Dhaka Courier

Spain's governing Socialists won the country's third election in four years

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Spain's governing Socialists won the country's third election in four years, but fell short of a majority. PM Pedro Sánchez's party polled 29 percent and will need the help of either left-wing Podemos and regional parties, or the centre right, to form a government. Far-right party Vox also won seats - the first time a significant far-right force has done so in decades. Vox opposes multiculturalism, unrestricted migration, and what it calls "radical feminism".

Analysts say support for Vox has been boosted by widespread anger at separatists in the province of Catalonia, who want independence from Spain. Vox fervently opposes any concessions to the secessionists. Turnout was 75.8%, the highest for several years and 9% more than the previous election in 2016.

 

Sri Lanka banned face coverings in public, following a spate of suicide attacks on Easter Sunday that killed at least 250 people and injured hundreds. President Maithripala Sirisena said he was using an emergency law to impose the restriction from the start of the following week. Any face garment which "hinders identification" will be banned to ensure security, his office said. Muslim leaders criticised the move. The niqab and burka - worn by Muslim women - were not specifically named. The move is perceived as targeting those garments, however.

Sri Lanka remains on high alert after the attacks that hit churches and hotels, that this week received praise from the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in his first video appearance in nearly five years. Sri Lanka has a sizeable and centuries-old Muslim population - of the country's 21-million population, just under 10 percent are Muslim.

 

A gunman opened fire at a synagogue in California, killing one woman and wounding three other people, police said. A 19-year-old man named as John Earnest was arrested after the attack, in Poway, north of the city of San Diego. The synagogue had been hosting a Passover celebration when the gunman burst in. Police did not suggest a motive but US President Donald Trump said the attack appeared to be "a hate crime".

The attack came exactly six months after a shooting in a Pittsburgh synagogue in which 11 people were killed, thought to be the worst anti-Semitic attack in recent US history. In a letter which appeared on the online forum 8chan hours before the attack, the author - who identified himself as John Earnest - said he was also inspired by the attack on two Christchurch mosques last month.

 

The death toll from the second cyclone in a month to hit Mozambique rose to 38, officials said, as aid workers struggled to reach the worst-affected areas. Cyclone Kenneth struck the southern African nation last week with winds of 220km/h (140mph), flattening villages and damaging thousands more homes. The storm lost strength, but torrential rain was still battering the area days after it made landfall. Flights have been grounded - hindering the aid effort.

It is predicted the weather system will dump twice as much rainfall as Cyclone Idai, which struck last month, leaving more than 900 dead across Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), "there is no record of two storms of such intensity striking Mozambique in the same season".

  • DhakaCourier
  • Issue 43
  • Vol 35

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