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News Trending War

Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv, has experienced its ninth aerial attack by Russia this month. One person has been killed and two others wounded in a missile strike on Odesa, a city located in the south-western region near the Black Sea. Explosions were also heard in other central regions, including Vinnitsa, Khmelnitsky, and Zhytomyr. Kyiv’s military administration reported that preliminary information indicated that all incoming missiles had been successfully destroyed.

This recent attack marks the ninth time Russia has launched airstrikes on Kyiv this month. On a previous occasion, Ukraine claimed to have shot down six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles in a particularly intense assault. Kyiv’s Mayor, Vitali Klitschko, announced that a fire had broken out in a garage in the Darnitsya area, but fortunately, no injuries were reported.

The head of Kyiv’s civilian military administration, Serhiy Popko, stated that a significant missile attack had been initiated by Russian strategic bombers flying over the Caspian Sea. Popko suggested that the attack likely involved cruise missiles and mentioned that Russia had deployed surveillance drones over Kyiv following the wave of airstrikes.

There were reports of additional fires in the Desnyansky district, located east of Kyiv, in a non-residential building. However, no updates were provided regarding any injuries resulting from this incident.

On Wednesday, at least eight people were reportedly killed, including a five-year-old boy near Kherson, with 17 others injured due to shelling. Both sides involved in the conflict have traded accusations of targeting civilian areas.

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Excavation work is about to commence in central France to search for the bodies of around 40 German soldiers who were executed by the French Resistance in June 1944. The revelation came from Edmond Réveil, a 98-year-old former member of the local branch of the Resistance group known as Francs-tireurs et partisans (FTP). Réveil, the sole surviving member from his unit, personally witnessed the mass execution at a location called Le Vert near Meymac.

In a recorded testimony, Réveil recounted how his detachment of 30 fighters was escorting German prisoners through the countryside when they received the order to kill them. The detachment’s commander, codenamed Hannibal, was deeply affected by the order but adhered to the discipline within the Resistance. Volunteers were sought to carry out the execution, and although each fighter was assigned a victim, Réveil and a few others refused to participate. The prisoners were made to dig their own graves on a hot day before being killed, and quicklime was poured over their bodies. The memory of the incident was never spoken of again.

Réveil had kept this secret for 75 years, even from his family, until he unexpectedly revealed it in 2019 at a local meeting of the National Veterans’ Association. The mayor of Meymac, Philippe Brugere, explained that Réveil felt a great burden that he was the last witness to this event and believed that if he didn’t speak out, the truth would remain unknown.

Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, action on the case was delayed. Only recently was the investigation reopened, and the story was made public by the local newspaper La Montagne. French and German historians have since confirmed the basic details of the events described by Réveil. The incident occurred shortly after D-Day, when the Resistance staged an uprising in Tulle, resulting in the capture of approximately 50 to 60 German soldiers. In retaliation, on June 9, the Germans publicly hanged 99 hostages in the town.

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Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy has been unsuccessful in his appeal against a prison sentence for corruption. However, the Paris appeals court has ruled that he can serve his sentence at home with an electronic monitoring device instead of going to jail.

In 2021, Sarkozy was sentenced to three years in prison, with two years suspended, for attempting to influence a judge in a separate case. This made him the first former French president to receive a custodial sentence.

Sarkozy’s lawyer has announced plans to challenge the ruling further with the Court of Cassation, one of France’s highest jurisdictions, stating that Sarkozy is innocent. In addition to the prison sentence, Sarkozy has been banned from holding public office for three years. There are multiple corruption cases involving Sarkozy, but he denies any wrongdoing.

Recently, prosecutors requested that he face trial over allegations of illegal contributions to his 2007 presidential campaign by the Libyan government, but the final decision lies with investigating magistrates.

Sarkozy served one term as president from 2007 to 2014 and was known for his tough stance on immigration and efforts to reform France’s economy. Critics criticized his leadership style as excessive and focused on celebrity culture, contrasting with the traditional and grand nature of the role.

