Iran's Guardian Council Hails Election; One Sanford Trip Was State-Paid

Earlier, we rounded up some of the latest words about the death of singer Michael Jackson. And has substantial coverage of that story here,

As for this morning's other top stories, they include:

The New York Times — Iranian Authorities Hail "Healthiest" Election: "As Iran's leaders push back threats to their authority after the disputed presidential election, crushing street protests and pressing challengers to withdraw or to limit their objections, the country's main electoral oversight group ruled Friday that the ballot had been the 'healthiest' since the Islamic revolution in 1979. The statement by the 12-member Guardian Council, which is charged with overseeing and vetting elections, fell short of formal certification of the ballot. But it offered further evidence that, despite mass demonstrations and violent confrontation with those who call the election a fraud, the authorities are intent on enforcing their writ and denying their adversaries a voice

— Reuters — Hardline Cleric Says Protesters Should Be Executed: "A hardline Iranian cleric on Friday called for the execution of 'rioters' in the latest sign of the authorities' determination to stamp out opposition to the June 12 presidential election. ... 'I want the judiciary to ... punish leading rioters firmly and without showing any mercy to teach everyone a lesson,' Ahmad Khatami told worshippers at Tehran University."

All Things Considered — "For U.S. Intelligence, Few Clues To Iran Turmoil": "Recent years have seen the advent of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, and allowed anyone with an Internet connection to watch the crackdown this week by Iranian security forces against pro-reform demonstrators. But such tools are next to useless for providing insights into the current political crisis. What the CIA would like to know, for example, is more about the power struggle under way among Iran's leading mullahs."

The Washington Post — "Arab Activists Watch Iran And Wonder": "Across the Arab world, Iran's massive opposition protests have triggered a wave of soul-searching and conflicting emotions. Many question why their own reform movements are unable to rally people to rise up against unpopular authoritarian regimes. In Egypt, the cradle of what was once the Arab world's most ambitious push for democracy, Iran's protests have served as a reminder of how much the notion has unraveled under President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled the country for 30 years."

— The State (of South Carolina) — Sanford Saw Mistress While On State-Paid Trip: "Gov. Mark Sanford confessed to meeting with his mistress while on a state-paid Commerce Department trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina last year, after Commerce released records of the trip Thursday that put him in the city on official business. The itinerary matched dates mentioned in an e-mail from Sanford to the woman that was sent a week later. Within 20 minutes of the Commerce statement Thursday afternoon, (the Republican governor's) office put out a statement offering to repay the more than $8,000 the state spent for his travel to Brazil and Argentina from June 21-28, 2008."

Morning Edition — Inflation Ahead? "Some people worry the United States might be heading for inflation soon. The amount of money in an economy is determined by its central bank, which is supposed to be independent of politics. In the current crisis, the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world have been taking unprecedented, historic steps to make credit available — to basically push money into the economy."

— The Associated Press — G8 Ministers Condemn North Korea's Missile Tests: Foreign ministers from Group of Eight countries meeting in Italy have condemned North Korea's missile tests and called on the country to return to the negotiating table."



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