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WORLD BRIEFS


AFGHANISTAN: Iranian's attack on U.S.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad used a brief visit to Kabul on Wednesday to lob insults at the United States and argue that international forces won't stop terrorism and will only lead to more civilian deaths. His comments were a retort to U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who earlier in the week accused Tehran of "playing a double game" by nurturing relations with the Afghan government while supporting insurgents to undermine U.S. and NATO troops. Ahmadinejad's criticism put President Hamid Karzai in an awkward spot because he is dependent on the United States and other donor nations to rebuild Afghanistan.


IRAN: 52 journalists in jails

Journalists have become a prime target in a government crackdown on the opposition following last June's disputed presidential election, with 52 of them currently held, making Iran the top jailer of journalists in the world, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. The wave of arrests, which has accelerated recently, has sent a chill through journalists in Iran. In response, a sort of "underground" journalism has emerged, said Reza Valizadeh, 32, who worked for the state-run radio and television but fled to Paris amid the postelection crackdown.


CHINA: Their own tea party

China is having its own tea party movement, but this one has a very different agenda. Police have tried to shush and isolate potential activists, usually starting with a low-key warning. Now, the troublemakers are openly blogging and tweeting their stories about "drinking tea" with the cops, allowing the targeted citizens to bond and diluting the intimidation they feel. The movement is an embarrassment for officials, who are suspicious of anything that looks like an organized challenge to their authority. The country's top political event of the year, the National People's Congress, has given the stories another bump. More than 200 people say they've been invited by police to "drink tea" since just Friday, when the congress began.

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