Week in Review

Feb 10, 2014, 4:45 PM EST
Deputy Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Kozak, U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst and Russian President Vladimir Putin visit the USA House in the Olympic Village on February 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for USOC

-- A win for Shinzo Abe's favored candidate in the Tokyo gubernatorial election suggests that the Prime Minister's hawkish brand of global politics is working -- and that the issue of the Fukushima disaster, which the opposition hoped to used against him, is less political powerful than previously imagined. Matt Taylor looks at the intersection of political and nuclear power. 

-- Is a uniform wireless charging standard on the horizon? Can a new wireless alliance conquer on of the thorniest obtsacles in personal tech? Juliana Kenny examines the possiblity that a new lineup of industry heayweights might be able to help us say goodbye to the insanely counterproductive operability standards plaguing the sector and innovate an approach to wider standardization. 

-- The OECD admitted this week that its forecasts about growth, especially in the euro zone, were significantly wrong. It's bad enough, writes Alex Erquicia, that a major international economics body made such a serious series of errors, but worse still is the fact that the organization's bad data may have spurred further austerity pain among E.U. nations. 

-- Sochi isn't the only international sport venue suffering in the gloval spotlight at the moment. Qatar, which plans to host the 2022 World Cup, has come under serious human rights fire for its use of foreign contract workers to build a massive soccer stadium. Their recent effort to lay out a rights charter for these workers is insufficient, says Lora Moftah -- and it highlights how widepsread the worker-rights issue is among all Gulf nations. 

- After months of controversy and discussion stemming from Edward Snowden's NSA leaks, major tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are formally petitioning the U.S. government to tweak its surveillance practices, writes Julianna Kenny, though getting a petition before the government and securing an overhaul of national security policies are very different things.

- Just as Japan's new government under P.M. Shinzo abe is asserting a more muscular role in the region, industry experts say the Eastern giant's whisky sales are skyrocketing as it secures a hold on the high-end market across the globe, as Egmont Labadie reports.

- Led by an elusive Francis Bacon portrait, the Post-War and Contemporary evening sale (the last of the season) at Christie's raked in over $200 million, Judd Tully reports, far outpacing totals from a year ago.

- Egyptian General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has not formally announced his candidacy for president, but a high-profile visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday where uncomfortable subjects like his seizure of power and harsh crackdowns on Islamist backers of ousted President Mohammed Morsi did not come up suggests it's just a matter of time, Lora Moftah writes.

- And after a spate of positive press stemming from an IMF loan and a progressive constitution, Tunisia is back in the headlines for all the wrong reasons: the resumption of a two-year-old rape trial for two police officers, as Lara Vergnaud explains.