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Geopolitics

Voters In France, Greece, Serbia Send Bitter Message For Europe

François Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency, with a final tally of 51.6%, against 48.38%. Change was also in the air in elections in Greece and Serbia.

Europe is changing: both French and Greeks voters made that clear Sunday night, with the same wind of change possibly blowing towards Serbia, which also held the first round of its presidential election.

In France, Socialist candidate François Hollande defeated incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency, with 51.6% of the votes, against 48.38%. But according to Le Monde, the clock is already ticking for Hollande, who is taking on the burden of not just France's economic crisis, but a "sick Europe." Calls have been made for Hollande to meet Angela Merkel as soon as he takes office, to tackle with the current financial crisis, notably the continued crisis with Greek debt.

Greece also voted on Sunday in Parliamentary elections, punishing the country's leading parties. Neither left-leaning PASOK nor center-right New Democracy succeeded in winning a majority of the Parliamentary seats. Most troubling, a Neo-Nazi group also entered Parliament, which some see as a backlash against austerity measures, CNN reports from Athens. A new coalition government should be formed with a third party, which could upend the entire political system.

In Serbia, President Boris Tadic arrived first in the opening round of the presidential election, with 26.8% of the votes on Sunday. But he was far from winning the absolute majority as his main opponent, Tomislav Nikolic, won 25.6% of the votes. The second round will be held on May 20.

Both results made it clear that a prompt reflection on Europe's future had to be held.

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Economy

In Uganda, Having A "Rolex" Is About Not Going Hungry

Experts fear the higher food prices resulting from the conflict in Ukraine could jeopardize the health of many Ugandans. Take a look at this ritzy-named simple dish.

Zziwa Fred, a street vendor who runs two fast-food businesses in central Uganda, rolls a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex.

Nakisanze Segawa

WAKISO — Godfrey Kizito takes a break from his busy shoe repair shop every day so he can enjoy his favorite snack, a vegetable and egg omelet rolled in a freshly prepared chapati known as a Rolex. But for the past few weeks, this daily ritual has given him neither the satisfaction nor the sustenance he is used to consuming. Kizito says this much-needed staple has shrunk in size.

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Most streets and markets in Uganda have at least one vendor firing up a hot plate ready to cook the Rolex, short for rolled eggs — which usually comes with tomatoes, cabbage and onion and is priced anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 Ugandan shillings (28 to 57 cents). Street vendor Farouk Kiyaga says many of his customers share Kizito’s disappointment over the dwindling size of Uganda’s most popular street food, but Kiyaga is struggling with the rising cost of wheat and cooking oil.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has halted exports out of the two countries, which account for about 26% of wheat exports globally and about 80% of the world’s exports of sunflower oil, pushing prices to an all-time high, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization, a United Nations agency. Not only oil and wheat are affected. Prices of the most consumed foods worldwide, such as meat, grains and dairy products, hit their highest levels ever in March, making a nutritious meal even harder to buy for those who already struggle to feed themselves and their families. The U.N. organization warns the conflict could lead to as many as 13.1 million more people going hungry between 2022 and 2026.

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