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UN Security CouncilIn a statement published by the White House on June 24, President Obama, using emergency powers, extended a set of economic sanctions on North Korea for another year. The order becomes effective on June 26, the day the previous sanctions issued by former president George W. Bush were due to expire. They will remain in effect for one year.

Ayatollah Ali KhameneiIran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, announced on June 24 to state-run Press TV that he would not yield to pressure generated by his political opponents over the disputed June 12 presidential election that resulted in the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Bloomberg News reported his statement: "The Islamic establishment and people will never give in to forceful demands in regard to the election. The violation of the election will lead to dictatorship."

computerThe Wall Street Journal reported on June 22 that the current repressive regime in Iran acquired its capability to spy on Internet communications from two European companies.

Kang NamNorth Korea's provocative actions continued to inflame international tensions on June 23, as the Kang Nam, a North Korean freighter that is believed to be carrying banned small arms to Myanmar, passed Shanghai.

Hugo ChavezIn the wake of failed “land reform” policies, Hugo Chavez’ socialist government is now aiming to invalidate pharmaceutical patents that his commerce minister calls a “barrier to production.” The plan would allow domestic drug makers to produce the medicines under a license from the government. But critics of the move warn that it will likely lead to shortages and less foreign investment, problems that have already begun to plague the nation as it continues its attacks on the private sector. 

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