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News Trending War

Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine, has been subjected to further Russian air attacks, with one official describing them as “exceptional in density.” Ukraine claims that all 18 missiles were successfully shot down, and footage showed air defenses destroying targets over the city. However, Russia insists that its attack, which utilized drones and missiles, hit all its intended targets. Moscow has escalated its air campaign in recent weeks, anticipating an upcoming Ukrainian offensive.

The air raid alert was activated at around 02:30 local time and lasted for two hours. This marked the eighth attack on the capital this month. Residents heard an unusually high number of loud explosions, prompting authorities to inform them online about the activation of air defense systems.

Valerii Zaluzhny, the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, stated that Russia attacked Kyiv from multiple directions, employing 18 air, sea, and land-based missiles. Serhiy Popko, head of the military administration in the Ukrainian capital, described the attack as the “maximum number of attack missiles in the shortest period of time.” Popko also mentioned that the majority of enemy targets in Kyiv’s airspace were detected and destroyed.

According to Gen Zaluzhny, the attack involved nine Kalibr cruise missiles launched from ships in the Black Sea, as well as three land-based missiles. Additionally, Kyiv successfully destroyed six Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, which can travel at speeds exceeding 11,000 km/h (7,000 mph). Russia has previously claimed that no air defense systems in the world can intercept these missiles. However, Ukraine claimed to have shot down a Kinzhal during a previous attack on Kyiv.

The arrival of modern Western defense systems, including Patriots, has enabled Ukraine to intercept these advanced missiles. Russia alleged that it destroyed a Patriot system during the attack on Kyiv, but these claims cannot be independently verified by the BBC.

Residents were advised to stay away from windows due to falling debris from intercepted missiles. Rocket fragments fell in various central districts of the city, including the zoo, but no injuries were reported among animals or workers. The Solomyansky district, which encompasses the international airport, was reportedly the most heavily affected.

Kyiv residents shared their experiences, with one describing the intensity of the attack as reminiscent of a Star Wars film or an action video game. Another resident mentioned that it was the first time his house had shaken from an assault since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. Ukraine believes that Russia’s renewed strikes on Kyiv are aimed at wearing down the highly effective air defense systems.

In recent days, President Volodymyr Zelensky has embarked on a European tour, securing promises of significant military equipment and support from Western allies such as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron. Since the invasion, the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives, extensive destruction of cities and towns, and the displacement of millions of Ukrainians as refugees.

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Five men have been convicted for a daring theft of valuable jewels worth €113 million from a museum in Dresden, Germany. Although some of the stolen items were recovered, including a diamond-encrusted sword, there are concerns that the remaining treasure may never be found.

The culprits, who belonged to a notorious criminal family network and resided in Berlin, meticulously planned the heist. They made multiple visits to the museum, prepared their entry point in advance by cutting through protective window bars, and set fire to a circuit breaker panel to create a diversion. Two of the men then entered the museum, wearing masks and wielding axes, and smashed glass display cases to access the treasure.

After spraying a foam fire extinguisher to cover their tracks, they escaped in an Audi, which they later burned before fleeing to Berlin. The thieves are all members of the “Remmo clan,” one of several family networks of Arab descent involved in major organized crime in Germany. Despite the recovery of some stolen items through confessions, several pieces, including the rare White Stone of Saxony diamond, remain missing.

The stolen jewels were part of a collection assembled by Augustus the Strong, the Elector of Saxony, in the 18th century. The loss is particularly devastating as the collection was intended to be viewed as a whole, showcasing a variety of colors and stones. Although the museum has improved its security system and focuses on restoring the remaining jewels, curators have accepted that the collection may never be complete again.

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Barcelona has won their first Spanish league title since Lionel Messi left the club two years ago, despite facing financial difficulties. They achieved a 4-2 victory over Espanyol, although the match was marred by Espanyol fans storming the pitch at the end of the game. Robert Lewandowski played a key role, scoring two goals to secure Barcelona’s league title with four rounds remaining.

