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Kaczynski twin to run for president of Poland

Former Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the identical twin brother of late Polish President Lech Kaczynski, has announced that he will run for the presidency:

The BBC's Adam Easton in Warsaw says his brother could benefit from a significant sympathy vote in the wake of the tragedy. Parliamentary Speaker Bronislaw Komorowski, who became acting head of state after the crash, had been preparing to run against Lech Kaczynski.

Opinion polls have suggested that Mr Komorowski will defeat Mr Kaczynski in the snap election on June 20. The election was called after the president, his wife and 94 senior officials were killed in a plane crash in Russia on 10 April.

If elected president, Kaczynski would also face up against Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who defeated him in a 2007 election.

WOJTEK RADWANSKI/AFP/Getty Images

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The comedy stylings of Jim Jones

Telling the following joke in public, at a meeting of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy no less, was not National Security Advsor Jim Jones' finest moment in public service:

I'd like to begin with a story that I think is true, a Taliban militant gets lost and is wandering around the desert looking for water. He finally arrives at a store run by a Jew and asks for water. The Jewish vendor tells him he doesn’t have any water but can gladly sell him a tie. The Taliban, the jokes goes on, begins to curse and yell at the Jewish storeowner. The Jew, unmoved, offers the rude militant an idea: Beyond the hill, there is a restaurant; they can sell you water. The Taliban keeps cursing and finally leaves toward the hill. An hour later he’s back at the tie store. He walks in and tells the merchant: “Your brother tells me I need a tie to get into the restaurant.

 

The White House clearly felt uncomfortable with the joke, and edited it out of an official transcript of the event.

Does this mean that that Jones is an anti-Semite? No. But it was an unnecessary and frankly stupid move that has the potential to do an awful lot of damage to both his career and his administration's credibility. Assuming Jones gets the chance to speak on behalf of the U.S. government again, he's probably better off leaving this kind of material to Jackie Mason.