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IRAQ

Two bomb blasts ripped through municipal buildings in a town north of Baghdad, killing at least 27 people. Carried out by suspected militants, the bombings were the latest in a string of recent strikes against Iraqi police and military positions. June was the deadliest month in three years for U.S. forces deployed in Iraq--14 soldiers were killed in hostilities--and security fears are deepening as the U.S. prepares to scale back its troop presence.

One-Man Band

CHINA

A military-band member plays his horn in Beijing's Great Hall of the People before ceremonies marking the 90th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party. For more than six decades, the communists have had a stranglehold on power in China, allowing little political dissent even while trading their proletarian Maoism for capitalist riches.

Lagarde to Guard IMF

FRANCE

In a widely predicted move, the International Monetary Fund's executive board elected French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde to be its new head, replacing the embattled Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Although the world's major developing countries called for an end to European dominance of the IMF, Lagarde triumphed over Mexican candidate Agustín Carstens. Meanwhile, Strauss-Kahn was released from house arrest in New York City but faces new sexual-assault charges in France.

ON TIME.COM

'For what I've been saying since the bin Laden raid, I have incurred the wrath of the ISI.'

NAJAM SETHI, prominent Pakistani journalist, telling TIME's Omar Waraich of the threats and intimidation endured by critics of his country's shadowy intelligence agency

Coal Masks Warming

U.S.

In a challenge to climate-change skeptics, a study says global temperatures didn't steadily rise over the past decade because a spike in Chinese coal use flooded the atmosphere with sulfurous coolants.

TOTAL COAL CONSUMPTION (BILLIONS OF SHORT TONS)

Top three coal-consuming nations in 2010

[The following text appears within a chart. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual chart.]

INDIA 0.76

U.S. 1.04

CHINA 3.73

SOURCE: U.S. ENERGY INFORMATION ADMINISTRATION

Flotilla Faces Its Own Blockade

GREECE

Activists manning a flotilla aimed at breaking the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip found themselves held at bay by the Greek coast guard. In 2010, nine Turkish activists aboard another "freedom flotilla" were killed in an altercation with Israeli troops. Israel has warned this year's fleet, which includes a number of prominent intellectuals, that it shall not pass.

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