A Horse-Riding PM, Squabbling Aussies, and 'Bailout' Sudoku

Hillary Clinton with Christine Lagarde. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

WOMEN IN THE WORLD (BANK) Has Christine Lagarde’s elevation to head of the International Monetary Fund spurred a copycat response at the Other Place? With the departure of Robert Zoellick from the helm (no, there was no room service involved), World Bank watchers have zeroed in on three American women who might succeed him: Ambassador Susan Rice, last seen spanking Syria at the U.N.; Indra Nooyi, the big fizz at PepsiCo; and Lael Brainard, a senior Treasury official. Of course, the woman everyone thinks will get the job is the one who says she isn’t interested: Hillary Clinton.

HORSE OF THE WEEK: Raisa, a mare, who has given us the most compelling equine narrative in British history since Richard III. The horse once belonged to the London Metropolitan Police, which loaned her—controversially—to Rebekah Brooks, when she was editor of News of the World. After news broke of Brooks’s horse trading with the police, Prime Minister David Cameron was compelled to issue a statement confessing an acquaintance with Raisa. Not many newspaper headlines will better this one, in The Telegraph: “David Cameron admits riding Rebekah Brooks’s police horse.”

MOST BORING TWEET IN HISTORY? From the Twitter account of India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh. @PMOIndia: “Proposals by National Commission for Macroeconomics & Health and the High Level Expert Group set up by Planning Commission to roll out soon.”

BERTH CONTROL The rapidly capsizing relations between Argentina and Britain plumbed new depths when two British-flagged cruise liners were refused docking at the Argentine port city of Ushuaia. The behemoths had visited Port Stanley, in the disputed Falkland Islands, on their way to Argentina. Irate business owners in Ushuaia, denied an invasion of 3,250 free-spending vacationers, accused authorities of “economic suicide.”

BRAINTEASERS An alert cameraman caught Wolfgang Schäuble, Germany’s finance minister, playing a surreptitious game of Sudoku on his iPad during a parliamen-tary debate on a bailout for Greece. “It never hurts to do braintea-sers,” a fellow politician tut-tutted. “However, you should ask yourself when the timing is appropriate.” Others might ask whether Schäuble was really so off base. How different is the rescue of Greece—in effect, the shuffling of numbers from one column to another—from Sudoku?

A GIANT STEP FOR TURKMENKIND State-run media have declared an “era of supreme happiness of the stable state” in Turk-menistan. This rather enviable condition is a direct consequence of the reelection of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with 97 percent of the vote—in contrast to the cliffhanger of 2008, when he won by only 89 percent.

gurbanguly-berdymukhammedov-nb20 Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov. Igor Sasin / AFP-Getty Images

JUST A WEE DRAM Turkey has unveiled an eye-catching new symbol for its currency, the lira. “This signifies the Turkish lira gaining prestige, the revival of a nation, the expression that we too exist in the global arena,” declared a rightly proud Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the country’s prime minister. His delight, however, was likely to have been short-lived: killjoy Turkish bloggers wasted no time in pointing out that the new symbol was remarkably similar to that of the dram, the currency of Armenia.

THUNDER DOWN UNDER There are few parties in the democratic world more given to internecine blood sport than Australia’s Labour, whose leader, Prime Minister Julia Gillard, found herself under challenge by Kevin Rudd, her foreign minister. Rudd, famously described as a man “only liked by people who have never met him,” was himself defenestrated by Gillard in 2010. In last week’s party vote, she clobbered him by a vote of 71 to 31. Fair dinkum, as the Aussies say.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION Where the Financial Times ran its story of James Murdoch’s resignation as executive chairman of News Corp.’s U.K. newspapers: on page 1, above the fold. Where The Wall Street Journal (proprietor: James’s daddy) ran the same story: page B2.

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