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Amid chants of "Long live Her Majesty," Thailand's queen attended the funeral Monday of an antigovernment protester, the first outward sign that the revered monarchy has chosen to side with opponents of the ruling People's Power Party. The protester died after she apparently was struck by a tear gas canister fired by police in last week's violent demonstration in Bangkok. Leaders of the opposition postponed a new protest until Wednesday. Embattled Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat offered "regret about what happened" but said he wouldn't resign.Skip to next paragraph
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A Muslim cleric with a reputation as a leading advocate for reform announced his candidacy for president in Iran. Mehdi Karroubi told a news conference Sunday he'll challenge hard-line incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in next June's election because "I believe [he] has failed in foreign policy and on economic problems." Fellow cleric Mohammad Khatami, who was Ahmadinejad's predecessor, also has said he is considering another run for the post.
Due to a booming economy, voters in Azerbaijan are considered certain to give President Ilham Aliyev a second and final five-year term when they go to the polls Wednesday. He has six challengers, but leading opposition parties have said they'll boycott in protest against a crackdown on the pro-democracy movement and the jailing of journalists who have been critical of Aliyev's government. The oil-rich former Soviet republic has had to perform a careful balancing act between the West and an increasingly assertive Russia.
Yet another impeachment effort against Philippines President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was begun by her opponents in the House of Representatives Monday. In a formal complaint, they accused her of corruption, vote-rigging, and other crimes. By law, one such complaint may be filed per year, and the previous period expired last weekend. All three impeachment bids so far have failed due to technicalities.