Ahmadinejad ready to be the first Iranian in space

A bold claim from the Iranian president:

"I am ready to be the first human to be sent to space by Iranian scientists," Ahmadinejad said on Monday, on the sidelines of an exhibition of space achievements in Tehran, according to the Mehr news agency.

"Sending living things into space is the result of Iranian efforts and the dedication of thousands of Iranian scientists."

 

Ahmadinejad might want to be careful, given that it now appears there was at least a bit of fakery involved in last week's monkey launch. Officials have confirmed the monkey shown in photos after the launch was not the same one that was shot into the thermosphere. Iran's space agency maintains that the original simian astronaut is alive and well, but if I were a president with as many enemies as Ahmadinejad, I wouldn't be so eager to follow in the monkey's footsteps. 

Passport

Monsieur Hollande's opus

French President Francois Hollande landed in Mali Saturday, and received a hero's welcome in Timbuktu, which until recently was a jihadist stronghold. Can you imagine a U.S. president doing this?

Hollande was greeted by Malians sporting shirts with the flags of both countries and banners reading “Thank You France” before being presented with a camel and wading into a crowd in the desert city. He was accompanied by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Development Minister Pascal Canfin.

Apparently the camel was extremely vocal in his support for the French leader, as you can see from this video.

The Washington Post editorial board asks: Is this Hollande's "Mission Accomplished" moment? My question: What is he going to do with the camel?

FRED DUFOUR/AFP/Getty Images