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News Trending War

Russia has conducted a large-scale drone attack on the capital of Ukraine, Kyiv. According to reports, 54 kamikaze drones were launched by Russia, out of which 52 were shot down by Ukraine’s Air Force. The attack resulted in the death of one person and injury to a woman when drone wreckage fell near a petrol station. Several high-rise buildings in different districts of Kyiv caught fire due to falling drone fragments, and warehouses in the Holosiyivsky district were also set ablaze.

Kyiv residents described their experiences during the attack, with one person mentioning being woken up by a drone flying close to her window and witnessing a series of bright flashes followed by loud explosions. Despite the terrifying situation, many residents expressed gratitude for the air defense and rescue services and emphasized the importance of cherishing every moment of life.

Some officials accused Russia of intentionally targeting Kyiv, particularly as the city was preparing to celebrate Kyiv Day. The attacks by Russia have been escalating, using kamikaze drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles. Ukraine has been preparing for a counter-offensive, and one of its senior security officials stated that the country was ready to launch such an operation.

Both Russia and Ukraine have been engaging in drone attacks, with Russia targeting critical infrastructure and military targets. Ukraine has been retaliating by targeting key locations in the occupied regions of southeastern Ukraine. The frequency of military exchanges between both sides has been increasing as Ukraine prepares for its counter-offensive.

Russia’s ambassador to the UK warned about the escalation of the war, emphasizing that the supply of weapons to Ukraine could further escalate the conflict beyond the current levels. He expressed Russia’s desire to avoid such a scenario.

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French border police in Le Havre have destroyed around 35,000 bottles of a soda drink that falsely claimed to be champagne. The bottles, originating from Haiti and containing a bright orange liquid, were seized in October 2021 after customs officials noticed the label “Couronne Fruit Champagne.”

The use of the term “champagne” is reserved exclusively for sparkling wine products from the French Champagne region, according to France’s Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée (AOC) system, which grants exclusive rights to certain geographical indications. The bottles were intended for sale in the French market.

The destruction of these bottles reinforces the importance of the AOC regulation and serves to protect the reputation of the appellation, as stated by Charles Goemaere, the director-general of the Champagne Committee. This action is part of the ongoing effort to combat the misuse of the Champagne name, which has been protected since 1844.

Previously, the same product had faced an investigation and recall due to excessive benzoic acid levels. This incident follows a similar case in which over 2,000 bottles of American beer referred to as the “Champagne of Beer” were destroyed in Belgium at the request of the Champagne Committee.

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In the final hours of Turkey’s presidential race, tensions have risen as Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to extend his 20-year rule by another five years. Opposition candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu has appealed to nationalist voters by promising to expel millions of Syrian refugees, which Erdogan has labeled as hate speech and warned that it would benefit terrorists. Kilicdaroglu is trailing behind by 2.5 million votes from the first round, but he believes he can bridge the gap with the support of ultranationalist voters and those who didn’t vote in the first round.

Kilicdaroglu recently engaged in a four-hour Q&A session on a popular YouTube channel, BaBaLa TV, which has garnered 24 million views. This move was seen as a strategic move to reach out to young voters who didn’t participate in the previous round. The appearance on BaBaLa TV was crucial for Kilicdaroglu to counter Erdogan’s dominance over the Turkish media, as he controls approximately 90% of it.

International observers have criticized Turkey for not meeting the basic principles of holding a democratic election, citing limited media freedom and crackdowns on dissent. Erdogan has consolidated power over the past six years and suppressed political opponents, leading to their imprisonment. In a town called Bala, where Erdogan enjoys strong support, Kilicdaroglu is unlikely to find much backing. The majority of voters there supported Erdogan in the previous round, and there is little sign of first-time voters mobilizing.

While Turkey’s struggling economy was initially the main issue, the focus has shifted to the refugee crisis as the run-off vote approaches. Kilicdaroglu, aiming to attract ultranationalist voters, secured the support of the anti-immigrant Victory Party, whose leader claimed that Kilicdaroglu had agreed to repatriate “13 million migrants” within a year, in line with international law. However, Turkey hosts a much smaller number of refugees, and experts deem the discourse unrealistic and unfeasible.

Public opinion polls suggest that around 85% of Turks want Syrian refugees to return home, making the refugee issue a significant factor in the election. Kilicdaroglu is tapping into security concerns and the perceived threats associated with the immigrant crisis, terrorist attacks, and regional conflicts involving Russia, Syria, and Azerbaijan.

Erdogan has responded by claiming that he is already sending Syrian refugees back and plans to do more. He has also used manipulated videos to link Kilicdaroglu to the Kurdish militant PKK, which is considered a terrorist organization. His target is the pro-Kurdish HDP party, which supports Kilicdaroglu and has been falsely associated with the PKK by Erdogan. The HDP supports Kilicdaroglu to end what they perceive as Erdogan’s authoritarian rule but has reservations about his alliance with a far-right nationalist party.

