From Washington, this is VOA news. What sort of man is the new Iranian president, and Internet by way of a balloon. I’m Joe Parker reporting from Washington.
Iran’s interior minister has declared moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani the winner of the nation’s presidential election, in a surprise victory over the nation’s ruling hardliners.
Rowhani, the favorite of reformists and a former chief nuclear negotiator, received close to 19 million votes out of nearly 37 million counted. He secured slightly more than 50 percent of the vote, eliminating a need for a runoff.
Rowhani headed Iran’s nuclear negotiating team from 2003 to 2005 under reformist President Mohammad Khatami. During that time, Rowhani oversaw moratorium on uranium enrichment, which eased Western pressure over Iran’s nuclear program kept secret until 2002.
In contrast to current President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the 64-year-old Rowhani has promised the less confrontational approach toward the affairs, including talks on Iran’s disputed nuclear program. Though he has said there will be no surrender to Western demands, he has vowed to pursue constructive interaction with the world, including the lifting of international sanctions that have hammered the Iranian economy.
The only cleric of the six candidates in Friday’s presidential election, Rowhani won the votes of reformists and moderates alike.
Libyan officials say six soldiers were killed in fighting between special forces and armed activists who stormed several military facilities.
The clashes erupted early today in Benghazi, where residents say a group of people forced their way into a different military compound in the city.
Pakistani police say a series of gun and bomb attacks in the southwestern Baluchistan province have left about two dozen people dead. With more, from Islamabad, this is Ayaz Gul.
The violence rocked the provincial capital, Quetta, in one of the deadliest well-coordinated attacks on Saturday. It began with a power for bomb ripping through a bus with female university students on board.
Rescue workers rushed to the scene to transport the dead and survivors to the nearby Bolan Medical Complex.
Witnesses say that another bomb went off inside the emergency room of the hospital. Later on, armed men disguised as patients and staff opened gunfire and seized parts of the building.
Killed among others, the city’s Deputy Commissioner Abdul Mansur Khan.
Security forces led by ?armika mando? then surrounded the hospital to kill or capture the gunmen.
Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan later told reporters in Islamabad that security forces killed all four gunmen to clear the hospital and freed 35 hostages.
Ayaz Gul for VOA news, Islamabad.
For more on this story, visit our website at voanews.com.
Hundreds of demonstrators staged a rally at the U.S. consulate in Hong Kong on Saturday to urge the city’s government not to extradite Edward Snowden. Now he is the American who leaked top-secret information about U.S. surveillance programs.
The protesters gathered in a heavy rain to also speak out against the U.S. National Security Agency.
Turkish protesters vow to continue their occupation of an Istanbul park, saying the government has ignored their demands.
Taksim Solidarity, representing the protesters, said Saturday they will not leave the park, despite demands by the government to get out, and a promise by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to let a court decide the fate of controversial plans to commercially develop the park.
Google scientists have launched up to 30 helium-filled test balloons into the skies above New Zealand, with the dream of bringing the Internet to nearly five billion people across the globe without access to the World Wide Web.
The technology giant unveiled the project on Saturday in Christchurch, where some 50 volunteer households have begun receiving Internet signals beamed from the balloons to their home computers. The wind-driven balloons are floating 20 kilometers above the earth and are designed to remain airborne for more than three months.
Project leader Mike Cassidy said engineers hope to provide much cheaper Internet connections in undeveloped and developing areas of the world.
Rather than using his weekly address to discuss the pending G8 summit or talk about Syrian rebels, President Obama used his electronic podium to talk about Father’s Day.
“There will never be a substitute for the love and support, and most importantly the presence of a parent in child’s life. And in many ways, that’s uniquely true for fathers.”
And tomorrow, Sunday June 16th, is Father’s Day here in the United States.
For more on all these stories, be sure to visit our website at voanews.com. This is Joe Parker from the VOA news center in Washington DC.
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