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ISTANBUL (AP) — Riot police with water cannons and tear gas are hitting protesters who remain defiant after authorities evicted activists from an Istanbul park.

Sunday's clampdown indicated authorities were taking a hardline against attempts to rekindle the protests.

In Istanbul, police battled protesters in side streets off Gezi Park and beyond.

Meanwhile, what was left of the two-week sit-in was bulldozed and police sealed off the area. Hundreds of white-helmeted riot police swept through the park and adjacent Taksim Square yesterday to clear out the protesters.

In Ankara, the capital, police dispersed hundreds who tried to hold a memorial service for an activist who died of injuries sustained in a nearby police crackdown nearby on June 1.

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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) — Officials say nearly a dozen apparently coordinated car bombs and a shooting across Iraq have killed at least 32 and wounded scores.

Officials say the car bombs targeting Shiite-majority areas were the cause of most of the casualties. The shooting happened near the northern city of Mosul when gunmen attacked police guarding a remote stretch of an oil pipeline.

Violence has spiked sharply in Iraq in recent months, with the death toll rising to levels not seen since 2008. Nearly 2,000 have been killed since the start of April.

The extended wave of attacks is raising fears of a return to widespread sectarian killing a decade after the U.S.-led invasion.

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TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — There are wild celebrations on the streets of Tehran after reformist-backed Hasan Rowhani capped a stunning surge to claim Iran's presidency on Saturday.

His election throws open the political order after relentless crackdowns by hard-liners to consolidate and safeguard their grip on power.

Tens of thousands of jubilant supporters have been chanting "Long live Rowhani."

Security officials have made no attempt to rein in crowds -- joyous and even a bit bewildered by the scope of his victory with more than three times the votes of his nearest rival.

In his first statement after the results were announced, Rowhani said that "a new opportunity has been created ... for those who truly respect democracy, interaction and free dialogue."

But in Iran, even landslides at the ballot box do not equate to policymaking influence.

All key decisions remain solidly in the hands of the ruling clerics and their powerful protectors, the Revolutionary Guard. But Rowhani's victory does reopen space for moderate and liberal voices.

Read more...

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