Initially, there were expectations that Erdogan could be defeated due to his mishandling of the economy and his response to natural disasters. However, almost half of the voters supported him in the first round. The question remains whether Kilicdaroglu’s change in strategy will be effective. Some voters, like Songul, who desired change initially, have decided to stick with Erdogan due to a lack of trust in Kilicdaroglu and the absence of a viable alternative.

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News Trending War

A missile strike on a medical clinic in the eastern Ukrainian city of Dnipro has resulted in the deaths of at least two people and left 23 others injured. Among the injured are two boys aged three and six. The regional governor, Serhiy Lysak, reported that 21 of the injured are in the hospital, with three in a serious condition. The strike is part of the escalating Russian attacks on Ukraine, which have increased in recent weeks ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shared a video on social media showing the damaged clinic, with firefighters and smoke visible in the footage. He condemned the attack, stating that it once again highlights the inhuman and dishonest nature of the Russian terrorists. The region experienced a “mass attack” involving missiles and drones, according to Governor Lysak. Dnipro, along with the eastern city of Kharkiv, was targeted, and an oil depot in the area was hit as well.

Ukrainian authorities claimed to have successfully intercepted and shot down 17 missiles and 31 drones launched from Russia overnight. The capital city, Kyiv, was also attacked, with intercepted drone fragments falling on the roof of a shopping center. Damage was caused to a house and several cars. In Russia, a blast occurred in the city of Krasnodar, east of Crimea, damaging a residential and office building. The governor of the region, Veniamin Kondratyev, attributed the blast to two Ukrainian drones, but no casualties were reported.

Another region affected by the attacks was Russia’s Belgorod region, which experienced over 130 strikes in the village of Kozinka. The governor, Vyacheslav Gladkov, confirmed that one woman was injured. The Graivoron district, where an incursion from Ukrainian territory occurred earlier in the week, was particularly targeted in the attacks.

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Five soldiers in France have been charged in connection with the deaths of 27 people who drowned while attempting to cross the English Channel on November 24, 2021. The soldiers, along with four others, were detained for questioning and are accused of failing to assist the distressed boat. Reports indicate that the boat made 15 distress calls that went unanswered. The victims were predominantly Iraqi Kurds, ranging in age from seven to 46.

The news of the charges has been welcomed by Utopia 56, an organization representing migrants. A spokesperson expressed satisfaction with the progress in the criminal investigation. The tragedy, which resulted in the deaths of all but two individuals on board, occurred shortly after the boat departed from the French coast.

Le Monde newspaper previously reported that the passengers had contacted French officials, informing them of their deflating boat and failed engine. They also sent their location via WhatsApp, but no response was received. Rescue teams eventually responded after ten hours when fishermen alerted them.

The United Nations’ International Organization for Migration (IOM) described the incident as the largest single loss of life in the English Channel since it began collecting data in 2014. Following the tragedy, former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson expressed his dismay and pledged to take action against human trafficking networks.

In November 2022, a 32-year-old man appeared in a London court in connection with the incident, accused of being part of a group involved in transporting the migrants. Additionally, last June, French police arrested 15 individuals, mostly from Afghanistan, suspected of being part of a smuggling ring related to the deadly incident.

In response to the increasing number of migrants crossing the English Channel via small boats, the UK government has committed to addressing the issue.

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Germany has entered into a recession in the first quarter of the year due to persistent inflation, according to updated growth data. The country’s economy contracted by 0.3% between January and March, following a 0.5% contraction in the previous three months.

The halt in Russian gas supplies after the invasion of Ukraine also had a significant impact on Germany. High inflation, with an April rate of 7.2%, has led to reduced household spending on various goods and weaker industrial orders. The revised figures indicated declines in household and government spending, as well as a drop in car sales after the reduction of government grants for electric and hybrid vehicles. Private sector investment and exports showed some improvement but were insufficient to prevent Germany from entering a recession.

Although the recession was less severe than expected, analysts predict weak economic performance to continue in the second quarter of 2023. The Bundesbank anticipates modest growth in the April to June quarter, driven by an industry rebound offsetting stagnant consumer spending.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects Germany to be the weakest among advanced economies, with a predicted contraction of 0.1% this year, while upgrading its forecast for the UK to a growth of 0.4%.

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Real Madrid’s players and fans stood in solidarity with Vinicius Jr after he was racially abused during a match against Valencia. In their first game since the incident, the players wore Vinicius’s number 20 shirt, while anti-racism messages were displayed on armbands worn by the captains.

Supporters chanted Vinicius’s name in the 20th minute, and players from both teams held a sign that condemned racism in football. Vinicius, who missed the match due to injury, was applauded as he entered the pitch and later expressed his gratitude on Instagram.

Real Madrid won the game 2-1, with Rodrygo scoring the winning goal and making a black power salute in celebration. La Liga president Javier Tebas apologized to Vinicius for his handling of the situation, and the league announced plans to seek more powers to punish racism.

