World and Nation

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Beating by Guards Fails to Stop Voting, Iranian Students Say

Students at Amir Kabir University fended off club-wielding university security guards on Monday and went ahead with elections for a pro-democracy association.

Despite the successful election at Amir Kabir, it is not clear that balloting for student associations will be allowed at other universities. The associations, a powerful center of support and communication among student democracy advocates, are a constant irritant to the government, which seeks to maintaining strict control over politics and cultural norms.

The University of Science and Industry, where President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad taught before he was elected, has not been permitted to hold elections for the past two years. Students at Tehran University have vowed to hold a ballot, but have yet to do so.

Amir Kabir University has long been a center of student political activity. Students there chanted against Ahmadinejad when he visited the university late last year and set fire to posters bearing his likeness.

A student leader, Mehrdad Khalilpour, was arrested Monday by security officials, but two of his comrades managed to escape. Among other student leaders, Babak Zamanian was arrested late last month and Ahmad Ghassaban was arrested on Friday.

Desegregated 50 Years Ago, Little Rock Is Still Divided

Fifty years after the epic desegregation struggle at Central High School, the school district here is still riven by racial conflict, casting a pall on this year's ambitious commemorative efforts.

In the latest clash, white parents pack school board meetings to support the embattled superintendent, Roy Brooks, who is black. The blacks among the school board members look on grimly, determined to use their new majority to oust him. Whites insist that test scores and enrollment have improved under the brusque, hard-charging Brooks; blacks on the board are furious that he has cut the number of office and other non-teaching jobs and closed some schools.

The fight is all the more disturbing to some here because it erupted just as a federal judge declared Little Rock's schools finally desegregated, 50 years after a jeering white mob massed outside Central High to turn back integration.

EADS Wants to Expand Military Work With U.S.

The European Aeronautic Defense and Space Co. wants to expand its military activities in the United States, and friendly governments in both France and Germany could help further that goal, the company's co-chief executive said on Monday.

"We now have two leaders who have no prejudice against the United States, who are not labeled as anti-American," the co-chief executive, Louis Gallois, said in an interview. "It could be a way to develop the relationship."

The winner in the French presidential election Sunday, Nicolas Sarkozy, is a center-right politician seen as more pro-American than his predecessor, Jacques Chirac. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, has been making efforts to mend her country's relations with the United States, which have been strained in recent years, particularly over the war in Iraq.

"The generation has changed," Gallois said. "It could bring in some fresh air."