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July 6th, 2009
World Links: Ethnic Violence in China, U.S. and Russia Sign Arms Agreement

Long-standing ethnic tensions between the Uighurs, a Turkic-speaking Muslim group, and the majority Han Chinese cause the largest ethnic clash in China since March of 2008. At least 140 people are killed and at least 800 are injured after a riot on Sunday by about 1,000 Uighurs in a large market area in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region. Xinjiang Public Security Department reports the arrests of several hundred riot participants and witnesses describe an increase in security measures in downtown Urumqi.

U.S. President Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign a joint statement that supports a “new, comprehensive, legally binding agreement on reducing and limiting strategic offensive arms to replace the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which expires on December 5, 2009.” The agreement requires both countries to reduce their strategic warheads to between 1,500 to 1,675 and warhead-delivering missiles to between 500 and 1,000.

Honduran authorities prevent ousted President Jose Manuel Zelaya, traveling from Washington with United Nations General Assembly president Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann and a few advisers, from landing in the capital of Teguicigalpa. Zelaya lands in the capital city of El Salvador, San Salvador, after a stop in Managua, Nicaragua, to refuel and meet with allies Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. One Zelaya supporter is killed and at least eight people are injured in a confrontation with national soldiers on the tarmac in Tegucigalpa while awaiting the former president’s arrival, according to rescue officials.

Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi, the head of Iran’s judiciary, calls for a suppression of Iranian television and Internet media that is critical of the government. Iranian state television quotes Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi as saying, in an address to the judiciary, “[t]hose who co-operate with such websites and television channels will face prosecution.”

Former Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara dies at the age of 93. He is known mostly for his role in leading the U.S. into war with Vietnam. He also directed hundreds of military missions from 1961 to 1968 under Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, and increased the role of the defense secretary in domestic and international affairs.

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