This is the first time since the 1998-99 season that Barcelona has celebrated a league title without Lionel Messi in their squad. Messi joined the team in the 2004-05 season and won the league title that same year.

The on-field celebrations were cut short when a group of Espanyol fans, particularly from the ultra section behind one of the goals, rushed towards the Barcelona players. Security guards quickly intervened, and riot police had to block the tunnel entrance to prevent the fans from entering. The fans threw chairs and other objects during the incident.

In addition to Lewandowski’s goals, Alejandro Balde and Jules Koundé also scored for Barcelona. This victory brings Barcelona’s total number of league titles to 27, which is eight fewer than their arch-rivals, Real Madrid. Atletico Madrid, who currently hold the third position, are 16 points behind after losing 1-0 to the last-placed team, Elche, earlier on the same day.

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The battle for the presidency in Turkey is likely to go to a run-off, with both candidates confident of victory. After being in power for 20 years, Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his belief in winning another five-year term, while his opponent Kemal Kilicdaroglu seemed to have a favorable chance of winning. However, preliminary results from the first round showed Erdogan leading with 49.4% of the votes, compared to Kilicdaroglu’s 45%. Erdogan’s alliance of parties also secured a majority in parliament, providing an additional advantage in the presidential run-off.

The opposition parties in Turkey had joined forces to end Erdogan’s extended power, and the outcome of the election is closely watched by Western countries. Kilicdaroglu pledged to revive Turkish democracy and strengthen relations with NATO allies, while Erdogan’s government, with an Islamist-rooted background, accused the West of conspiring against him.

Following the announcement of the preliminary results, Kilicdaroglu remained optimistic, stating that he would win in the second round if the nation demanded it. However, there were concerns that the government was trying to obstruct the will of the people through challenges in opposition strongholds. Rising stars within Kilicdaroglu’s party reminded voters that Erdogan’s party had employed similar strategies in the past. The opposition highlighted the efforts of their volunteers in safeguarding the ballots to ensure a fair process.

Although Kilicdaroglu, who has lost several previous elections, struck a chord with his message of curbing the president’s excessive powers, Erdogan seems to have the upper hand despite the challenging circumstances. Turkey has been grappling with a cost-of-living crisis, with 44% inflation, exacerbated by Erdogan’s unorthodox economic policies. The government also faced criticism for its slow response to the earthquakes in February, which claimed many lives.

Overnight results indicated that Erdogan’s support in areas affected by the earthquakes only slightly decreased, with his backing remaining above 60% in most of the eight cities. Erdogan, speaking to his supporters, declared that he was far ahead, despite the final results not yet being available. The outcome defied pollsters’ predictions, who had suggested that Kilicdaroglu held an advantage and could potentially win without a run-off.

Unconfirmed results quoted by the state news agency Anadolu suggested that Erdogan’s AK Party, in alliance with the nationalist MHP, was heading for a parliamentary majority, with 316 seats out of 600. This result showcases the deep polarization within Turkish society, a century after the founding of the modern Turkish republic by Kemal Ataturk.

As the expected run-off approaches, it remains uncertain how close the race will be. Speculation has already emerged regarding the 5% of votes received by the third candidate, ultranationalist Sinan Ogan. Both Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu will likely seek Ogan’s endorsement, but it is unclear if his supporters will follow suit.

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The Turkish people are currently participating in what is considered the most crucial elections in their recent history. These elections will determine whether Recep Tayyip Erdogan will continue to hold the presidency after his 20-year rule.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Erdogan’s main opponent, has pledged to revoke many of the powers acquired by Erdogan following his survival of a failed coup in 2016. Backed by a broad opposition alliance, Kilicdaroglu stands a real chance of winning the election.

Two significant issues have greatly concerned Turkey’s 64 million voters: the skyrocketing inflation and the occurrence of two earthquakes. These concerns have intensified the race, with voters lining up at polling stations even before they open.

