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SKYNEWS (UK), KOREAN TIMES (South Korea)

Worldcrunch

SEOUL - South Korea has elected its first female president, as Park Geun-Hye, the daugther of the country's longtime autocratic ruler, defeated opposition candidate Moon Jae-in.

Park, 60, the conservative party candidate, claimed victory early Thursday, after collecting 51.5% of the votes against Moon's 47.9%.

The campaign largely revolved around domestic issues, including rising unemployment and welfare, as Park convinced voters that she could better manage South Korea's economic challenges. Skynews reminds us that the incoming President's father, Park Chung-Hee, was the central political figure in post-War South Korea, having led the country's emergenc from poverty, but ruling with an iron fist during 18 years of dictatorship until 1979.

During her campaign, Park Geun-Hye condemned her father’s autocratic policies and emphasized the current administration's inaction on the North Korean refugees situation. Skynews reported that Park's being single and childless weighed in her favor, as Koreans are fed up with corrupt politicians using public money and offices to favor their children and other relatives.

Turnout was notably high, with 75.8% of eligible voters casting ballots, according to the Korean Times.

The son of North Korean refugees and a former human rights lawyer, Moon conceded defeat as the streets of Seoul filled with a roaring crowd to acclaim their new president: “Park Geun-Hye has married our nation. Now she will go on her honeymoon to the Blue House to begin governing,” said Cha In-Hong, a 57-year-old office worker.

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Russian conscripts departing for their military service with the Russian Army

Anna Akage, Chloé Touchard, Meike Eijsberg and Bertrand Hauger

Russian President Vladimir Putin officially addressed the nation early Tuesday to announce the “partial mobilization” of Russian forces that will see military reservists sent to Ukraine to defend “the territorial integrity of our motherland.”

The decision marks a major escalation of the war Putin launched seven months ago, which until now he has tried to downplay domestically as a “special military operation.” The mobilization comes as Ukraine troops have made major advances this month, and follows Tuesday’s announcement of referendums in occupied parts of Ukraine that are expected to lead to their annexation as part of Russia.

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In the highly anticipated speech, Putin restated his claim that Russia is fighting against “neo-Nazis” who have seized power in Ukraine, and made allusion to Moscow’s nuclear arsenal. “We will certainly use all the means at our disposal to protect Russia and our people,” the Russian president said, adding: "This is not a bluff."

In terms of the impact inside Russia, Putin again tried to quell possible public opposition. "I repeat, we are talking about partial mobilization, i.e., only citizens who are currently in the reserve will be called up for military service, especially those who have served in the Armed Forces and have certain military professions and relevant experience," Putin said in his address.

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