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August 27th, 2009
World Links: World Mourns Senator Ted Kennedy; Dalai Lama to Visit Typhoon-stricken Taiwan

The Irish and South Africans mourn the death of Senator Ted Kennedy, calling him a “comrade and a friend in the fight for liberation.” Prominent Canadians pay tribute to Ted Kennedy as a longstanding ally, and note his refusal to invade Iraq. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praises Kennedy as “the voice of the voiceless and the defender of many defenseless people.”

Thousands gather in Tehran to mourn the death of a leading Iraqi Shi’ite cleric and politician, whose passing may intensify political turmoil ahead of Iraq’s national elections. Abdul Aziz al-Hakim headed the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council, one of Iraq’s most powerful Shi’ite parties. Several car bombs erupt in Baghdad ahead of the return of his body to the city for a funeral procession there.

The outgoing head of the U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur defends his soldiers against persistent criticism of their effectiveness, and insists they have ended the massacres that long plagued the Sudanese region.

Hours after Taiwan’s president announces a planned trip by the Dalai Lama to Taiwan, Chinese officials say they oppose the visit. China accuses him of advocating independence for Tibet. The Dalai Lama is expected to visit some areas in southern Taiwan that were hardest hit by Typhoon Morakot.

Afghan officials delay releasing further results from the nation’s disputed presidential election, and analysts expect the contest to undergo a second round. With 17 percent of votes counted, President Hamid Karzai leads his main rival, former foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah, by about 43 percent to 34 percent. The final tally is expected in late September.

China launches a national organ donation system in a bid to shake off its dependence on executed prisoners as a major source of organs for transplants and as part of efforts to crack down on organ trafficking. The system will mainly be operated by the Red Cross Society of China, and begins as a pilot project in 10 provinces and cities.

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