Turkish Candidate Drops Out, U.S.-Mexico Border Limbo, Stratospheric Sounds
👋 Mari mari!*
Welcome to Friday, where Turkish President Erdogan got bad news for Sunday’s reelection chances, thousands of would-be immigrants line up to cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and scientists record unidentified sounds in the stratosphere. Meanwhile, Turkish news outlet Diken makes the case for the election of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the cool and collected candidate trying to put an end to Erdogan’s 20-year reign.
[*Mapuche, Chile and Argentina]
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🌎 7 THINGS TO KNOW RIGHT NOW
• Russia rebuffs claims of a Bakhmut breakthrough: The Russian defense ministry has refuted reports that Ukrainian forces have breached the front lines in multiple locations and asserted that they have the military situation under control.
• Bad news for Erdogan as candidate drops out of Turkey election: Polling experts say the withdrawal of minor candidate Muharrem Ince just two days before Turkish presidential elections will hurt President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chances at victory. The main opposition leader, Kemal Kilicdaroglu, is expected to collect Ince’s supporters’ votes as head of the Nation Alliance coalition.
• Uncertainty at Mexico border as U.S. immigration policy ends: Thousands of people are in line to cross the U.S.-Mexico border after Washington’s controversial Title 42 immigration policy ended overnight. Migrants now find themselves in a state of limbo after President Joe Biden unveiled new rules to regulate the border. Title 42 used the COVID-19 pandemic to justify blocking migrants in the name of “public health.”
• Agreement to protect civilians in Sudan: Representatives of the warring army and paramilitary forces have committed to protecting civilians as negotiations continue in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. The deal will include allowing safe passage out of hostile areas, letting in humanitarian aid and restoring basic services in the country.
• Pakistan’s ex-PM’s bailed out of jail: Former Prime Minister Imran Khan has received two weeks of bail from the Islamabad High Court. This comes after his arrest was ruled illegal by the Supreme Court, which said he should be let go after being detained for corruption two days before.
• Ahead of the G7 summit in Japan, China displays naval power: As Japan gears up to host G7 leaders next week, tensions rise as Chinese warships sail around the island nation. Even if Taiwan is the main point of contention for Beijing, the four-ship flotilla is spending 12 days circumnavigating Japan.
• Solar balloon picks up strange sounds in stratosphere:Unexpected rumblings were recorded by the microphones of a giant balloon sent up over 21 kilometers (70,000 ft) up in the air by scientists out of New Mexico, U.S. When up twice as high as commercial airplanes, it is generally quiet, so the researchers are eager to suss out the source of the strange signals.
🗞️ FRONT PAGE
“Homestretch,” titles Turkish daily Milliyet, two days before Turkish citizens go to the polls for the first round of the country’s tightest presidential election in years. One of the four candidates, Muharrem Ince of the Homeland Party, announced on Thursday that he was withdrawing from the race, potentially bolstering the chances of Kemal Kilicdaroglu, President Erdogan's biggest rival, to garner more than 50% of the vote to secure victory in the first round.
#️⃣ BY THE NUMBERS
Despite a slowdown in global demand, Malaysia's economy surpassed all expectations by registering a 5.6% growth in the first quarter of the year, thanks to solid domestic demand, a rebound in tourism and new infrastructure projects. “The economy is no longer in crisis and in fact, continues to gain strength,” commented the Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus.
📰 STORY OF THE DAY
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the tranquil force to save Turkey's democracy
The 74-year-old veteran politician has a solid chance of unseating Erdogan from power after 20 years. Kilicdaroglu has displayed the kind of calm and open attitude to save Turkish democracy, writes Murat Sevinç for independent online Turkish news site Diken.
🗳️ The world may soon get to know Kemal Kilicdaroglu well. The leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is the presidential candidate of the six-party opposition coalition challenging the lengthy rule of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Polls now show that the 74-year-old veteran politician and trained economist has a solid chance to garner more than 50% of the ballots in the May 14 first round of voting to take the presidency.
↔️ If Kilicdaroglu is elected, we’ll witness a long transition period to replace Erdogan, who first rose to power as prime minister in 2003, before moving on to the presidency in 2014 after a Constitutional reform changed Turkey's democracy into a presidential system. A Kilicdaroglu victory would be a new experience for Turkey, and some of it will be made up on the go — no matter how much planning may go into it.
🇹🇷 From what we have seen over the past months of the campaign, with his patience and leadership style, I believe Kilicdaroglu will be up to the task. Let's be clear: there’s never any point in overpraising a politician which inevitably creates false expectations. Still, looking at Kilicdaroglu days before the vote, I’m among the hopeful. Three years ago I wrote an article in which I argued that Kilicdaroglu was the natural "peacemaker” for the nation after Erdogan's failed attempt in that role. I still believe that.
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📹 THIS HAPPENED VIDEO — TODAY IN HISTORY, IN ONE ICONIC PHOTO
➡️ Watch the video: THIS HAPPENED
“If the Turkish government every other day talks about coming at night to invade our islands, obviously that is not very conducive toward building a climate of trust and goodwill.”
— Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has spoken in favor of forging a friendly relationship with the winner of Turkey’s upcoming elections on Sunday, amid rising tensions between both nations. Facing his own election next week, Mitsotakis urges Turkey’s leaders to reconsider their position and stance towards the West, while acknowledging that foreign policies don’t change overnight. Greece and Turkey have long-standing disputes regarding their maritime boundaries in the Mediterranean, but their bilateral relations have significantly worsened as Turkish officials have repeatedly hinted at the possibility of invading the Greek islands.
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✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Marine Béguin, Inès Mermat and Anne-Sophie Goninet
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