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JORDAN: Youths strike back at police

Stone-throwing youths in a poor southern town exploded in anger at rough handling by police during a visit by King Abdullah II on Monday, a symptom of simmering popular frustrations even as the monarch moves toward reform. The spurt of violence, rare in Jordan while other Arab states were rocked by turmoil in recent months, pointed up resentment of heavy-handed control by the Hashemite kingdom's security forces. The trouble in Tafila, 125 miles south of Amman, came a day after Abdullah went on national television to announce a major concession, accepting the idea of elected governments to replace cabinets appointed by him.

CHINA: Vehicles burned in protest

Protesters in southern China's manufacturing hub torched emergency vehicles in an outburst of anger against police abuse of migrant workers, eyewitnesses said Monday. Sunday night's rioting followed three days of steadily growing unrest in the town of Xintang in Guangdong province, the linchpin of China's crucial export industry. Accounts of the violence in state-controlled media have been sparse, but the official Xinhua News Agency says a government team has been sent to the area to quell rumors surrounding the unrest. The Chinese leadership has reacted nervously to the turmoil, especially after popular uprisings began sweeping the Middle East and North Africa this year.


New setback for Berlusconi

Voters turned out in large numbers to deal Premier Silvio Berlusconi his latest blow at the ballot box Monday, overturning laws passed by his government to revive nuclear energy, privatize the water supply -- and help him avoid prosecution. The defeat on four referendums on the ballot Sunday and Monday was Berlusconi's second in as many weeks, after his candidates lost mayoral races in his stronghold, Milan, and trash-choked Naples in a vote the billionaire media mogul himself had billed a referendum on his government.

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