Voting was extended Friday in second round elections for almost a quarter of the seats in Iran's parliament, a crucial showdown between reformists and conservatives seeking to influence the country's future. Iran's reformists -- who have encouraged foreign investment, support moves for greater diplomatic rapprochement and seek social reforms at home -- are allied with President Hassan Rouhani's government and made major gains in the first round on February 26. Polling stations opened at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) for the second round which is taking place in 21 provinces, but not the capital Tehran, with 68 of 290 seats in parliament at stake.
At least 11 people died on Friday when a helicopter transporting 13 people from a North Sea oil platform crashed off the coast of western Norway, rescue services said. Sola spokesman Anders Bang Andersen told reporters that emergency crews had "not seen any sign of survivors". The Super Puma chopper went down around midday in the archipelago off the coast of Bergen, Norway's second biggest city, carrying 11 Norwegians, one Briton and one Italian.