In his first speech since being appointed to Britain's cabinet by Prime Minister Gordon Brown on June 5, Secretary of State for Defense Bob Ainsworth said on July 8 that the war in Afghanistan was a serious struggle that required patience.
The violence continued to escalate in China’s far-west Xinjiang province after protests and riots left more than 150 people dead over the weekend. According to multiple reports, rioters armed with machetes, axes, knives, and clubs clashed with police and government forces in what is being called China’s worst social violence since the notorious government crackdown at Tiananmen Square in 1989.
Saddam Hussein faked holding weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) in fear of militant Shiite Iran, recently declassified conversations between FBI agent George L. Piro and former the Iraqi dictator confirmed.
North Korea test-fired four short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan on July 2, increasing tensions between Pyongyang and the West that began when North Korea launched its Taepodong-2 long-range missile on April 5, a move President Barack Obama called "provocative" and a "clear violation" of Security Council Resolution 1718.
Nearly 4,000 U.S. Marines and 650 Afghan troops launched a major offensive into southwestern Afghanistan's Helmand River valley on July 2, an area that is a Taliban stronghold and produces more opium than anyplace else in the world.
In a sermon delivered on June 26 at Tehran University, senior Iranian cleric Ahmad Khatami called on his government to harshly punish leaders of the protests that have rocked Iran since its June 12 presidential election. Khatami also accused foreign journalists of instigating the demonstrations.
In 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.
Iran'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."
Demonstrators protesting what they charge was a rigged election to maintain Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's hold on the presidency continued to occupy the streets of Tehran on June 22, as government riot police attempted to quell the protests. At least 457 people were detained during street demonstrations on June 20 and at least 13 people died during clashes that sometimes turned violent.
Following North Korea’s latest nuclear test and missile launches, the New York Times said on May 28 that it was “tempting to throw up one’s hands and say that there is no point in trying to negotiate. But there is no military option here.