6/23 Roundup: Pause in Iran, Voting Rights Upheld, No Go Villaraigosa

LedaLeader: Pause in Iran

- The death of Neda, a 26 year-old Iranian woman who was shot dead by riot police and whose final moments were caught on video, continues to be a rallying point for Iranian protesters.  Mousavi has called for the next major protest to be held on Thursday to mourn all the deaths since the uprising began. Perhaps with enough time to plan and spread the word, the protesters will reclaim some of the momentum later this week.

- Protests have diminished in the past few days, as government forces have cracked down hard throughout Iran.

- The New Yorker has a report from the streets and the rooftops of Iran.

- The WSJ reports on one family whose son was killed when he got caught in the crossfire on his way home.  The government demanded a $3,000 "bullet fee" before returning his body.

Politics

- In one of the most closely-watched cases of the term, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 to preserve a controversial clause within the Voting Rights Act of 1965, ducking the constitutional question at the center of the case, and waiting to address it in a narrower context.  The ruling preserves the law in its original form, allowing federal government to maintain control over election rules in certain parts of the country with a history of racial disenfranchisement.

- While President Obama remains popular, confidence in his economic stimulus plan has ebbed somewhat, as Americans have come down of the high of optimism that pervaded society early in his term. Only about 52% of people think the stimulus will succeed-- nearly 60% thought so just two months back.  Still, with a 65% approval rating, the President maintains the confidence of his people.

- Henry Waxman's climate change bill will hit the floor this week, sooner than most expected.  Everybody ready?

- Here in Washington yesterday, a horrific crash occurred on the Metro when one train rammed another at a high speed.  Nine commuters were killed, and over 70 were injured.  The WaPo covers this tragedy here and here.

Economy

- Chinese factory workers continue to be subjected to appalling and dangerous work conditions, despite a supposed improvement in the legal protections for workers, the NYT reports.

- Swiss bank UBS, which had been in big trouble for helping tens of thousands of Americans evade taxes, may be cutting a deal to get out of trouble. We wouldn't want to violate any Swiss secrecy laws, after all, if Swiss trust is breached, the where will that leave the "international thriller" movie genre?

International

- Qari Zainuddin, a Taliban leader and the chief rival to Baitullah Mehsud, was shot dead in northwestern Pakistan yesterday.  The assassination is a blow to the Pakistani government, which had backed Zainuddin to counterbalance Mehsud.

- Politico looks at Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State thus far, and notes that she maintains a low profile.  Except, of course, when she fell and broke her elbow.  Now that's news.

New From NDN

- Dan wrote about the power of citizen journalism in Iran, and I've been doing regular analysis of the events in Iran.  Keep up with us!

- Simon will be presenting an updated version of his Dawn of a New Politics powerpoint on Thursday, complete with analysis of how America's bottom-up political shift is being exported to Iran.

One More Thing

- Last, Mayor Villaraigosa of LA will not run for California's governorship: