Alarmed at declining population statistics, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has announced a plan to boost the Russian birth rate. Sorry, what's that? No, no, he's not—well, certainly not personally, though we see why you might make that mistake. No, his plan is to, uhm, pump some $53 billion into programs designed to "[raise] the birth rate and [extend] life expectancy," such as providing free photos of a shirtless Putin astride a horse to any household containing a fertile young woman. Putin's announcement came during an address widely seen as positioning the former president for next year's elections, in which he may run for his old office; the Russian leader gave the speech while wrestling two bears. [BBC]