Reformists leading in Iranian polls
DUBAI • Politicians allied to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came out strongest in a second round of parliamentary elections, early results showed yesterday, but his moderate faction appeared unlikely to clinch an overall majority.
If confirmed, the results suggest Iran's next Parliament will be more supportive of his drive for economic reforms, but conservatives will remain a powerful force and could limit the prospects for social change.
Nearly 250 dead after latest attacks on Aleppo
BEIRUT • Nearly 30 air strikes by warplanes hit rebel-held areas in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo yesterday.
This brings the total number of people killed after nine straight days of aerial bombardment and shelling to nearly 250, a monitoring group said.
However, a temporary "regime of calm" announced by the Syrian army late on Friday appeared to have taken hold in two other areas blighted by recent fighting, in the north-west coastal province of Latakia and on the outskirts of the capital Damascus.
Man denies damaging Hindu temple in Ipoh
IPOH • The son of a former assemblyman has denied desecrating a Hindu temple in the Malaysian city of Ipoh.
Dr Fathi Munzir Nadzri, 29, pleaded not guilty after he was charged with damaging idols at the Sree Muneeswaran Amman Kovil temple on April 24.
If found guilty, he could be jailed for two years or fined.
THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK
Cambodia puts more forests under protection
PHNOM PENH • Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has ordered a million hectares of forest to be included in protected zones as the country faces one of the world's fastest deforestation rates.
The move, which covers five new areas of forest, will bump Cambodia's conservation zones up by a fifth, bringing more than a quarter of the country's land under protection.