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Chatter: What we're hearing

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Need to know: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was sworn in as Iran's president on Wednesday, nearly two months after a disputed election that led to massive protests. The leaders of the U.S., France, Britain, Italy and Germany have decided not to congratulate Ahmadinejad on his re-election but the White House acknowledged that Ahmadinejad was Iran's "elected leader."

Want to know: China is attempting to reform its sprawling and troubled health care system, which was once a model of low-cost, efficient delivery that served hundreds of millions of people. Today access is often severely limited in rural areas and even major urban centers struggle with adequate funding and care.

Dull but important: A U.S. senator rejected a plan to issue a report affirming that Mexico is respecting human rights in its war against drug traffickers, delaying the release of millions of dollars in U.S. anti-narcotics assistance. There is pressure on Mexican President Felipe Calderon to revise his U.S.-backed anti-narcotics strategy, which relies heavily on the military to fight the cartels.

Just because: The world of espionage lies at the heart of the mythology of the Cold War. So did intelligence make the Cold War hotter or colder? It's difficult to know, says the BBC. And recently, a pair of nuclear-powered Russian attack submarines has been patrolling off the U.S. coast, a rare mission that echoes the Cold War and has raised concerns among intelligence agencies.

Wacky: Israel is set to name an infamous former garbage dump after former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Matt Rees revels in the irony.

 

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