Persistent Putin foe Alexei Navalny is arrested after whipping up nationwide protests on Russia Day

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_RUS140804AA001.jpeg M

MOSCOW — He has emerged as Vladimir Putin’s worst nightmare, and his refusal to just go away earned opposition leader Alexei Navalny yet another trip to the jailhouse Monday.

In one of the bigger challenges to the Russian president’s increasingly authoritarian rule, more than 1,000 protesters were arrested across the nation after defying police bans on rallying against Mr. Putin’s long rule and demanding an end to high-level corruption.

Read more at The Washington Times

French President Emmanuel Macron on course to dominate Parliament

  PARIS — French voters appeared to give their new president a clear mandate to implement far-reaching changes with Sunday's first round of parliamentary elections, as his party won a crushing victory over France’s two establishment parties.

With 94% of the votes counted, President Emmanuel Macron's year-old Republic on the Move! party won 28%. The conservative Republicans had 16%, followed by the far-right National Front with 14%. The far-left party of Jean-Luc Melenchon had 11%, while the Socialists, who dominated the last National Assembly, had just 7%.

Read more at USA Today

Emmanuel Macron’s En Marche set for French election wins

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA161616aa005.jpegPARIS | He has already defied France’s traditional political parties to claim the presidency, and now Emmanuel Macron’s upstart, center-right political party En Marche is expected run up a massive victory in parliamentary elections that begin on Sunday, giving the 39-year-old political newcomer a de Gaulle-sized mandate to pursue reforms to shake the country’s sclerotic economy.

Polls say Mr. Macron’s candidates will easily surpass the 289 seats needed for a majority and could be on track to lead one of the biggest parliamentary majorities of the post-World War II era.

Read more at The Washington Times

Another British terrorist attack puts Theresa May’s snap election rout in further jeopardy


LONDON — As British voters prepare to head to the polls on Thursday, an election that was supposed to be a cakewalk for Prime Minister Theresa May and her Tories has turned into a slog across a political minefield.

The prime minister called the surprise snap election in April in hopes of beefing up the Conservative Party’s slender majority in parliament, burnishing her credentials as a strong leader and giving her more leverage ahead of tough negotiations on leaving the European Union. A bonus: An overwhelming win would deal a crushing blow to the reeling Labor Party opposition and its beleaguered leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Read more at The Washington Times

Animosity toward Diana’s rival cools as Charles nears the British throne

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_GBR130322AA001.jpegLONDON — Since Queen Elizabeth’s husband, Prince Philip, announced in early May that he will retire from royal duties in the fall, Britons are beginning to accept who’s in line to come next: There may well be a King Charles — and likely a Queen Camilla.

Britain and the 15 other countries, including Australia and Canada, are never without a monarch. The very moment that 91-year-old Queen Elizabeth dies, Prince Charles will assume the throne. So, too, will his wife, Camilla Parker Bowles.

Read more at The Washington Times

G-7 summit protesters rail against immigration, capitalism as leaders fly overhead

GIARDINI NAXOS, Sicily – As the Group of Seven summit wrapped up Saturday, thousands demonstrated in the streets, rallying around dozens of issues from immigration to capitalism and everything in between.

Protesters likely numbered more than the up to 5,000 expected for the march, police said, a large amount for the 9,000-resident seaside resort community of Giardini Naxos adjacent to Taormina, the cliff-side town that hosted the gathering of world leaders. Helicopters shuttling the leaders from Taormina flew overhead as the demonstrations took place.

Read more at USA Today

Obama sends Trump clear message: 'We can't hide behind a wall'


BERLIN — Former president Barack Obama on Thursday took his successor to task for wanting to build a wall along the Mexican border, delivering a sharp attack while President Trump was a mere 500 miles away in Brussels.

"In this new world we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves — we can’t hide behind a wall,” Obama said before 70,000 cheering spectators at the iconic Brandenburg Gate, where he joined German Chancellor Angela Merkel to mark the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation.

Read more at USA Today

Right-wing German politician gains widespread support in fight against TV, radio tax

BERLIN — The far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party might best be known for its vocal opposition to the refugees that have flooded into the country and their disdain for the euro. But the party’s deputy chairwoman, Beatrix von Storch, also rails against the country’s decades-old mandatory public broadcasting tax that German households and businesses must pay even if they don’t own a radio or TV.

