Chatter: London's new prince, the Pope does Brazil and bad horse. Very bad.




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The cost of war. The United States' highest military officer has put a price on intervention in Syria's civil war. According to Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Barack Obama's principal advisor on such matters, deploying American forces to control chemical weapons, maintain a no-fly zone or take out the Syrian government's military equipment would in each case run to $1 billion a month, if not more.

The cheapest option by far, Dempsey writes in his assessment, is training Syria's armed opposition — a snip at $500 million per year. But experience has taught that the true cost of America's involvement in wars beyond its borders can't always be added up on a balance sheet, he admits. If the US is seriously considering military intervention in Syria, Dempsey says, "we must anticipate and be prepared for the unintended consequences of our action." 


The royal he. Not since the days of Henry VIII has the birth of a new prince been greeted with such excitement (and that turned pretty well, didn't it?). After months of collective baby brain, Kate Middleton gave birth to a son who one day — provided Brits haven't finally fallen out of love with the monarchy by the time he outlives his great-grandmother, grandfather and father — will be king.

But for now, he's just another kid. As the world places its bets on names (the smart money's on George) and hunkers down for 18-odd years of vaguely creepy media coverage, here's a baby shower for some other newborns who share a birthday, but nothing else, with the little prince

The Pope does Rio. In Brazil, Catholics are going wild as only Catholics can for Pope Francis, who has begun his first overseas trip as pontiff in the Latin American nation. Tens of thousands of believers gathered to welcome him to Rio de Janiero yesterday, thronging toward the small, open car he favors instead of the Popemobile.

Later the pilgrims were replaced with protesters as Brazilians, still in the midst of a nationwide rally movement, decried the cost of his visit. But for a pope who declares that "a Christian who is not a revolutionary today isn't a Christian," that's presumably no bad thing. As he tours a region that's both the world's most Catholic and one of its most unequal, will Francis prove himself a radical at heart

Will Motown get its groove back? Stranger things have happened. Detroit may be the biggest US city to go bankrupt, its population may have shrunk to a fraction of its former size and its unemployment and murder rates may be soaring, but other cities have gone through worse — and come out the other side.

GlobalPost presents seven unthinkable urban comebacks that prove, no matter where, you can't keep a good city down.


It's called a drive-through. The only time you'll catch a horse in a fast-food restaurant is if it's between two buns. McDonald's has declared equine eaters unwelcome at its branches in the UK, after one woman attempted to enter one of its drive-throughs on horseback.

Irate when staff denied her service, she actually succeeded in galloping into the restaurant itself, where her steed, um, relieved himself on the floor. She's since been fined by police for causing "obvious distress and upset to customers trying to eat."