Key Iranian Clerical Body Chooses New Hardline Chairman
The council of clerics in charge of selecting and supervising Iran's supreme leader chose Tuesday to make a hardline conservative its new chairman.
The Assembly of Experts elected 83-year-old Mohammad Yazdi to a term that will last until early next year, when the entire assembly will be up for election along with another vote for chairman. He succeeds Ayatollah Mohammadreza Mahdavi Kani, who died in October.
Yazdi won 47 votes in the 86-member assembly, beating out former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's 24 votes.
The cleric is also a member of Iran's influential Guardian Council that approves candidates to run in elections and can veto laws passed by the parliament.
Students, Police Clash in Central Myanmar
Student protesters and police clashed Tuesday in a central Myanmar town where authorities have for more than a week prevented the activists from marching to Yangon to demand education reform.
Witnesses in Letpadan said riot police used batons to beat back students who tried to push through police lines. A video from the scene appeared to show armored police smashing the windshield of a vehicle used by the students.
The clashes came hours after student leaders told VOA the government agreed to let the activists continue their protest march to Yangon, Myanmar's main city. It is not clear what part of the reported deal broke down. It is also not clear if there were any injuries or arrests.
The group, made up of hundreds of students, set off from Mandalay last month to demand Myanmar's military-dominated government scrap a new education reform law.
The students say the law will centralize control of universities in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They also want more government spending on education as well as the freedom to organize teachers and students.