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Egyptian prime minister takes heat for tweeting about Smurfs

With Egypt's economy entering crisis mode, you'd think government officials would have their hands full. But Prime Minister Hesham Kandil seems to be finding time for the obscure mobile game Smurfs' Village. Or at least that's how his Twitter account made it seem on Monday, when a tweet that may have been automatically generated by the app appeared on his feed, reading "Doctor Smurf prescribes cakes, pies and smurfberries as part of a healthy diet."

The bizarre tweet has since been deleted from his account, but not quickly enough to prevent an inevitable onslaught of snark. The blog Egyptian Chronicles, for instance, ran with the gleeful headline, "The PM of Smurfs Village!!"

One Twitter user blamed the politician's smurf addiction for Egypt's current state of turmoil:

Another pointed out the tweet's problematic public health implications:

Some people, however, were a bit more understanding:

We've blogged before about politicians whose accounts have accidentally been hijacked by apps after their children used their phones to play games. Our advice still applies: In an age where a stray tweet can provoke an almost automatic backlash, politicians should keep their phones out of the hands of their children. Unless, that is, they're playing the games themselves. 

Screenshot of Twitpic

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The U.S. is running out of fancy planes to send to Korea

With each passing day, the United States has met North Korean bellicosity with the deployment of increasingly sophisticated aircraft to the East Asian peninsula. But with Sunday's mobilization of F-22 stealth fighter jets, the U.S. military has quickly hit its ceiling of awe-inspiring next-generation aircraft. Let's review:

1. B-52 Bombers

On March 18, the Pentagon announced the flight of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers in training missions above South Korea. The subsonic, jet-powered bombers may be from Eisenhower's reign, but they're still capable of launching nuclear-armed cruise missiles. In response, the North Korean army threatened to strike U.S. bases in Guam and Japan.

2. B-2 Bombers

Next came the B-2 Spirit bombers on March 28. The stealth bombers, capable of deploying both conventional and nuclear weapons, dropped munitions on a South Korean island and flew back to their home base in Missouri in one trip. Flying the B-2s was a pricey excursion (the planes alone cost $3 billion each), but it didn't stop Pyongyang's provocations. North Korea responded by vowing to nuke Los Angeles, Washington, and other U.S. cities. 

3. F-22

On Sunday, the United States sent F-22 stealth fighter jets to join war games with South Korea. As the Aviationist noted, in the event of an actual invasion, the radar-evading F-22s would likely escort B-2 bombers "after the rain of cruise missiles that would wipe out most of North Korea's air defenses." But the DPRK kept on shouting its "sea of fire" rhetoric. It called for a "sacred war of justice."

So what's left? There's the state-of-the-art F-35, but it's not operational. There's the futuristic-looking V-22 Osprey, but it's not much of a strategic threat. There's the expansive U.S. drone arsenal, but we're already giving those to the South Koreans. It would appear that if U.S. muscle-flexing is to continue, military planners will have to come up with something more creative than dusting off the latest hangar trophies.