Today's coverage: Europe votes, a little and to the right; stimulus flow slow

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We're following these stories today:

In world news ...

Nicholas Blanford sorts through the Lebanon election results and what they mean. Hezbollah took a big hit.

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• Don Kirk assesses what will it take to free the two US journalists just convicted of "hostile acts" by North Korea.

Robert Marquand surveys the EU parliamentary vote on Sunday and its overall rightward tilt.

• Also noteworthy in the EU parliamentary vote, Sweden's Pirate party – advocating unregulated Internet use – wins a seat. Tom Sullivan reports on what that means.

British PM Gordon Brown is hanging by a thread after the EU parliamentary vote Sunday revealed major Labour party losses. Ben Quinn reports on Brown's plan to survive as more and more government ministers quit his government, advising him to do same.

Zimbabwe is trying to restore international aid. Scott Baldauf looks at whether a visit by Sudan's president, an indicted war criminal, is going to help.

Scott Peterson is covering the campaign trail in Iran. He looks at how Ahmadinejad's allies are faring in their former stronghold – Iran's east.

• Our Colbert report: Jane Arraf reports on what Stephen Colbert is doing in Iraq, other than getting part of his head shaved by Ray Odierno (who took orders from Obama via video just for the show).

In US news ...

Warren Richey reports on the Supreme Court clarifying what qualifies as a conflict of interest for judges.

• In another decision today, the Supreme Court opted not to intervene in the "don't ask, don't tell" policy regarding gays in the military. Gordon Lubold reports that this leaves the Pentagon and the Obama administration right where they want to be – not engulfed in a hot-button issue while they're in the middle of fighting two wars.

Howard LaFranchi reports that Obama has clearly signaled a desire for a tougher stance toward North Korea that departs from the Clinton-Bush incentives approach. The case of the imprisoned American journalists, of course, complicates the get-tough posture.

Ron Scherer looks at Obama's promise of 600,000 new jobs and the flow of stimulus money flowing out into the economy. It's been slow – but hopefully not as slow as it's been for the Katrina money, which is not all spent even now .

• President Obama announces which banks will be allowed to pay back TARP money. Mark Trumbull explains.

• The old rules for assessing Supreme Court nominees are gone, with ideology now a more acceptable reason for rejecting a nominee. Gail Chaddock reports that Republicans say Obama himself, during his time on the judiciary committee, set the stage for this shift.

• What happens if the key union at the Boston Globe goes along with the concessions demanded by its publisher, the New York Times? What happens if its doesn't? Alexandra Marks covers the vote today.

• On his Recession Road Trip across the country, Bill Glauber sees tractors here, tractors there, everywhere are old tractors.

And in still other news, we are covering the Annual Meeting of our publisher, the Christian Science church. It will be posted this evening.

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