GlobalPost Chatter: Zimbabwe's 'farce,' Egypt tenses, and up in smoke in Montevideo?




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After the vote, Zimbabwe's real contest begins. Less than 24 hours after polls closed, sources in President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party were already claiming unofficial victory in yesterday's critical parliamentary and presidential elections. How can they be so sure, you might well wonder. Because they designed it that way, their opponents allege.

Mugabe's chief challenger, Morgan Tsvangirai, has pronounced the election a "huge farce" that should be considered "null and void." Amid reports of polling stations turning away thousands of voters in opposition strongholds, Zimbabwe's largest observer network says the ballot is at the least "seriously compromised." Tsvangirai has appealed to regional authorities to weigh in. His opposition fought a good campaign; what really matters is how hard he fights now.

Countdown to a crackdown. Egypt's interim government says protests in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi are "no longer acceptable." Police can use "all necessary measures" to disperse the sit-ins in Cairo that have persisted throughout the four weeks Morsi has been detained, an official statement has warned.

So far the warning doesn't seem to have deterred Morsi's supporters, who were still said to be flocking to the offending protest camps this morning. With two European envoys freshly arrived and two American ones soon to follow, it would be a risky day to go too far. 


The world's newest pot dealer: Uruguay? For over a year the country has been debating whether to put the government in charge of producing, distributing and selling marijuana, and last night lawmakers came one giant — and probably slightly wobbly — leap closer to making the proposal a reality.

The House of Representatives passed the measure by a narrow majority, ensuring it will go ahead to the Senate. If the upper house passes it, Uruguay will become the world's first government to grow its own green. It would be a landmark in Latin America's burning legalization debate. So why are stoners so peeved?

There's more to North Korea than Kim Jong Un. Since the 1940s, the Kim dynasty has survived three generations ruling over its loving, long-suffering citizens. But under whichever Kim is dictacting, a pantheon of power players works quietly to run the country — and in a nation where changes in fortune are sudden, often and brutal, these elites know better than anyone how to work the system. 

Allow GlobalPost to introduce you to the cabal that really runs North Korea.


The greatest speech the Queen never gave. No offense, Your Maj, but there are times we're glad you kept quiet: like when you didn't tell us World War III had broken out and we were all going to die, oh heavens, all of us, horribly. Back in 1983, when President Ronald Reagan was flinging around terms like "evil empire" and NATO was pretending to prepare a nuclear strike, mutually assured destruction looked like an all-too-real possibility, and Buckingham Palace wanted to be prepared. So, in between kitting out the royal bunker, Queen Elizabeth II's aides found time to draft the speech she would deliver if the worst should happen — and now, for the first time, the text has been declassified.

"Now this madness of war is once more spreading through the world and our brave country must again prepare itself to survive against great odds," we would have heard her say. Be thankful this draft remained just that.