In 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.
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.
European government leaders ended a two-day summit in Brussels on June 19, after agreeing to create a continent-wide financial regulatory body. EU leaders also agreed to back European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso's bid for another term in office.
Pakistan continued its military operations against Taliban strongholds in the rugged part of the country bordering Afghanistan on June 19, as the nation's fighter jets bombed militant encampments in South Waziristan, one of several border regions of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
In response to mass protests over allegations of voting irregularities that began the day after Iran's June 12 presidential election results were announced, Iran's Guardian Council, a 12-member panel of senior Islamic clergy and jurists that functions similarly to the U.S. Supreme Court, has invited the four presidential candidates to a special meeting on June 20 to assess their complaints.
North Korea's state-controlled media issued a statement on June 17 warning of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the United States and its allies if provoked. BBC News quoted from a commentary published by Pyongyang's state news agency KCNA: "If the US and its followers infringe upon our republic's sovereignty even a bit, our military and people will launch a one hundred- or one thousand-fold retaliation with [a] merciless military strike. The nuclear program is not the monopoly of the US."
CNN reported on June 16 that Iran's government had banned foreign media from covering rallies in Tehran being held in the wake of the disputed June 12 presidential election. The network reported that the government ban came after video footage was broadcast that showed violence at demonstrations held in support of the leading opposition candidate, Mir Hossein Moussavi. Moussavi has contested the results of the election, which delivered an overwhelming victory to the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Three days after Iran's June 12 presidential election, in which the incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected with a reported two-thirds' majority, protests and allegations of vote-count irregularities and suppression of free speech dominated that nation's political landscape. The Islamic Republic News Agency, Iran's official news agency, announced Ahmadinejad's leading opponent, independent reformist candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi had received 33 percent of the votes cast.
The United Nations Security Council on June 12 unanimously approved stringent new sanctions against North Korea, in response to Pyongyang's May 25 nuclear test. Even North Korea's communist allies Russia and China joined in approving the sanctions resolution, which was passed by a 15-0 vote.