June 4th, 2009
World Links: Police Prevent Commemorations in Tiananmen Square, Opposition Accuses Iranian President of Tainting Country's Image

President Barack Obama calls for “a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world” in a long-awaited speech to the Muslim world delivered at Cairo University in Egypt. Reactions from leaders in the Muslim world are largely positive, with many calling the speech a good start, but awaiting action from the new American president.

Hundreds of police are deployed in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square on the 20th anniversary of the violent crackdown on a pro-democracy demonstration that left hundreds dead, preventing any protests or memorials, and barring foreign journalists from entering the square. In largely autonomous Hong Kong, 150,000 people attend a candlelit vigil to mark the anniversary, the only such commemoration in China.

Another 20th anniversary is marked in Poland, where international leaders gather to commemorate the first democratic elections in communist Eastern Europe.

Voting begins in European Union elections; turnout is expected to be low, with voters more focused on local rather than Europe-wide issues.

In a televised debate, Iranian presidential candidate Hossein Mousavi accuses President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of tainting the country’s image with his Holocaust denial and other extremist views.

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