Chatter: Iran votes




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Iran will get a new president, oh yes, it will. Today, for the first time since 2009 and its ultimately doomed "Green Revolution," Iranians are voting to decide who will lead their government for the next four years. One thing's for sure: it won't be Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Just how new the new president will be, though, is doubtful. With only six candidates remaining after two pulled out, and those left almost exclusively alligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's voters might just find themselves replacing Ahmadinejad with Ahmadinejad 2.0. And don't expect a Green Revolution 2.0 to follow: according to observers, the powerful Khamenei has spent months intensifying repression to prevent a repeat of 2009.

Comrades in arms. The US has announced that it will send direct military aid to Syrian rebels, after obtaining what it believes is proof that President Bashar al-Assad's forces have used chemical weapons against them.

Other countries that have been waiting for just that cue, including the UK, have welcomed the decision. UN officials, the 93,000 deaths the war has already caused fresh in their minds, remain cautious; and in Russia, the only major country still fighting anywhere near Assad's corner, at least one lawmaker has reminded the US that it once justified another intervention by claiming, wrongly, that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons in Iraq.


Gezi Park is safe—for now. Turkey's government has agreed to suspend plans to redevelop Istanbul's beloved park, at least until a court rules whether or not the scheme is legal. And even if they decide it is, Ankara assures, the public will still be given a chance to vote it down.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the decision after late-night talks with a delegation of protesters. The group described the proposal as "positive"—but aren't due to give their final verdict until later today.

Don't go West, young man. Edward Snowden is persona non grata in the UK, according to a travel warning issued by the British government. London has reportedly ordered airports around the world not to let the American whistleblower onto any Britain-bound planes.

Snowden's options certainly look limited, though he's not making many efforts to keep off the authorities' radar. Holed up in Hong Kong, he's been throwing around accusations that the US government regularly hacks Chinese computers—accusations that risk getting him in trouble with his temporary hosts. Here's why the now infamous leaker might be wise to keep his mouth shut

And the world's top tourist city is... Bangkok? With no coastline, gridlocked streets, stray dogs aplenty and regular monsoon deluges, the Thai capital doesn't seem like a likely candidate for the world's most visited city. And yet Bangkok is projected to attract 15.9 million tourists in 2013, putting it ahead of even vacation mainstays London and Paris. 

GlobalPost tracks down what makes Bangkok everyone's new favorite destination


Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, and it's not Superman either: it's Capitan Mengano, or "Captain Everyman," Argentina's very own homegrown superhero. Masked and be-caped, he patrols the streets of Buenos Aires fightin' crime and makin' the ladies swoon.

Watch him in action here. Like any true superhero, his true identity is a secret; so any mild-mannered reporters out there, keep that shirt buttoned, those glasses on, and the Y-fronts inside your pants.