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Germany jails Iraqi ISIS member for life for Yazidi killings

A Frankfurt court on Tuesday handed a life sentence to an Iraqi man who joined ISIS for genocide against the Yazidi minority, in the first verdict worldwide to use the label.

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Taha al-Jumailly, 29, passed out in the courtroom after being found guilty of genocide, as well as crimes against humanity, war crimes, aiding and abetting war crimes and bodily harm with fatal consequences.

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Explainer: All you need to know about Turkish election runoff

Turks were voting on Sunday in a presidential election runoff between the incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his challenger Kemal Kilicdaroglu that will decide whether the president extends his rule into a third decade.
Here is a guide to the runoff, the two candidates and the key issues as well as details on how the May 14 parliamentary election unfolded:

Presidential vote

Turks will be electing a president for a five-year term.
In the first round of voting on May 14, Erdogan got 49.5 percent support, falling just short of the majority needed to avoid a runoff in a vote seen as a referendum on his autocratic rule.
Kilicdaroglu, the candidate of a six-party opposition alliance, received 44.9 percent support. Nationalist candidate Sinan Ogan came third with 5.2 percent support and was eliminated. The outcome confounded the expectations of pollsters who had put Kilicdaroglu ahead.
A referendum in 2017 narrowly approved Erdogan’s move to broaden the powers of the presidency, making the president head of government and abolishing the post of prime minister.
As president, Erdogan sets policy on Turkey’s economy, security, domestic and international affairs.

The candidates:

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
More than 20 years after Erdogan and his AKP came to power, he hopes to extend his tenure as modern Turkey’s longest serving ruler.
His strong performance on May 14, when he managed to mobilize conservative voters, defied predictions of his political demise.
Victory would entrench the rule of a leader who has transformed Turkey, reshaping the secular state founded 100 years ago to fit his pious vision while consolidating power in his hands in what critics see as a march to autocracy.
Over the last week, Erdogan received the endorsement of hardline nationalist Sinan Ogan, boosting the incumbent and intensifying Kilicdaroglu’s challenge in the runoff.
In the parliamentary vote held on May 14 support for Erdogan’s AKP tumbled seven points from the 42.6 percent which it won in the 2018 elections, but with his alliance enjoying a parliamentary majority he has called on voters to support him in order to ensure political stability.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu
Kilicdaroglu is both the main opposition candidate and chairman of the CHP, which was established by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the founder of modern Turkey.
He has offered voters an inclusive platform and promised a democratic reset, including a return to a parliamentary system of government and independence for a judiciary that critics say Erdogan has used to crack down on dissent.
However, his rhetoric since May 14 has taken a hawkish turn as he reaches out to nationalist voters in his bid to overtake Erdogan, vowing to send back millions refugees.
Turkey’s pro-Kurdish parties on Thursday reaffirmed their support for Kilicdaroglu in the runoff without naming him, a day after expressing anger at a deal which he reached with the far right, anti-immigrant Victory Party (ZP).
ZP leader Umit Ozdag declared his party’s support for Kilicdaroglu on Wednesday in a potential boost to the CHP leader, countering the impact of Ogan’s support for Erdogan. The ZP received 2.2 percent of votes in the parliamentary election.

What is at stake?

The vote will decide not only who leads Turkey, a NATO-member country of 85 million, but also how it is governed, where its economy is headed amid a deep cost of living crisis, and the shape of its foreign policy.
Erdogan’s critics say his government has muzzled dissent, eroded rights and brought the judicial system under its sway, a charge denied by officials.
Turkey’s economy is also in focus.
Economists say it was Erdogan’s unorthodox policy of low interest rates despite surging prices that drove inflation to 85 percent last year, and the lira slumping to one tenth of its value against the dollar over the last decade. Kilicdaroglu has pledged to return to more orthodox economic policy and to restore the independence of the Turkish central bank.
On foreign affairs, under Erdogan, Turkey has flexed military power in the Middle East and beyond, forged closer ties with Russia, and seen relations with the European Union and United States become increasingly strained.
Turkey and the United Nations also brokered a deal between Moscow and Kyiv for Ukrainian wheat exports and Erdogan announced on May 17 the latest two-month extension.


More than 64 million Turks are eligible to vote at nearly 192,000 polling stations, including more than 6 million who were first-time voters on May 14. There are 3.4 million voters overseas, who voted between May 20-24.
Polling stations in Turkey opened at 8 a.m. (0500 GMT) on Sunday and close at 5 p.m. (1400 GMT). The sale of alcohol is banned on election day.
Turnout in Turkish elections is generally high. On May 14, the overall turnout was 87.04% of eligible voters, with a level of 88.9 percent in Turkey and 49.4 percent abroad.


