Iran election: Polls extended by hours in key vote

Iran election: Polls extended by hours in key vote Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionSix things to know about the vote Iran's presidential election has been extended by four hours, due to long queues at polling stations. Voting was due to end at 18:00 local time (13:30 GMT) but was extended twice, and polls are now due to close at 22:00. In the capital, Tehran, voting has been extended even further, until 23:00, to cope with the demand. Election officials said the extension was due to "requests" and the "enthusiastic participation of people". Ballot papers also ran out for Iranians voting in Istanbul in neighbouring Turkey, and attempts were made to fly in more from Tehran. The interior ministry says that 63,500 polling stations are being used. Voting has also been extended by several hours in previous elections. Image copyright EPA Image caption Long queues were reported at polling stations, prompting the extensions This election is seen as a..

Times Square car crash driver Richard Rojas ‘heard voices’

Times Square car crash driver Richard Rojas 'heard voices' Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionFootage shows a man being arrested near to the crashed red car A man who drove a car along three blocks of pavement in New York's Times Square, killing a teenager and injuring 22 people, said he had "heard voices", according to law enforcement sources. Richard Rojas, 26, a US Navy veteran who was arrested twice previously for drink-driving, is now in custody. He also said he expected to die, the sources told AP news agency. According to Reuters, he said after being arrested: "You were supposed to shoot me! I wanted to kill them." He told police he had smoked PCP-laced marijuana before the rampage, say prosecutors. Mr Rojas has been charged with murder in the second-degree, 20 counts of attempted murder, and five counts of aggravated vehicular homicide. He appeared in court on Friday. As it happened: Times Square emergency In pictures: Times Square ca..

Chechen gay men hopeful of finding refuge in five countries

Chechen gay men hopeful of finding refuge in five countries Image copyright AFP Image caption There has been international outcry over the reported persecution of gay men in Chechnya Dozens of gay men who fled persecution in Chechnya are hoping to find safety in a handful of countries that have volunteered to help. Activists are in talks with five countries, two of them non-EU, the Russian LGBT Network told the BBC. Nine men have already been granted visas. Two of them went to Lithuania, which has announced its involvement. "It's very important to act, because they are suffering," Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius told the BBC. He would not name the other countries involved but described them as "allies". His country's decision was an "implicit message" to Russia, he said, because "we are taking care of Russian citizens... [whose] rights were abused". Detained and torturedReports of a brutal crackdown on gay men in the republic in southern Russia first emerged in e..

Trump heads for Saudi Arabia on first foreign tour

Trump heads for Saudi Arabia on first foreign tour Image copyright AFP Image caption Posters showing President Trump alongside Saudi Arabia's King Salman are on display in Riyadh US President Donald Trump has left for Saudi Arabia on his first foreign trip since becoming president. His eight-day trip will also take in Israel, the Palestinian territories, Brussels, the Vatican and Sicily. It comes as Mr Trump faces uproar at home following his sacking of FBI director James Comey. He has strongly criticised the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee an inquiry into alleged Russian influence on the US election. The trip takes in the capitals of the three major monotheistic religions - Islam, Judaism and Christianity. Advice for Trump: 'Say as little as possible' What's behind Donald Trump's first visit? Riyadh - Saturday-Sunday 20-21 MayMr Trump will attend the Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh and speak about his "hopes of a peaceful visi..

Julian Assange defiant as Sweden drops rape investigation

Julian Assange defiant as Sweden drops rape investigation Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionJulian Assange spoke on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy: "Seven years of detention without charge" Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has said he will not forgive and forget attempts to arrest him over rape allegations which led him to seek asylum in Ecuador's London embassy. Hailing an "important victory", he said he was prepared for dialogue with the US and UK authorities. Mr Assange, 45, is wanted in the US over the leaking of military and diplomatic documents. Sweden said on Friday it had decided to drop its rape investigation. Meanwhile Ecuador urged the UK to allow him safe passage out of the country. The Wikileaks founder has chosen to remain in the embassy as he fears extradition to Sweden would lead to extradition to the US. "Today is an important victory for me and the UN human rights system, but by no means erases seven years of detention without ..

Roger Ailes: Fox News founder dies at 77

Roger Ailes: Fox News founder dies at 77 Image copyright Reuters Image caption Rupert Murdoch announced Roger Ailes as Fox News head in 1995 The ex-chairman and founder of Fox News Roger Ailes has died aged 77, his family says. A statement from his wife Elizabeth said she was "profoundly sad and heartbroken", calling him a "patriot". Mr Ailes ran Fox News for two decades and is credited with transforming it into arguably the most powerful voice in conservative media. But he stepped down last year after a number of female employees accused him of sexual harassment. At the time he said he was resigning because he had become a "distraction". Roger Ailes and the dawn of hyper-partisan television What is going on at Fox News? Mrs Ailes' statement said: "During a career that stretched over more than five decades, his work in entertainment, in politics, and in news affected the lives of many millions. "And so even as we mourn his death, we celebrate his life." The cause of h..

Trump: FBI inquiry is ‘greatest witch hunt’ in history

Trump: FBI inquiry is 'greatest witch hunt' in history Image copyright Reuters Image caption Robert Mueller (L) with his successor at the FBI James Comey, whose dismissal prompted calls for a wider investigation US President Donald Trump has lashed out at the decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee the inquiry into Russian influence on his election. "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history," he tweeted on Thursday morning. His reaction differed from Wednesday when he was quoted in a White House statement as saying: "I look forward to this matter concluding quickly." Former FBI director Robert Mueller has been selected to lead the inquiry. In naming Robert Mueller, the US deputy attorney general said it was in the public interest to pick an outsider. Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionTrump supporters stick with him despite scandal Mr Mueller's appointment has been welcomed by politicians fr..

Princess Mako to lose Japan royal status by marrying commoner

Princess Mako to lose Japan royal status by marrying commoner Media playback is unsupported on your device Media captionWatch: The beginning of a real-life fairytale? A member of Japan's royal family, Princess Mako, is to surrender her royal status by marrying a commoner. The 25-year-old eldest granddaughter of Emperor Akihito will become engaged to law firm worker Kei Komuro, also 25, whom she met while studying together. Japan's imperial law requires a princess to leave the royal family after marrying a commoner. The move is expected to reignite debate on royal succession, with the emperor also possibly abdicating soon. Ten things about Japan's emperor Princess Mako and Kei Komuro met in 2012 at a restaurant, when they were both studying at the International Christian University in Tokyo. Image copyright AFP Image caption Mr Komuro once worked as "Prince of the Sea", promoting tourism in Japan What happens now?The Imperial Household told local media that..

Brazil’s stock market plunges after corruption claims

Brazil's stock market plunges after corruption claims Image copyright Getty Images Brazil's Bovespa stock market was briefly halted as investors reacted to corruption allegations against Brazilian President Michel Temer. Stocks plunged more than 10% at the start of trading, prompting circuit breakers to kick in and halt dealings. President Temer was forced to deny a newspaper report that he had given consent to paying off a witness in a huge corruption scandal. Investors are concerned that Mr Temer's reform plans could be derailed. Mr Temer is trying to get pension reforms through Congress that would mean men would have a minimum retirement age of 65, and women 62, and most people would contribute more. There is currently no minimum retirement age. There are also labour reforms on the cards to weaken trade union bargaining powers and make hiring and firing workers easier. Optimism turns sour, by Daniel Gallas, BBC South America business correspondent "I've nev..

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