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May20

Rohani declared winner of Iran presidential election

By: RFE/RL Source: RFE/RL President Hassan Rohani has been declared the outright winner with nearly all the ballots counted from Iran’s May 19 presidential election, a seemingly emphatic endorsement of the incumbent’s efforts to reengage internationally and seek modest reforms within Iran’s clerically dominated society. Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli said Rohani won 57 percent of the vote versus 38.5 percent for his closest rival, conservative former prosecutor Ebrahim Raisi. Two other contenders failed to reach even 1 million votes. Iran’s elections are heavily vetted to exclude candidates that the clerical establishment regards as a threat, and the...

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May20

China forces medical exams and DNA sampling on Uyghur Muslims

By: RFA Source: RFA Ethnic Muslim Uyghurs in northwest China’s Xinjiang region are being given mandatory health examinations that include DNA collection, according to residents, causing concern among some observers who have called on Beijing to explain its motive behind the mass checkups. According to reports by China’s state media, the “General People’s Health Examination Project” that began in September 2016 and ended in March this year provided checkups for 17.5 million people throughout the region, including 9.2 million in predominantly Uyghur-populated southern Xinjiang. The examinations were carried out on more than 90 percent of the residents of the entire region, and more than 98...

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May19

Syria: Scores dead, including civilians, after ISIS attacks villages

By: Ahed Al Hendi Source: VOA News Under siege in other parts of Syria, ISIS forces staged a surprise attack Thursday on two government-held villages in central Syria’s Hama province that killed more than 50 people, according to media reports and sources in the region. Fierce clashes between ISIS fighters and pro-Syrian government forces in the villages of Aqareb and Al-Mabujeh left at least 15 civilians and 27 pro-regime troops dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has monitors in the area. ISIS suffered 15 casualties, the observatory said. Syria’s state news agency put the death toll at 52, including 15 children. There were reports of ISIS...

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