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August 3rd, 2009
World Links: Ahmadinejad Begins Second Term, Pakistani Christians Close Schools Amid Mob Violence

Iran’s supreme leader formally endorses Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for a second term as president in a ceremony that many prominent critics of the disputed election declined to attend. The president vows Iran will have a stronger global presence in his second term. A mass trial of protesters who opposed the contested election between Ahmadinejad and Mir Hossein Mousavi began on Saturday. Nearly 3,000 people were arrested during the protests, and advocates say their confessions are forced.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton begins a seven-nation visit to Africa. Her first stop is Kenya for a forum on trade and investment with senior officials from 41 African nations.  Experts say by next year, China will likely overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest investor in Africa.

In a scene that recalls her leadership during the Philippine democracy movement in the 1980’s, tens of thousands thousands attend a funeral procession for former President Corazon Aquino. Thousands more grieve online. Aquino died Saturday of a cardiac arrest after suffering from colon cancer. She defeated dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1987 and is credited with restoring democracy to the Philippines.

Christians in Pakistan close their schools for three days to protest the killings of at least seven members of their community by Muslims who stormed a Christian section of the eastern city of Gojra on Saturday. Spurred by reports that Christians had desecrated a Quran, Muslims burned burned dozens of houses as police failed to intervene.

After returning from a fact-finding mission in Honduras, the head of a London-based media rights group says dozens of Honduran journalists and human rights activists have been attacked or threatened with violence by the military and supporters of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Three Zelaya supporters have been killed since the June 28 coup. More protests are planned this week.

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