World News Brief, Thursday June 27

Kevin Rudd takes back leadership of Australia; riots in China kill 27; Syria death toll reaches 100,000; Obama pushes for action on global warming; and more

Top of the Agenda: Australia's Kevin Rudd Ousts Julia Gillard as Party Leader

Kevin Rudd won back (SMH) the leadership of Australia's Labor Party on Wednesday from Prime Minister Julia Gillard in a snap leadership election she had called in a bid to end bitter infighting that divided the ruling party. The power shift comes just three months before a national election (BBC) in which Labor is expected to suffer significant losses. Gillard, whose popularity has plunged in recent months, pledged to resign from politics following her loss. Observers say that Rudd, who was prime minister from 2007 to 2010, remains popular with voters (FT) and is viewed by many members of parliament as a lifeline for the party as it heads into mid-September elections.


"But assuming Mr. Rudd can form a government—which is by no means certain—the man with arguably most to lose is opposition leader Tony Abbott, who had been strolling to a possible landslide in September's poll almost without having to try," writes Neil Hume for the Financial Times.

"For the woman who carried the hopes of so many when she made history, three years ago on Monday, and who gave her all to the job, this is a difficult pill to digest. Barring an unlikely olive branch from Rudd, her career is over at 51," writes Michael Gordon for the Sydney Morning Herald.

"Rudd, who resigned tearfully when he was deposed before the 2010 election, will see the result as sweet vindication. But his real vindication will only come if he can lead Labor to a narrow loss, or even defy all predictions and emerge victorious," writes Lenore Taylor for the Guardian.



Riots in China’s Xinjiang Province Leave 27 Dead

Riots in China's ethnically diverse Xinjiang region killed twenty-seven people, marking the latest outburst of violence (AFP) in the restive western region that is home to roughly ten million Muslim Uighurs. State media said police opened fire on "knife-wielding mobs."



Syria death toll reaches 100,000

Obama pushes for action on global warming

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