Valencia was sanctioned with a partial stadium closure and a fine. Prior to other matches, players and officials displayed banners against racism, and Barcelona’s Raphinha showed support for Vinicius when he was substituted.

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Tariq Ramadan, a renowned Islamic studies scholar and Swiss citizen, has been acquitted of charges of rape and sexual coercion by a Swiss court. The case was brought forward by a Swiss woman who claimed that Ramadan had raped her in a Geneva hotel in 2008. Ramadan, the grandson of the founder of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, denied all the charges but admitted to having met the woman. If convicted, he could have faced up to three years in prison.

Ramadan had gained recognition as a prominent voice in Islamic thought, condemning terrorism and advocating for human rights. He faced criticism from some quarters, particularly in France, where he was accused of anti-Semitism by leading academics. In 2017, Ramadan’s reputation suffered a blow when he was accused of rape by a French woman, leading to more women coming forward with similar allegations. By 2020, he faced multiple charges of rape in France and Switzerland, spending nine months in detention in France before being released on probation.

The Swiss trial marked the first to go to court, and tension was palpable in the Geneva courtroom. Ramadan’s accuser, using the pseudonym Brigitte, requested a screen to be put up so she would not have to face the man she accused of rape. She provided a detailed account of the alleged attack, expressing fear for her life. Ramadan admitted inviting her to his hotel room but denied any violence, asserting that the accusations against him were politically motivated attempts to discredit him.

Throughout the trial, Ramadan’s family, as well as prominent figures like Noam Chomsky and Ken Loach, supported his claim of being unfairly targeted. However, the prosecution argued that Brigitte could not have fabricated the detailed account of the alleged attack. Ramadan’s defense lawyer maintained his client’s innocence, describing the charges as baseless.

After a week of deliberation, the three Swiss judges found Ramadan not guilty. While he has been cleared in Switzerland, the possibility of further trials looms, as French prosecutors are still evaluating whether charges should be brought against him in France. Ramadan continues to assert his innocence in all cases and intends to clear his name.

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The French government has implemented a ban on domestic short-haul flights in situations where there are train alternatives available, as part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions. This law took effect two years after lawmakers initially voted to end routes where the same journey could be completed by train within two-and-a-half hours. As a result, air travel between cities like Paris, Nantes, Lyon, and Bordeaux will be largely prohibited, while connecting flights are not affected by the ban.

Critics of the measure have referred to it as merely a symbolic gesture. Laurent Donceel, the interim head of the industry group Airlines for Europe (A4E), expressed his belief that these bans would only have minimal effects on reducing CO2 emissions. He suggested that governments should instead focus on supporting more substantial and practical solutions to address the issue.

The global airline industry has already experienced significant setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of flights in 2020 decreasing by almost 42% compared to 2019, as reported by Flightradar24.

Initially, France’s Citizens’ Convention on Climate, formed by President Emmanuel Macron in 2019 and consisting of 150 members of the public, proposed eliminating plane journeys where train alternatives of under four hours were available. However, this limit was reduced to two-and-a-half hours following objections from certain regions and the airline Air France-KLM.

French consumer group UFC-Que Choisir had previously urged lawmakers to maintain the four-hour limit, highlighting that planes emit 77 times more CO2 per passenger than trains on these routes, despite trains being cheaper and the time difference being only 40 minutes. The group also called for safeguards to prevent the French national railway company, SNCF, from raising prices artificially or diminishing the quality of rail services.

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News Sports Trending

Three individuals have been arrested by Spanish police in connection with racist abuse aimed at Real Madrid footballer Vinicius Jr during a recent match. The detained individuals are between the ages of 18 and 21, as reported by the police on Twitter. Vinicius Jr, who is black, has been subjected to racist abuse on multiple occasions throughout the season, and the latest incident during an away match against Valencia has sparked outrage in Spain and Brazil.

During the match, Vinicius reported the abusive behavior of opposition fans to the referee, leading to a temporary pause in the game. Following the match, Vinicius expressed his frustration, stating that “La Liga belongs to racists.” La Liga president Javier Tebas responded on Twitter, mentioning that Vinicius had failed to attend two meetings to discuss how the league could address racism and suggesting that proper information is necessary before criticizing and slandering La Liga. On the other hand, Luis Rubiales, the football federation chief, acknowledged that Spanish football has a serious racism problem that affects not only an individual but also entire teams, fan bases, clubs, and the country as a whole.

Spanish prosecutors will now determine whether to initiate a criminal investigation into the matter. The Brazilian government has expressed its outrage at the incident and has requested urgent meetings with Spanish ministers, prosecutors, and the football federation.

In a separate incident in January, four individuals were detained by Spanish police for hanging an effigy of Vinicius from a bridge in Madrid before a match between Real Madrid and their local rivals, Atletico Madrid. The effigy was suspended by its neck with a banner stating, “Madrid hates Real.”

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