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Today's agenda: North Korea's capacity, Palestinian summit, rights in China

By Marshall Ingwerson / May 28, 2009

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In world news ...

• Korea-based Donald Kirk and Kristen Chick in Boston have put together a briefing page to answer basic questions on North Korea's nuclear capabilities.

Peter Ford in Beijing reports that twenty of China's most outspoken civil rights lawyers face being effective disbarment next Monday, a move that activists say will gut the country's budding rights protection movements.

• On the eve of Obama's visit with the Palestinian president, Secretary of State Clinton made clear there was no wiggle room in the administration's stance on Israeli settlements: no expansion, period – not even "natural" growth. Josh Mitnick updates this story with links to five recent Monitor articles.

• Carol Huang on the World desk is updating the news out of Aung Sun Suu Kyi's trial in Burma/Myanmar.

Ilene Prusher in Jerusalem looks at the woes of the Palestinian Fatah party ahead of Mahmoud Abbas's visit to Washington on Thursday.

Ben Quinn in London writes on a literary scandal. In the land of Shakespeare and Wordsworth, poetry has the power to stir passions – but seldom dominates the news headlines. However, Ruth Padel, the great-great granddaughter of Charles Darwin and the first woman to hold the position at Oxford since its creation in 1708, has been reciting some words of mea culpa after being forced to resign this week.

Andres Calas in Rome covered one of the biggest soccer matches of the year yesterday, but he notes that much of Spain rooted for Manchester United instead of Barcelona. Why? Showing support for Barcelona, it seems, is tantamount to supporting the free Catalonia cause.

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