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JERUSALEM POST, HAARETZ (Israel), BBC NEWS (UK), CNN, NEW YORK TIMES (USA)

Worldcrunch

JERUSALEM – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu"s narrow victory for a third term as Israel's prime minister will force him to reach out to the surprise centrist challenger as he now faces the complex task of forming a new coalition.

Netanyahu’s Likud-Beitenu right-wing alliance lost a quarter of its Parliamentary seats in the Knesset, a humbling rebuke for Netanyahu who himself called the early elections as an overwhelming favorite with no obvious challenger, according to the New York Times.

Still, the Likud-Beitenu lineup still remains the largest grouping with 31 to 33 of the 120 Knesset seats.

This election’s biggest surprise came from the Yesh Atid party, a new centrist movement founded by television celebrity and political novice Yair Lapid, which came in second with 19 seats, according to the exit polls.

BBC News expects President Shimon Peres will soon ask Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attempt to form a new government; coalition talks – notably with the Yesh Atid party -- may begin as early as next week.

"According to the exit polls, it is clear that Israelis decided that they want me to continue serving as prime minister, and that I form as broad a government as possible," Netanyahu is quoted as saying by the Jerusalem Post.

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Newly reelected PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid - Wikimedia

Speaking shortly after his narrow reelection, Netanyahu cited a number of principles his new government will embrace: security, preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, economic responsibility in the face of the global financial crisis, increasing equality in sharing burdens and lowering the cost of living, notably housing costs, CNN reports.

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Society

Mahsa Amini, Martyr Of An Iranian Regime Designed To Abuse Women

The 22-year-old is believed to have been beaten to death at a Tehran police station last week after "morality police" had reprimanded her clothing. The case has sparked the nation's outrage. But as ordinary Iranians testify, such beatings, torture and a home brand of misogyny are hallmarks of the 40-year Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mahsa Amini

Firouzeh Nordstrom

-Analysis-

TEHRAN — The death in Iran of a 22-year-old Mahsa Amini — after she was arrested by the so-called "morality police" — has unleashed another wave of protests, as thousands of Iranians vent their fury against an intrusive and violent regime. Indeed, as tragically exceptional as the circumstances appear, the reaction reflects the daily reality of abuse by authorities, especially directed toward women

Amini, a Kurdish-Iranian girl visiting Tehran with relatives, was detained by the regime's morality patrols on Sept. 13, apparently for not respecting the Islamic dress code that includes proper use of the hijab headscarf. Amini was declared dead two or three days after being taken into custody. Officials say she fainted and died, and blamed a preexisting heart condition. But neither her family nor anyone else in Iran believe that, as can be seen in the mounting protests that have now left at least three dead.

For Amini's was hardly the first arbitrary arrest, or the first suspected death in custody under Iran's Islamic regime.

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