“Resistance to the forced payment for television is a core issue of the party,” said Ms. von Storch, who refuses to pay the contribution of roughly $20 per month that underwrites Germany’s three major public television and radio broadcasters and their dozens of affiliates.   

Read more at The Washington Times

Community and individual support vital to healing from trauma of terrorism


British families and communities rocked by Monday night’s bombing in Manchester now face an increasingly familiar reality: dealing with the aftermath of terrorism.

“This has been the most horrific incident we have had to face in Greater Manchester and one that we all hoped we would never see,” Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said in a statement. “We have a long history in Greater Manchester of communities standing together during difficult times. In the coming days we will be working closely with community leaders to address any issues.”  

Read more at The Washington Times

Feeling the "Pulse of Europe," tens of thousands protest to save EU


BERLIN – As French citizens headed to the polls on May 7 to cast their votes for president, tens of thousands of Europeans across the continent gathered in grand historic squares, quaint piazzas and cobblestone streets to send their French compatriots a clear message: “Let's stay together.”

For many of the demonstrators, who came together as part of an ongoing pan-European citizens initiative called Pulse of Europe, the face-off between France's far-right, ultranationalist Marine Le Pen and the Europhile centrist Emmanuel Macron was a moment of truth for the pro-E.U. protests they had been staging for months.



As Kenya's election season kicks off, can anybody stop the violence?


As commuters in the heart of Nairobi hustle past one another on River Road at the end of a recent workday, young men are buying machetes in a hardware shop before boarding a bus. The tools aren’t for clearing brush or making campsites, chopping food or splitting firewood. Peter Mwangi, who runs an electronics shop, is arming himself in case of election chaos. “I know there will be violence. I need to ready myself,” says Mwangi, holding a giant knife. “In the 2007 elections, we were not prepared. We were attacked, and I lost some of my relatives. But this time, it will not happen.”

    Read more at Newsweek

Germany searches all military barracks for Nazi material

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU130827AA001.jpegBERLIN — Germany ordered searches of all army barracks for Nazi memorabilia after finding startling pieces amid growing suspicion of extremism within the military.

Two discoveries over the weekend could lead to more Nazi material being found during the searches that will end May 16, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said.

Read more at USA Today

Emmanuel Macron's win in France shows Europe's populism is down, not out

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA171717aa001.jpegPARIS — Centrist Emmanuel Macron's landslide win in France's presidential election is a fresh sign European voters are turning their backs on the political populism exemplified by Britain's Brexit and Donald Trump's election, but the specter of far-right Marine Le Pen will continue to haunt a divided Europe, experts say.

Macron swamped Le Pen Sunday, 66% to 34%. The margin, wider than polls had projected, is a remarkable achievement for a politician who has never held elected office and whose En Marche! (On the Move) party was formed only a year ago with the aim of ending decades of dominance by France's mainstream parties on the left and right.

Read more at USA Today

Apuron church trial breaks new ground

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130315AA004.jpegROME — Guam Archbishop Anthony Apuron isn’t the first high-ranking church official to be accused of sexual abuse, but his ongoing canonical trial at the Vatican is ground-breaking, according to experts.

A new trial process for these types of allegations is in place under Pope Francis, and Apuron would be the first to be investigated and tried since its implementation.   

Read more at USA Today

France's far-right Marine Le Pen hopes no-shows hand her Trump-like upset

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA151226aa001.jpegPARIS — Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen hopes to stage a Donald-Trump-like upset in Sunday's runoff, but her best chance depends on far-left voters boycotting the presidential election.

That could happen because polls show up to a quarter of French voters don't like either of the two candidates and could abstain from voting, which might help her close a sizeable gap her opponent holds in the latest polls.

Read more at USA Today

Trump and Pope Francis to meet after heated clashes during 2016 campaign

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130318XX001.jpegVATICAN CITY — When President Trump meets with Pope Francis here later this month, he'll be face-to face with one of his most high-profile critics.

Though Francis has rarely mentioned Trump by name, he has been critical of the president’s policies — especially on immigration — and has cast doubt on whether he believes Trump is a true Christian.

Read more at USA Today

Pope backs Egypt's moderate Muslims in battle against extremists

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130401AA001.jpegCAIRO — Pope Francis began his two-day trip here on Friday to show solidarity with the country's Muslims who condemn radical Islamic terrorism, saying Egypt has an important role to play in  “vanquishing all violence and terrorism.”

