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• Zelensky in the UK after a visit to Paris: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak this morning, continuing a tour of European capitals ensuring military support for Kyiv’ looming counteroffensive. Germany has already pledged additional military aid worth almost $3 billion, Italy has reaffirmed its alliance and Zelensky’s yesterday's visit Sunday to Paris, France will send more light tanks and armored vehicles.
• A run-off looms in the Turkish elections: With 49.42% of the votes so far, incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan came out ahead of top challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu’s 44.95% in the first round of the country’s presidential election. But with 99% of the votes counted, Erdogan has not reached the 50% threshold that would prevent a second round. The decisive second round is slated for May 28.
• Thai opposition wins elections in face of military parties: Thailand's two main opposition parties agreed on Monday to form a ruling coalition after winning a weekend election over military-backed rivals that have controlled the government for nearly a decade. Any new government must still be certified by the traditionally conservative military-appointed Senate.
• China jails U.S. citizen for life: A Chinese court has sentenced a 78- year-old U.S. citizen to life in prison on spying charges. John Shing-Wan Leung, a permanent resident in Hong Kong, was jailed on Monday. He "was found guilty of espionage, sentenced to life imprisonment [and] deprived of political rights for life," according to the statement from the Intermediate People's Court.
• Vice Media files for bankruptcy in the U.S.: Vice, once a darling of online media upstarts, has filed for bankruptcy protection. The group, which includes Vice News, Motherboard, Refinery29 and Vice TV, said that it will continue to operate and produce news during the bankruptcy process.
• Cyclone Mocha hits Myanmar: At least six people have been killed and more than 1,000 buildings damaged as Cyclone Mocha tore through already stricken western Myanmar. Refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh that include many Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar, avoided the worst, but communications have been disrupted as emergency aid arrives.
• The artist formerly known as The Weeknd: Canadian singer-songwriter The Weeknd is now Abel Makkonen Tesfaye on social media, as a part of a larger “cathartic path” to “kill the Weeknd.” The multi award winning artist is “statistically the most popular musician on the planet” according to Guinness World Records, with 111.4 million monthly Spotify listeners.
Turkish daily Hürriyet devotes its front page to the first round of the presidential election, which is likely to result in a runoff in two weeks. It will "not be over in a day." Almost all ballots have been counted but delays are expected as overseas votes are still being gathered.
A 700-piece jewelry collection once owned by late Austrian billionaire Heidi Horten has fetched a combined 176 million Swiss francs ($196 million) at a Christie’s auction in Geneva — smashing the record of the most expensive private jewelry collection to be sold at auction. The sale went ahead despite calls from the American Jewish Committee to put it on hold to investigate the source of the Hortens’ wealth, describing the heiress’ first husband Helmut Horten as one of the “unscrupulous businessmen” who “took advantage of aryanization laws and the desperate needs of Jews fleeing the Nazis” during the Nazi era.
Bakhmut confidential: Whispered fears, endgame visions
In the ambulances transporting the wounded to the field hospitals, in the vans traveling to the front or in the trains returning them home for a few days' rest, the soldiers stationed on the Bakhmut front do not talk about military victories or war strategies. They talk about death, and life, reports Patricia Simón in Spanish media Ethic.
🇺🇦 None of the dozens of people I interviewed in Ukraine have any hope that peace is near. Even less in the Donbas region, where the main fighting is now happening, and where the war began in 2014, following Russia's annexation of Crimea and the clash between pro-Russian groups and the Ukrainian Army. Many of those who now fear the Russian troop suffered for years from the siege of the Ukrainians.
💥 The people in the areas most affected by the war are exhausted from rebuilding their country every day, from shoring it up again after each blow, from putting all their energy into maintaining the electricity and drinking water supply, keeping the public sanitation, garbage collection and health centers running. It is a daily and silent battle to ensure that Ukraine remains a livable place.
➗ The unity brought about by the invasion is cracking as the war drags on. And that is happening, especially, with the population that has relatives at the front. "Russia has 140 million people and Putin doesn't mind sacrificing all those lives. Wagner doesn't even bury or repatriate its dead soldiers — what can we do against all this?" asks Alexey Bulava. A year ago, this graphic designer from Kyiv longed to fight on the front lines. Now he fears getting the draft call at any moment.
➡️ Read more on Worldcrunch.com
“Freedom does not come easily. You have to snatch it. You have to sacrifice for it.”
— Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan has called nationwide demonstrations for "freedom" following his arrest on Tuesday, which sparked deadly protests throughout the country. Imran Khan shared this statement during a speech broadcasted on YouTube a day after he was released, thanks to the intervention of Pakistan’s supreme court. Several top leaders of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party still remain under arrest.
✍️ Newsletter by Yannick Champion-Osselin, Emma Albright, Sophie Jacquier, Chloé Touchard and Anne-Sophie Goninet