Hard-liners allied with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took the lead in Iran’s parliamentary elections, according to partial results early today, but reformists showed strength in some cities where the clerical leadership allowed them to compete.
Reformist leaders pushed for Iranians to vote Friday, hoping to prevent a sweep by Ahmadinejad allies after the country’s clerics threw many liberal candidates out of the race.
Results early today from 32 contests – a fraction of the 290 seats at stake – showed the hard-liners winning 19 seats, reformists eight and moderate conservatives five, according to results compiled from local officials speaking to the Associated Press and reports from the official IRNA and semi-official Fars news agencies.
Nearly half the seats won by hard-liners so far were in districts where no reformist candidates were running – a sign of the impact after reformist ranks were dramatically cut by the cleric-led Guardian Council. The returns, mostly from smaller towns, were insufficient to determine any solid trend.
Police say students planned shooting
A DeLand Middle School seventh-grader was arrested late Friday and warrants were issued for two others who investigators say threatened to shoot as many students as possible and then kill themselves.
Although the 13-year-olds – two boys and a girl – did not succeed in finding a weapon to carry out their plans, “it wasn’t for lack of trying,” Volusia County sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson said.
Investigators learned late March 5 of what they called a “plot” after one of the teens posted on his MySpace page a picture of a tombstone, satanic references and admiration for the shooters in the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado, authorities said.
In instant messages with another teen who had contacted him through his MySpace page, the boy threatened to lock the cafeteria doors during one of the lunch periods and shoot everyone inside. The violence evidently was intended as retaliation for teasing he had endured.
The online friend told a relative, who notified the Sheriff’s Office.
Call girl’s attorney deplores attention
A lawyer for the call girl linked to the downfall of Gov. Eliot Spitzer says the 22-year-old has been thrust into the “public glare” without her consent.
Don D. Buchwald says some publications have used Spitzer’s “political misfortunes” as an excuse to exploit the persona of Ashley Alexandra Dupre for commercial reasons.
Newspapers and Web sites splashed photos of Dupre in suggestive poses. She is known as “Kristen” in court documents that accuse Spitzer of paying for prostitutes’ services.
Buchwald says Dupre did not consent to the use of her photos “in this manner” and that their usage may violate federal copyright laws. He says Dupre is not a public figure but did not say they would sue media outlets.