on American foreign policy is immeasurable. From Vietnam to Bosnia, Holbrooke had made himself indispensable to the American government. However, this unique diplomat will likely be most remembered for his role in Afghanistan. His experience in diplomacy and natural understanding of conflict zones make him very difficult to replace at a time when the US perhaps needs him most.