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10 things you need to know today: June 16, 2013
Moderate Hassan Rowhani wins Iran's presidential election, Egypt cuts diplomatic ties with Syria, and more
 
Meet Iran's new president.
Meet Iran's new president. Majid/Getty Images

1. MODERATE HASSAN ROWHANI WINS IRAN'S PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani won 50.7 percent of the vote in Iran's six-way presidential race, according to results released Saturday. Rowhani's victory was "a striking repudiation of the ultraconservatives who wield power in Iran," as Iranians voted to replace Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose tenure was defined largely by confrontation with the West and a hobbled economy at home. Rowhani, who once served as Iran's lead nuclear negotiator, has advocated for greater personal freedoms in the country and more conciliatory relations with the world. [New York Times]
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2. PROTESTS ERUPT ACROSS ISTANBUL AS TAKSIM SQUARE IS SEALED OFF
On Saturday, bulldozers cleared the tent cities that protesters have formed in Istanbul's Taksim Square and police sealed off the area. Riot police also fired tear gas and rubber bullets causing a chaotic scene. Protesters then gathered in other parts of the city, and many say they are only just beginning their resistance of the government of embattled Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who on Friday warned demonstrators to leave the square. [USA Today]
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3. COLORADANS RETURN TO THEIR HOMES TO SURVEY FIRE DAMAGE
As fire crews in the Colorado Springs area expanded containment of a wildfire that has been burning since Tuesday to 55 percent, some residents have been allowed to return to their neighborhoods. Some 500 homes were destroyed in a 25-mile area. It has cost Colorado some $3.5 million so far to fight the blaze, which is believed to have been caused by people. [Associated Press]
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4. NORTH KOREA PROPOSES 'SENIOR-LEVEL' TALKS WITH U.S.
In a statement from North Korea's state-run news agency, Pyongyang proposed wide-ranging "senior-level" talks with the U.S., which it said Washington should accept without demanding any preconditions about denuclearization. North Korea said the talks should be used to defuse "military tensions," draft a peace treaty with South Korea, and discuss mutual denuclearization. But the U.S. is unlikely to agree to talks without Pyongyang first showing interest in giving up its small stockpile of nuclear weapons. [Washington Post]
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5. EGYPT CUTS DIPLOMATIC TIES WITH SYRIA
The Syrian government has called the move by Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi to cut diplomatic ties with Syria "irresponsible." Damascus also accused Morsi of joining the U.S.-Israeli conspiracy to divide the Middle East. Morsi said Saturday that he would also order the Egyptian embassy in Syria to close, and called for a no-fly zone over Syria as its deadly civil war drags on. [CBS News]
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6. STRING OF ATTACKS ACROSS IRAQ LEAVE 32 DEAD
Nearly a dozen apparently coordinated bomb attacks and a shooting in cities across Iraq left at least 32 people dead and wounded on Sunday. Violence has spiked sharply in Iraq in recent months, with the death toll rising to levels not seen since 2008. Nearly 2,000 have been killed since the start of April. [Associated Press]
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7. MANDELA'S CONDITION SLOWLY IMPROVES
South African President Jacob Zuma said Sunday that former President Nelson Mandela, who has been in a hospital with a lung infection for nine days, is recovering. "Over the last two days, although he remains serious, his doctors have stated that his improvement has been sustained," Zuma said. Mandela, 94, was admitted to the intensive care unit of a Pretoria hospital on June 8. It's his fourth hospital stay since December. [Bloomberg]
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8. GOOGLE LAUNCHES INTERNET BALLOONS IN NEW ZEALAND
Google has launched 30 helium-filled test balloons above New Zealand to bring some 50 volunteer households in Christchurch an internet connection beamed from the balloons to their computers. The wind-driven balloons are floating about 12.5 miles above Earth and are designed to stay airborne for three months. [Voice of America]
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9. TAMPA BAY RAYS PITCHER HIT IN HEAD BY LINE DRIVE
Alex Cobb, the 25-year-old right-hander for the Tampa Bay Rays, was hit on the right ear by a line drive off the bat of Kansas City Royals' Eric Hosmer during their Saturday game. Cobb was taken off the field in a stretcher after writhing in pain on the ground. He remained conscious and was taken to a hospital where doctors said he had sustained a mild concussion. Cobb's accident comes as debate continues over whether to require MLB pitchers to wear helmets. [Associated Press]
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10. PUTIN SAYS HE DIDN'T STEAL SUPER BOWL RING
Russian President Vladimir Putin has denied that he stole a Super Bowl ring from New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft when Kraft visited St. Petersburg in 2005. Kraft says that when he showed Putin the ring, the Russian president said, "I can kill someone with this ring," before he pocketed it and walked out of the room surrounded by KGB agents. Putin's spokesman says Kraft gave the ring as a gift. But Kraft says the White House forced him to say it was a gift to avoid hurting U.S. relations with Russia. [CNN, New York Post]

 
Frances is a senior editor at TheWeek.com, managing the website on the early morning shift and editing stories on everything from politics to entertainment to science and tech. She's a graduate of Yale and the University of Missouri journalism school, and has previously worked at TIME and Real Simple.

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