Under election rules, news, forecasts and commentaries about the vote are banned until 6 p.m. (1500 GMT) and media are only free to report on election results from 9 p.m. (1800 GMT).
However, the High Election Board may allow media to report on results earlier and usually does. Results on Sunday evening are likely to emerge earlier than they did on May 14 given the relative simplicity of the ballot paper.
Read more:
Turkey’s presidential election runoff kicks off in historic vote
Turkey far right party leader backs Erdogan’s challenger, Kilicdaroglu, in runoff​​​​
Turkey citizens based abroad begin voting in presidential election runoff

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Indian PM Modi inaugurates new parliament building as part of grand makeover

Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India’s new parliament building on Sunday, a modern complex which is part of his government’s grand plan to give a makeover to the British colonial-era architecture in the nation’s capital.
The inauguration, and the ongoing revamp of the heart of New Delhi based on Indian culture, traditions and symbols, comes a year before parliamentary elections in which Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will pitch its strong Hindu nationalist credentials, and its performance in office over the last decade, to seek a third term.

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Early in the morning, Modi held traditional prayers outside the complex in a ceremony that was also attended by top cabinet min-isters. He then lit a traditional lamp inside parliament.
The event was boycotted by 20 opposition parties who said Modi had violated protocol to inaugurate the new complex and grab the spotlight when it should have been done by the president, the highest executive of the country.
“To open a new parliament building without the opposition, it does not mean there is a democracy in the country. It’s an incomplete event,” Supriya Sule, an opposition leader, told news agency ANI.
The Modi government has rejected the opposition argument, saying no protocol has been violated and that the prime minister respects the constitutional head of the country.
The new parliament complex is the centerpiece of a $2.4 billion project aimed at eclipsing the significance of colonial-era build-ings in the capital’s center, paving the way for modern buildings with a distinct Indian identity.
“Our new Parliament is truly a beacon of our democracy. It reflects the nation’s rich heritage and the vibrant aspirations
for the future,” Modi said on Twitter late on Saturday.
The triangular-shaped parliament complex is just across from the old, circular heritage building built by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in 1927, two decades before India’s independence.
The old parliament will be converted into a museum.
Besides modern technology, the new parliament has a total of 1,272 seats in two chambers, nearly 500 more than the old
building, and at least three times as much space to accommodate new lawmakers in the world’s most populous nation.

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Russia targets Kyiv with largest drone attack on Ukrainian capital ahead of Kyiv Day

Russia unleashed waves of air strikes on Kyiv overnight in what officials said appeared to be the largest drone attack on the city since the start of the war, as the Ukrainian capital prepared to celebrate the anniversary of its founding on Sunday.
Ukraine’s Air Force said it downed 52 out of the 54 Russia-launched drones, calling it a record attack with the Iranian-made ‘kamikaze’ drones. It was not immediately clear how many of the drones were shot over Kyiv.
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In what also appears to be the first deadly attack on Kyiv in May and the 14th assault this month, falling debris killed a 41-year-old man, Mayor Vitali Klitschko said.
The pre-dawn attacks came on the last Sunday of May when the capital celebrates Kyiv Day, the anniversary of its official founding 1,541 years ago. The day is typically marked by street fairs, live concerts and special museum exhibitions – plans for which have been made this year too, but on a smaller scale.
“The history of Ukraine is a long-standing irritant for the insecure Russians,” Andriy Yermak, the head of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office, said on his Telegram channel.
Air Force said on Telegram that Russia had targeted military and critical infrastructure facilities in the central regions of Ukraine, and the Kyiv region in particular.
Reuters was unable to independently verify the information.
With a Ukrainian counteroffensive looming 15 months into the war, Moscow has intensified air strikes after a lull of nearly two months, targeting chiefly military site and supplies. Waves of attacks now come several times a week.
The Sunday attacks came after Kyiv said that combat clashes eased around the besieged city of Bakhmut in southeastern Ukraine, the site of the war’s longest battle.
Serhiy Popko, the head of Kyiv’s military administration, said the attack was carried out in several waves, and air alerts lasted more than five hours.
“Today, the enemy decided to ‘congratulate’ the people of Kyiv on Kyiv Day with the help of their deadly UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles],” Popko said on the Telegram messaging channel.
Several districts of Kyiv, by far the largest Ukrainian city with a population of around 3 million, suffered in the overnight attacks, officials said, including the historical Pecherskyi neighborhood.
Reuters witnesses said that during the air raid alerts that started soon after midnight, many people stood on their balconies, some screaming offensives directed at Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and “Glory to air defense” slogans.
In the leafy Holosiivskyi district in the southwestern part of Kyiv, falling debris set a three-story warehouse on fire, destroying about 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) of building structures, Mayor Klitschko said.
A fire broke out after falling drone debris hit a seven-story non-residential building in the Solomyanskyi district west of the city. The district is a busy rail and air transport hub.
In the Pecherskyi district, a fire broke out on the roof of a nine-story building due to falling drone debris, and in the Darnytskyi district a shop was damaged, Kyiv’s military administration officials said on Telegram.
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