The enthusiasm for democracy among the Turkish people is evident, as some individuals have humorously mentioned breaking the voting stamp in their eagerness to participate twice. In Antakya, a city severely affected by the earthquakes in February, over 100 buses transported displaced individuals to polling stations so they could cast their votes. The earthquakes have impacted eleven provinces across the country.

To secure an outright victory in the election, the winner must receive more than 50% of the vote. Otherwise, a runoff will take place in two weeks’ time.

Kilicdaroglu, aged 74, arrived at a crowded polling station in an Ankara school amid chants of “everything will be all right.” One voter affectionately referred to him as “grandpa,” a term used by young voters. Sima, who came to greet him along with her friend Pilay, expressed excitement at the prospect of change after more than two decades of the current regime.

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News Trending War

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is currently on a visit to Rome, where he is scheduled to meet with political leaders and have an audience with Pope Francis. Zelensky expressed his anticipation for the visit, calling it an important step towards Ukraine’s victory.

The visit includes meetings with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and President Sergio Mattarella, followed by a visit to the Vatican on Saturday. In preparation for the visit, a significant security operation has been initiated, involving the deployment of over 1,000 police officers and the establishment of a no-fly zone over Rome.

Pope Francis has consistently expressed his willingness to act as a mediator in the conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Just a few weeks ago, he mentioned that the Vatican was working on a peace plan to end the war, although the details have not been made public yet.

The relationship between Ukraine and the Vatican has not always been smooth, as demonstrated by the Ukrainian ambassador’s rare criticism of the Pope in August. The ambassador took issue with the Pope referring to Darya Dugina, the daughter of a Russian ultra-nationalist, who was killed by a car bomb, as an “innocent” victim of war.

This meeting between President Zelensky and Pope Francis holds particular significance as it takes place in the context of Russia’s recent air strikes on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities. The attacks caused injuries and damage to critical infrastructure, residential areas, and government buildings. In response, Ukrainian forces reported progress near the city of Bakhmut.

Explosions were also reported in the Russian-occupied city of Luhansk, with accusations that Kyiv used Storm Shadow missiles, which the UK claimed to have supplied to Ukraine earlier in the week. Further reports of blasts in Luhansk emerged on Saturday.

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Turkey’s President Erdogan is facing a strong opposition in the upcoming elections, as his main rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu has managed to unite allies from various political backgrounds. Kilicdaroglu, accompanied by his supporters, delivered a passionate speech in Ankara, promising to restore “peace and democracy.”

Erdogan, who has been in power for two decades, defended his record, claiming that he has successfully overcome numerous challenges, including the struggling economy and devastating earthquakes in February. The issues of the economy and natural disasters have been the focal points of the campaign for both the presidency and parliament.

Kilicdaroglu, aged 74, is known for his soft-spoken nature, but he delivered a strong speech that resonated with those who see him as their best chance to regain power from Erdogan, who has centralized authority and expanded his own powers significantly.

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the main opposition candidate, is slightly leading in the opinion polls, and his supporters are hopeful that he might secure more than 50% of the vote, avoiding a run-off election in two weeks.

The alliance supporting Kilicdaroglu includes conservatives, nationalists, and even a pro-Islamist party, which has delighted many of his followers. Kilicdaroglu’s party maintains a strong secular stance but has made efforts to appeal to women who wear the headscarf. The six parties in the alliance have come together under the slogan “Haydi” (Come on!) and have a campaign song of the same name.

Tensions are running high in the lead-up to the election. Kilicdaroglu even wore a bullet-proof vest during his final rally in Ankara and at a previous event, highlighting the intensity of the race.

Muharrem Ince, one of the candidates for the presidency, withdrew from the race, citing targeted attacks on social media with manipulated videos aimed at swaying the electorate. The atmosphere surrounding the election has become both tense and crucial.

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