Chatter: Malala sent to UK to recover from Taliban shooting




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Need to know:
Malala Yousafzai
will continue her recovery from the Taliban's bullets in the UK.

The 14-year-old Pakistani activist has been flown to Britain for specialized medical care, six days after gunmen shot her and two classmates on their way home from school. Taliban members have said they were "forced" to carry out the hit because Yousafzai refused to stop speaking out against them.

Their attack left Malala with damage to her skull and brain. She will shortly be arriving at a British hospital to begin intensive rehabilitation, but the road to recovery, both physical and psychological, is expected to be long.

Want to know:
Cambodia is mourning its iconic former king, Norodom Sihanouk, who died in Beijing early this morning. He was 89.

Sihanouk, known to Cambodians as the "King Father," came to the throne in 1941 and saw his country through some of the biggest upheavals in its history. His 60 years of influence, interrupted by periods of house arrest and exile, spanned independence from France to the Khmer Rouge's brutal regime and the slow recovery from civil war, and he remained a figure of moral authority even after his abdication due to ill health in 2004.

"King Sihanouk did not belong to his family," said his assistant and fellow royal, Prince Sisowath Thomico, "he belonged to Cambodia and to history."

Sihanouk's son, current king Norodom Sihamoni, has flown to China to collect his father's body in preparation for a full royal funeral in Phnom Penh.

Dull but important:
United Nations peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has called on Iran to help bring about a ceasefire in Syria for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha, which starts in about 10 days' time.

Brahimi has just visited Iran, where the government has been unambiguous in its support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and against foreign military intervention. Today he appealed to religious, not political, feelings, asking Tehran to help achieve a truce during what's one of the holiest Muslim festivals.

It's hard to believe that this request, unlike so many before it, will be heeded. Now in its 19th month, Syria's civil war has killed an estimated 32,000 people.

Just because:
Once again, no one has won the Mo Ibrahim prize for African leadership.

The $5-million prize is supposed to be awarded each year to a democratically elected African leader who showed excellent leadership and a commitment to good governance, and who has voluntarily left office. But in six years since the prize was established, there have been only three winners. (Hey, "nobody" has won the Nobel Peace Prize 19 times, too.)

"If we said, 'we're going to have a prize for exceptional leadership,' we have to stick to that. We are not going to compromise," says the prize's eponymous founder, Sudanese telecom entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim.

It seems exceptional economists are easier to find. As Ibrahim was defending yet another barren year, the Swedish Academy of Sciences was awarding the 2012 Nobel for Economics to US academics Alvin Roth and Lloyd Shapley, for "the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design."

Strange but true:
He's only gone and done it: after much hype and many delays, Felix Baumgartner of Austria has broken the sound barrier and several world records by skydiving from the edge of space.

He leapt out of a pressurized capsule at 128,100 feet, plummeted faster than the speed of sound at 833.9 miles per hour, deployed his parachute and landed safely in the New Mexico desert. The whole jump took around nine minutes, almost half of which was spent – horrifyingly – in free-fall.

The stunt won Baumgartner the record for highest jump, longest free-fall, and most-watched live stream: more than eight million people tuned in on YouTube to watch him do what only one person has yet been crazy enough to try.