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June 22nd, 2009
World Links: Bombs in Baghdad Ahead of U.S. Pullout, Support for Conservatives to Replace U.K.'s Labour Speaker

Iranian riot police fire tear gas to break up a new opposition rally in the center of Tehran, hours after a stern warning to protesters. At least 24 journalists covering the unrest are arrested. The country’s highest electoral authority, the Guardian Council, acknowledges that “votes collected in 50 cities surpass the number of people eligible to cast ballots in those areas.”

Four bombs explode in Baghdad, killing at least 20 in mostly Shia areas, and continuing a rise in violence throughout Iraq as U.S. troops prepare to pullout from urban areas there by the end of June.

Insurgents attack the convoy of Yunus-Bek Yevkurov, the president of Ingushetia, a tiny quasi-autonomous republic on Chechnya’s western border. Yevkurov is said to be in stable condition, but his country is less so as separtists and Islamic fundamentalists gain momentum.

North Korea warns in an editorial published in the Rodong Sinmun newspaper that it will strike at the US if it is attacked, noting it is “proud nuclear power,” and the US should “take a correct look at whom it is dealing with.” The Japanese newspaper, Mainichi Shimbun reports the country’s heir apparent Kim Jong-un is working as acting chairman of the National Defense Commission to support his ailing father.

A conservative leads the ongoing and controversial race to replace the U.K.’s House of Commons speaker who was ousted for excessive expense claims. Many Labour party members support the young Tory MP, John Bercow, and his campaign for “reform, for renewal, for revitalisation and for the reassertion of the core values of this great institution in the context of the 21st century.”

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