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News in Brief: 2 June 2009

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A brief list of news clippings for the day:

Cyber Insurgency Rattles Regime. Egyptian cyber-dissidents are becoming increasing vocal in their online criticism of President Hosni Mubarak’s regime, utilising a widening repertoire of Internet networking and publishing tools to expose government abuses. (IPS)

UN War Crimes Commission enters Gaza June 1, 2009. After Israel refused to grant the team headed by the highly respected Judge Richard Goldstone access to Gaza via Israel, the group entered Gaza today, June 1, 2009, via Egypt. Israel notes that “it is impossible to cooperate” with Goldstone because there is no way the findings may be objective, given the alleged inherent bias of the United Nations Human Rights Council that appointed Goldstone and the other members of his group. (From the Field)

Kim Jong-il ‘names son as successor’. The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-il, has named his youngest son as his successor, South Korean newspaper reports said today , the latest in a series of dramatic developments in the world’s most secretive state. (Guardian)

Dozens arrested after further unrest in Iranian city. Dozens of people have been arrested after deadly sectarian unrest in the Iranian city of Zahedan only ten days before the country goes to the polls, a judicial official said on Tuesday. (Dawn)

Iranian former president clashes with Ahmadinejad. Iran’s reformist former president demanded on Tuesday that hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad apologise for calling his predecessor’s suspension of the country’s nuclear enrichment program “disgraceful.” The demand by former president Mohammad Khatami is part of campaign rhetoric and verbal duelling ahead of the June 12 presidential election. (Gulf News)

Sarkozy to meet Iran’s Foreign Minister. French President Nicolas Sarkozy will meet Iran’s foreign minister on Wednesday to discuss Tehran’s nuclear programme, in rare talks between a leader of a major power and a senior Iranian politician. (Dawn)

The IMF is Back? Think Again. Last year, as the financial crisis reached global and historic proportions, many commentators identified one institution as the debacle’s great winner: the International Monetary Fund. Just two years ago, the IMF seemed to be on an inexorable downward path: its credibility and effectiveness in question, its portfolio of borrowers severely reduced, its legitimacy and governance structure under challenge, and its own finances in disarray. In fact, the Fund had started “downsizing” its staff as the only way to avoid running one of the deficits that it so strongly advises client countries to steer away from. (Foreign Policy in Focus)

Petraeus: Hizbullah will have no reason to exist. US Central Command Chief General David Petraeus told Al-Hayat newspaper in comments published on Monday that the administration of US President Barack Obama considered Hizbullah a terrorist organization, adding that the party did not participate in fostering stability in Lebanon. “Hizbullah’s justifications for existence will become void if the Palestinian cause is resolved. (Daily Star)

Dozens of Pakistani Cadets Are Rescued. Dozens of students and teachers from a military college were abducted by the Taliban in the mountains of western Pakistan on Monday, according to people from the same minivan convoy who made it to their destination. (New York Times)

Armenia’s Opposition To Boycott Yerevan Assembly. The opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK) has vowed to boycott Yerevan’s newly elected municipal council and reject dialogue with the authorities after what its leader, Levon Ter-Petrosian, called “the ugliest election in Armenia’s history,” according to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service. The National Congress party rejected the official results of the May 31 municipal elections as fraudulent as it rallied an estimated 10,000 supporters in downtown Yerevan the following day. (RFE/RL)

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