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Austria Presidential Razor Close

VIENNA â€" The front page of the Kleine Zeitung daily on Monday puts into stark colors the hard split down the center of Austria, as the presidential elections remain deadlocked, pending the counting of write-in ballots.

By midday Monday far-right presidential candidate Hobert Hofer, from the populist Freedom Party (FPÖ), hhad obtained 51.9% of the votes, to 48.1% for his opponent, Alexander Van der Bellen, who ran as an independent.

Election officials expect by Monday night the remaining 900,000 postal votes â€" around 14% of Austria’s 6.4 million eligible voters â€" will be tallied. If elected, Hofer would become the first far-right president in the European Union since 1945. He focused his campaign on the refugee crisis, after more than 90,000 people last year sought asylum in Austria, equivalent to 1% of the country population.

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File:Parsin Gas and CNG Station in Karaj-Qazvin Freeway, Iran ...

Gas stations in many Iranian cities had trouble supplying fuel earlier in the week in what was a suspected cyberattack on the fuel distribution system. One Tehran daily on Thursday blamed Israel, which may have carried out similar acts in past years, to weaken Iran's hostile regime.

The incident reportedly disrupted the credit and debit card payments system this time, forcing users to pay cash and higher prices, the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported.


Though state officials didn't publicly accuse anyone specific, they did say perhaps this and other attacks had been planned for October, to "anger people" on the anniversary of the anti-government protests of 2019.

Khamenei, where's our gas?

Cheeky slogans were spotted Tuesday in different places in Iran, including electronic panels over motorways. One of them read "Khamenei, where's our gas?"


Iran International reported that Tehran-based news agency ISNA posted, then deleted, a report on drivers also seeing the message "cyberattack 64411" on screens at gas stations, purported to be the telephone number of the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

A member of parliament's National Security Committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said the attack had been planned months ahead, and had inflicted "grave losses," Iran International and domestic agencies reported Thursday. The conservative Tehran newspaper Kayhan named "America, the Zionist regime and their goons" as the "chief suspects" in the attack.

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