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Britain Votes, Chilean Shakeup, Magic Messi

Britain Votes, Chilean Shakeup, Magic Messi

THE UK VOTES

Britons are voting today in what The Guardian describes as the United Kingdom’s most unpredictable general elections in decades, as Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party and opponent Ed Miliband’s Labour Party remained even in the latest opinion polls, which has been the case for months. Neither party is expected to win an absolute majority in the 650-seat parliament, and both will have to race to strike deals with smaller parties to form a coalition. The first results are expected to be released at around midnight and others around noon tomorrow.


ON THIS DAY


On this day in 1664, the incredible Château de Versailles was inaugurated. Time for your 57-second shot of history.


NETANYAHU FORMS COALITION WITH FAR RIGHT

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signed a last-minute deal last night with the far-right Jewish Home party, which allows him to form a governmental coalition, Haaretz reports. The deal was signed 90 minutes before the midnight deadline, and saved “Bibi” from being forced from office, which is what would have happened if he had failed to reach a majority in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. He won the eight extra seats he needed with the Jewish Home party to reach the fragile majority of 61 seats out of 120. Naftali Bennett, the party’s extremist leader, was promised the ministry of education and also obtained the ministries of justice and agriculture for his party. Other parties of the coalition include Netanyahu’s Likud, the United Torah Judaism, Shas and Kulanu.


VERBATIM

“If the people of Burundi put their trust in us, it will be the last mandate I seek, as determined by the constitutional court,” incumbent Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza said in a televised speech yesterday about his decision to seek a controversial third term. His nomination in late April and its recent approval by the Burundi Constitutional Court have triggered deadly clashes between the president’s opponents and police forces. At least a dozen people have been killed since the start of the protests, including police officers and soldiers who have been accused of using weapons against civilians, Jeune Afrique reports.


GERMANS JAILED FOR ANTI-MUSLIM PLOT

German authorities have arrested three men and a woman who founded a far-right group to attack mosques and housing for asylum seekers, Die Zeit reports. Police say they seized explosives that could have been used in possible terror attacks and that the four people, aged 22 to 56, were being held on terrorism charges. Prosecutors say they recently founded a group called the “Old Schools Society” and planned to carry out attacks against Muslims in Germany.


EXTRA!

Hoping to hit the reset button on her slumping presidency, Chile’s Michelle Bachelet has decided to dump not just one or two ministers, but her entire cabinet. Bachelet made the stunning announcement during a television interview last night, saying she “requested the resignation of all the ministers” and will take 72 hours to sort out replacements and make final decisions about “who will stay and who will go.” See how Chile’s La Tercera covered the reshuffle in our Extra! feature here.


YEMEN SEEKS UN INTERVENTION

Yemen has urged the United Nations to authorize a ground intervention to push back Houthi rebels, who have been advancing in southern Yemen after weeks of fighting. “We urge the international community to quickly intervene by land forces to save Yemen, especially Aden and Taiz,” Yemen’s UN ambassador Khaled Alyemany wrote in a letter to the Security Council, Al Jazeera reports. Yemeni civilians have been killed in a series of incidents. The ambassador cited one in which at least 32 people were killed while trying to flee Aden in a boat, adding that the Houthis were “targeting anything that moves.”


MY GRAND-PÈRE’S WORLD



AFGHAN ARMY DEFENDS KEY CITY

Afghanistan has launched a major offensive against the Taliban near the northeastern provincial capital of Kunduz. Taliban forces, which Afghan officials say are being aided by ISIS, have come close to the city in recent weeks, the BBC reports. Tens of thousands of local residents have been displaced in the region.


WORLDCRUNCH-TO-GO

Losing your wallet in New York City doesn’t typically end well, but sometimes fate and an encounter with an immigrant taxi driver intervene. “I did forget one in a Hong Kong cab once,” Yonder’s Andrej Mrevje writes. “But that was in 1997, and it cost me more than $3,000. So from that time on, I have always looked on the back seat before I leave a taxi. And I did just that last night. But the man with the glasses insisted. He called again and at this point I buzzed him in, went to get the keys, and felt the pockets of the jacket I had been wearing the night before. There was no wallet. I went downstairs and through the glass door I saw a man waving, a wallet in his hand. It was my wallet. I expected a tough negotiation.”

Read the full article, How To Lose Your Wallet In New York City.


TORNADOES RAVAGE MIDWEST

Photo: Travis Heying/TNS/ZUMA

Severe tornadoes ripped through the Midwest last night, creating flooding, hailstorms and heavy winds in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Dozens of homes were destroyed and at least 13 people were injured, but so far no deaths have been reported.


UNMANNED SPACECRAFT TO HIT EARTH FRIDAY

Progress M-27M, the unmanned Russian spacecraft that has been “out of control” since April 28, is set to enter Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrate Friday, according to the Russian space agency Roscosmos. Scientists say only a few fragments are expected to reach the surface of the Earth and that they will probably hit the ocean. Keep an eye on the live position of Progress M-27M.


MAGIC MESSI

After a stunning performance against Bayern Münich with FC Barcelona in the semifinals of the European Champions League yesterday, Lionel Messi’s second goal, in which he humiliated German defender Jérôme Boateng, broke the Internet. The 26-year-old Boateng’s Wikipedia page was even modified after the match, momentarily reporting that he had “died” at the Spanish stadium.

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Society

Parenthood And The Pressure Of Always Having To Be Doing Better

As a father myself, I'm now better able to understand the pressures my own dad faced. It's helped me face my own internal demands to constantly be more productive and do better.

Photo of a father with a son on his shoulders

Father and son in the streets of Madrid, Spain

Ignacio Pereyra*

-Essay-

When I was a child — I must have been around eight or so — whenever we headed with my mom and grandma to my aunt's country house in Don Torcuato, outside of Buenos Aires, there was the joy of summer plans. Spending the day outdoors, playing soccer in the field, being in the swimming pool and eating delicious food.

But when I focus on the moment, something like a painful thorn appears in the background: from the back window of the car I see my dad standing on the sidewalk waving us goodbye. Sometimes he would stay at home. “I have to work” was the line he used.

Maybe one of my older siblings would also stay behind with him, but I'm sure there were no children left around because we were all enthusiastic about going to my aunt’s. For a long time in his life, for my old man, those summer days must have been the closest he came to being alone, in silence (which he liked so much) and in calm, considering that he was the father of seven. But I can only see this and say it out loud today.

Over the years, the scene repeated itself: the destination changed — it could be a birthday or a family reunion. The thorn was no longer invisible but began to be uncomfortable as, being older, my interpretation of the events changed. When words were absent, I started to guess what might be happening — and we know how random guessing can be.

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