Protesters Gather Again In Tehran; In U.S., Health Care Debate Continues

Good morning.

As the day gets going many eyes are again on Iran, where those who continue to protest the results of the country's June 12 presidential election are gathering at the Tehran grave of Neda Soltan — a young woman killed during the protests that followed the voting. Her death sparked outrage around the world after it was caught on video. The Guardian says "thousands of Iranians are expected to defy the authorities again."

Already, Reuters is reporting that "dozens of riot police" are trying to disperse the mourners. the news service also says that presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who says the election was rigged in favor of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has joined the mourners at the cemetery. The Associated Press, though, is saying it has heard from witnesses that Mousavi was prevented from getting there by police.

The BBC says there are reports of arrests being made at the cemetery — though it does not yet say where it is getting those reports from.

Meanwhile, health care and the efforts by Washington lawmakers to overhaul it continue to dominate the news in the U.S. On Morning Edition:

— NPR's Julie Rovner profiled the "Blue Dog" Democrats who faced down the liberal leaders of their party to make progress on a health care overhaul.



— Co-host Steve Inskeep talked with Sen. Kent Conrad, D-.N.D., about his plan to have nonprofit cooperatives compete with private insurers.



— Guest host Linda Wertheimer and former GOP congressman Bill Tauzin, now the president of the biggest trade association for the drug industry, talked about why his group is working with the Obama administration on the overhaul. "If we do nothing now," Tauzin says, "this country is going to get sicker and poorer and less competitive in the world."



Sticking with health care for a minute, The New York Times and CBS News say their latest polling shows that the president's "ability to shape the debate on health care appears to be eroding as opponents aggressively portray his overhaul plan as a government takeover."

The Wall Street Journal and NBC News say their new poll shows that "support for President Barack Obama's health-care effort has declined over the past five weeks."

Those readings are similar to the findings in the latest NPR poll.

As for other stories making headlines, they include:

Los Angeles Times — "Iraq In Throes Of Environmental Catastrophe, Experts Say": "Decades of war and mismanagement, compounded by two years of drought, are wreaking havoc on Iraq's ecosystem, drying up riverbeds and marshes, turning arable land into desert, killing trees and plants, and generally transforming what was once the region's most fertile area into a wasteland. Falling agricultural production means that Iraq, once a food exporter, will this year have to import nearly 80% of its food, spending money that is urgently needed for reconstruction projects."

The Oregonian — Brutal Heat Continues: "The third day of a record-breaking, broiling heat wave in the Pacific Northwest will continue at least through today, as temperatures again are forecast to break the century mark. Portland just missed tying its hottest day ever by 1 degree Wednesday, as the temperature hit 106 degrees at 5 p.m. at Portland International Airport."

The Wall Street Journal — "White House 'Beer Summit' Becomes Something Of A Brouhaha": "The president's plan to toss back a few cold ones with some high-profile guests at the White House has the American beer industry hopping mad" because the brands expected to e quaffed are produced by foreign-controlled brewers.

Related report on Morning Edition As NPR's Scott Horsley says, not even the choice of beer has been simple:





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