The much-missed, long-un-updated World's Hottest Heads of State is updated at last! Plenty of familiar faces still there, and the basic rule that democracies produce better-looking leaders still holds true. Syria's Bashar al Assad, now embroiled in civil war, still wins the award for Longest Neck. King Jigme Wangchuck of Bhutan still wins Mr. Sensitive. And Joseph Kabila of DR Congo still wins the Don't Mess With Me award. But there are plenty of new faces too: At #1
is, for a few more days at least, Thailand's embattled but extremely photogenic Yingluck Shinawatra. Here's hoping things end better for her than they did for the previous #1
leader, Ukraine's Yulia Tymoshenko. And there are many things to criticize about the administration of Nigeria's Goodluck Jonathan - but one thing that's beyond any criticism is his hat. Iran has finally elected a leader with Appropriate Facial Hair, replacing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Crazy Street Preacher scruff-and-stubble with Hassan Rouhani's more avuncular, and fuller, Rutherford B. Hayes look. The Vatican has a less scary-looking Pope. And North Korea's last-place leader, Kim Jong-Il, has gone to his eternal reward, his place (still dead last) taken by his equally unprepossessing son, Kim Jong Un.
Some honorable mentions: Egghead Division: Michel Martelly of Haiti; Looking Most Comfortable in Traditional Dress: Qaboos bin Said al Said of Oman; Agent Coulson Look-Alike Contest: Albert II of Monaco; Twinkliest: Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia.