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Chatter: What we're hearing

Need to know: Turnout appears to be strong in Iraq's second elections Sunday, although bombs have killed at least 35 people. Two buildings were destroyed in Baghdad and dozens of mortars were fired across the city and elsewhere. The border with Iran was closed, thousands of troops were deployed, and vehicles were banned from roads.

Want to know: The Red Cross and the United Nations launched a campaign Sunday to eradicate polio in west and central Africa with plans to vaccinate 85 million children. Some 400,000 health workers and volunteers will go from door-to-door giving oral polio vaccine to children under the age of five. The latest polio epidemic began in Nigeria in 2008, and nine countries in west and central Africa have recently reported cases.

Dull but important: Iceland's voters have resoundingly rejected a $5.3 billion plan to repay Britain and the Netherlands for debts spawned by the collapse of an Icelandic bank. According to results released Sunday, more than 93 percent of voters said "no" in Saturday's ballot, while only 1.8 percent voted "yes," according to a count of all but 2,500 of the 143,784 votes cast.

Just because: The Seychelles islands are some of the most beautiful on earth. But they are threatened by the rising level of the Indian Ocean due to global warming.

Wacky: Watch out for the flying flour! A town in Greece marks the beginning of lent by throwing brightly colored flour at everything and everybody. This photo gallery shows the colorful but messy event.

And just in case you're thinking of going to Rio's famous carnaval next year, read this lively account of the wild event.

http://www.globalpost.com/notebook/general/100307/chatter-what-were-hearing