Chatter: Kenya gets a new president




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Kenya under Kenyatta once more. Uhuru Kenyatta, son of Kenya's first president Jomo Kenyatta, was inaugurated today as Kenya's fourth. Watched in Nairobi by tens of thousands of supporters and foreign dignitaries, Kenyatta swore on his father's bible to "be faithful and bear true allegiance" to the country he now leads.

The shadow over the ceremony was the International Criminal Court charges against both Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, in connection with post-election violence five years ago. The new president is due in The Hague to answer the accusations later this year. Until he does, Western nations find themselves in the awkward position of wanting to bolster ties with secular, democratic Kenya while being confined to only "essential" contact with ICC indictees.

Get out while you can. Thus spake Pyongyang, which has warned foreigners across the border in South Korea to leave before it does anything crazy. North Korea's ironically named Asia-Pacific Peace Committee says the Korea peninsula is "inching close to a thermonuclear war," in which event "we don't want foreigners living in South Korea to fall victim." (How about not starting a thermonuclear war then? We quibble.)

No foreign organizations have yet heeded the advice, but another of North Korea's neighbors is already making ready: Japan has deployed anti-missile systems at multiple locations in Tokyo to protect the capital from any incoming missiles from the northwest. Japan isn't seriously considered a target, but if North Korea attempts to fire anything over it into the Pacific, Tokyo says there's no question it will aim to shoot it down.


Margaret Thatcher's final farewell. Downing Street has announced that the former British prime minister, who died yesterday following a stroke, will receive her official send-off on April 17. Thatcher will be commemorated at St. Paul's Cathedral in London with full military honors, in a funeral service attended by the Queen.

She's already had dozens of unofficial send-offs all over the UK, of course, by those who remember her free-market, anti-union, euroskeptic policies less than fondly. The Iron Lady may be gone; her legacy certainly isn't.

Serbian shooting spree. Thirteen people are dead after a gunman's door-to-door rampage in a village south of Belgrade. The suspect, identified as a local man, shot dead six men, six women and one two-year-old boy before turning the gun on himself and his wife. Both survived, though remain in serious condition.

Village police say they're stunned by the shooting, for which they haven't been able to identify any motive. Tragically, it was only because the shooter was perceived as such a "good neighbor" that the victims let him into their homes in the early hours, with fatal results. The investigation continues.


What an adorable pet... ferret. Pleased with the poodle you bought for cheap? Is it unusually strong? With creepy rat eyes? Congratulations, you're the proud owner of a ferret on drugs.

According to reports from Argentina, pet sellers at Buenos Aires' largest bazaar are passing off ferrets (bargainous) as pedigree dogs (ruinous). Vets who've studied the animals say they're standard white ferrets that've been fed steroids since birth to increase their size. Cute, not so much, but do bear in mind that the Adopt a Ferret website says that ferrets can be "playful" and "affectionate."