Iran votes for new president, Khamenei slams U.S. doubts
DUBAI (Reuters) - Millions of Iranians voted to choose a new president on Friday, urged by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to turn out in force to discredit suggestions by arch foe the United States that the election would be a sham. The 50 million eligible voters had a choice between six candidates to replace incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, but none is seen as challenging the Islamic Republic's 34-year-old system of clerical rule.
U.S. considers no-fly zone after Syria crosses nerve gas "red line"
ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) - The United States is considering a no-fly zone in Syria, potentially its first direct intervention into the two-year-old civil war, Western diplomats said on Friday, after the White House said Syria had crossed a "red line" by using nerve gas. After months of deliberation, President Barack Obama's administration said on Thursday it would now arm rebels, having obtained proof the Syrian government used chemical weapons against fighters trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
Erdogan makes conciliatory move to end Turkish protests
ISTANBUL/ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan told protesters on Friday he would put redevelopment plans for an Istanbul park on hold until a court rules, striking a markedly more conciliatory tone after two weeks of fierce anti-government demonstrations. Financial markets rose on hopes that environmentalists who oppose the construction on Gezi Park would be satisfied, but it remained unclear whether other protesters with a wide variety of grievances against Erdogan would go home.
Anti-G8 activists rally in London banking district
LONDON (Reuters) - About 100 activists rallied in the shadow of London's Canary Wharf financial district on Friday, encircled by police, in a protest against capitalism before next week's G8 summit in the United Kingdom. Environmentalists, anti-poverty campaigners and women's rights groups waved banners reading "Capitalism = Crisis" and "Power to the People" in the Wharf, home to major banks such as Barclays and JP Morgan.
Czech leader clings on after close aide charged with graft
PRAGUE (Reuters) - Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas was clinging on to office on Friday after prosecutors accused his personal assistant of being at the center of a corrupt web of political favors and secret surveillance. Police raids on government offices on Thursday signaled the most significant swoop on corruption in two decades in a country that has been mired in sleaze since its "Velvet Revolution" overthrew Communism in 1989.
Analysis: Italy's Grillo facing showdown as 5-Star mutiny swells
ROME (Reuters) - Beppe Grillo, the fiery comic whose populist 5-Star Movement stunned Italy by winning a quarter of the votes in February's election, is facing his biggest test since the vote with rebellion brewing among his novice lawmakers. Publicly blamed by one of his own senators for the party's poor showing in local elections earlier this week, in which it won only two towns out of more than 500, Grillo faces the threat of a mutiny that could blow the party apart.
News Corp's Rupert Murdoch files for divorce from wife Wendi
NEW YORK (Reuters) - News Corp Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch on Thursday filed for divorce from his wife of 14 years, Wendi, seeking to end a marriage that had been irretrievably broken for more than six months, according to his spokesman. Murdoch, 82, married the former Wendi Deng, 44, in 1999 in his third and her second marriage. They have two young daughters.
Kuwait says it will not tolerate protests against court ruling
KUWAIT (Reuters) - Kuwait warned on Friday that it would not allow any unlicensed protest marches over a court ruling next week which will say whether a new electoral system introduced by the country's ruler is constitutional. Ruler Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah used emergency powers in October last year to change voting rules, six weeks before the major oil producer was due to hold parliamentary elections.
Wife of ousted Madagascar leader stands by bid for power
ANTANANARIVO (Reuters) - The wife of deposed Madagascar leader Marc Ravalomanana deflected international demands to pull out of a presidential election in August, telling Reuters she will be her own woman if she wins while her husband will run the family business. Lalao Ravalomanana's decision to run upset a deal under which leading players in a 2009 coup agreed not to contest the vote that aims to restore constitutional order after more than four years of political crisis and economic decline.
Uganda summons EU ambassador over criticism of Museveni
KAMPALA (Reuters) - Uganda summoned the European Union's envoy on Friday to explain his criticism of President Yoweri Museveni's handling of corruption, underlining growing friction with the West after it cut aid over graft concerns. Western donors withdrew almost all direct budget support to the east African nation after allegations that $13 million had been stolen by officials in the prime minister's office.