Tony Blair is kind of sorry about the Islamic State

GlobalPost
Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in central London on July 7, 2015. 
JACK TAYLOR

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Need to know:

Britain's ex-leader Tony Blair has apologized (again) for mistakes he made during the Iraq War — they received faulty intelligence, they messed up planning and they failed to fully appreciate what would happen when they removed Saddam Hussein from power. Sorry. 

What Blair has made a point of not apologizing for is removing Saddam in the first place. "I find it hard to apologize for removing Saddam," Blair told CNN. "I think, even from today in 2015, it is better that he's not there than that he is there."

Is it spin? Maybe. His critics think so. They see it as Blair's attempt to temper the criticisms that are likely headed his way when the much-delayed inquiry into the Iraq War finally goes public.

But still, Blair has apologized for all these things before. What is more noteworthy about his remarks is the fact that he has finally connected the removal of Saddam to the rise of the Islamic State. There's an "element of truth" to that, he said. Indeed. 

Until now, Blair had refused to link the two, insisting instead that sending Western troops to Iraq would undermine jihadists. But 12 years later, he appears more wrong than ever, according to the Guardian. At least now he's admitting it. 

Want to know:

With what’s supposed to be the freest vote in decades looming on Nov. 8, Myanmar is awash in election mania. In the case of Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition party, the National League for Democracy (NLD), those rallies include rap.

“All of the hip-hop artists and rappers stand on the side of Aung San Suu Kyi,” said Anegga, one of several vocalists who feature on an increasingly popular campaign song, called "Fighting Peacock NLD," which was released about a month ago. It's pretty catchy, right?

In Myanmar, it’s not surprising that rappers and reggae artists are getting involved in politics. In contrast to US rap lyrics, which are often about drug-fueled street life, violence and sex, Y.A.K., the two-girl rap duo from Myanmar, sings about how women should "wipe away the notion of the weaker sex.”

“As such, it echoes the underclass' pent-up anger, flaunts its jarring beats at the authorities, and mocks the quasi-civilian government's false pretenses. They are rebels with an earnest cause," writes blogger Kenneth Wong.

For these earnest rebels, that cause is NLD.

Strange but true

Want to get high abroad? There's a travel guide for you. 

Webehigh.org's user-submitted tips are a mix of practical, foolhardy, and sometimes harrowing stories of the search for weed in some of the world’s unlikeliest corners. 

Most tips advise discretion (Manama, Bahrain: “Be cool when smoking don’t make it obvious”), safety (Phnom Penh, Cambodia: “Always check to see if your driver is high”) and occasionally dubious racial profiling (Rome: “Find a few Moroccans. Many of them have family/friends who deal.”)

Most often, travelers are urged to follow their instinct for fellow aficionados, from Edinburgh, UK (“Ask any likely looking guy”) to Islamabad, Pakistan (“just get into a cab and ask the cab driver if he looks like he’s cool”).

“The only guaranteed way to score bud anywhere is to be social and make connections,” the site reads. “Being open about cannabis can have positive results.”

But be careful. Not every country is Uruguay — which became the first nation to completely legalize the drug in 2013 — and the open quest for cannabis can also have terrible results. In some of the countries, possession of a joint can be punished with lengthy prison terms or death.