The pontiff said religious leaders were obliged to “expose attempts to justify every form of hatred in the name of religion, and to condemn these attempts as idolatrous caricatures of God.”

Read more at USA Today

Pope Francis to visit Egypt after terror attack on Christians

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130318XX001.jpegCAIRO — Pope Francis begins a two-day trip to Muslim-majority Egypt on Friday to show solidarity with the country's Coptic Christians following the bombing of two churches that killed 44 people on Palm Sunday.

Francis is also using the visit to recognize efforts by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to allow Christians more equality in the country. He will join Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, for a conference on how Muslims and Christians can coexist peacefully, an initiative Sisi is pushing.

Read more at USA Today

French voters reject establishment, send Macron and Le Pen to presidential runoff

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_FRA161616aa005.jpegPARIS — The next president of France will either be a photogenic centrist ex-banker who set up his party just a year ago or the leader of a far-right party who wants to close the country’s borders and leave the European Union, according to preliminary election results.

On Sunday, French voters went to the polls and gave independent candidate Emmanuel Macron the lead in the race with 23.90 percent of the vote. Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front, came in second with 21.42 percent, with 96 percent of the vote tallied.   

Read more at The Washington Times

As Trump plans British state visit, May looks to remote Scottish Highlands to avoid protests

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_SCO140911aa001.jpegLONDON — President Trump hasn’t even confirmed the exact dates for his state visit, but British politicians are already fretting — if not in an outright panic — over how to cope with the politically dicey drop-by, not least because of the protests that are likely to erupt once he arrives.

Enter British Prime Minister Theresa May, who has come up with a plan: She wants to meet the president in the remote Scottish Highlands, where she could not only welcome the leader of the free world with pomp and circumstance worthy of the vaunted “special relationship,” but also keep Mr. Trump away from outbursts that might jeopardize a trade deal she desperately needs because of the U.K.’s divorce from the European Union in two years.

Read more at The Washington Times

Pope's Easter message: Keep the faith in our trying times

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_ITA130318XX001.jpegVATICAN CITY — Pope Francis broke with tradition to deliver an Easter homily Sunday that called on people everywhere to cling to faith despite suffering from the violence and intolerance sweeping the world.

The pope usually conducts an Urbu et Orbi blessing — Latin for “To the City and the World” — just after the Easter Mass. But Francis addressed a concern likely on the minds of many Catholics on this religious holiday as they witness what seems like daily images of war, terrorism and famine in every corner of the globe: Why is tragedy so common if Jesus rose from the dead to forgive the sins of the world, the central belief behind Easter?  

Read more at USA Today

Turkey's president claims victory in vote to increase his power

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130607aa004.jpegISTANBUL — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed a "historic" victory Sunday in a tightly contested national referendum that would radically change his country's system of government and give the president vast, new powers.

With 99% of the ballots counted, Erdogan's referendum had 51.4% "yes" votes, while 48.6% opposed the changes, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported. Car horns honked and Turks waved flags and rallied in the streets after Erdogan declared victory, but multiple opposition parties alleged voting irregularities and sought a recount.

Read more at USA Today

No dancing on Good Friday? German party-goers rebel

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_DEU131804AA001.jpegBERLIN — Observe Easter or go dancing?

In many parts of tradition-bound Germany, religion is winning out. And for those who like to go club-hopping into the night, it's not a happy holiday.

Read more at USA Today

Is Turkey's referendum a vote for more efficient government, or a power grab?

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR130326AA001.jpegOn April 16, Turkish citizens will vote "yes" or "no" on a referendum that would change the Turkish constitution from a parliamentary to a presidential system. Proponents say it will make the government run more efficiently. Opponents say it’s a power grab. Polls suggest the race is close and many are still undecided.

If the referendum passes, the role of prime minister would be abolished; the multi-party parliament would lose leverage. And President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his ruling Justice and Development Party or AKP would consolidate power and control. Many Turks see the vote as a referendum on the president himself.

Read more at PRI

Why Turkey's constitutional referendum on Sunday is such a big deal

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_TUR160606aa001.jpegISTANBUL — Sunday's constitutional referendum on granting broad new powers to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has deeply divided Elif Koc's family, like many other Turks. The 18-year-old manicurist said her uncle opposes giving Erdogan so much authority, but she's voting for the change.

"That can lead us to be a better country,” said first-time voter Koc.

Read more at USA Today

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