Ukrainian comedian Volodymyr Zelensky scored a landslide victory in the country's presidential election. With nearly all ballots counted in the run-off vote, Mr Zelensky had taken more than 73% with incumbent Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind on 24%. "I will never let you down," Mr Zelensky told celebrating supporters.
Russia, which backs separatists in eastern Ukraine, said it wants him to show "sound judgement", "honesty" and "pragmatism" so that relations can improve. The comments came from Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in a Facebook post. He said he expected Mr Zelensky to "repeat familiar ideological formulas" that he used in the election campaign, adding: "At the same time, there is a chance to improve relations with our country." Mr Poroshenko told voters that Mr Zelensky, 41, was too inexperienced to stand up to Russia effectively.
The Trump administration said that it will no longer exempt any countries from U.S. sanctions if they continue to buy Iranian oil, in a move that primarily affects the five remaining major importers: China and India and U.S. treaty allies Japan, South Korea, Turkey. President Donald Trump made the decision as part of the administration’s “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran that aims to eliminate all of its revenue from oil exports that the U.S. says funds destabilizing activity throughout the Middle East and beyond.
“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the White House said. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said no more sanctions waivers would be granted when the current batch expire on May 2, choking off Iranian income that had been more than $50 billion a year.
A group of militants crossed the border from neighboring Iran earlier this week and carried out a deadly attack against Pakistan armed forces in southwestern Baluchistan province, killing 14, the Foreign Ministry said this week. The ministry said in a letter to the Iranian government that the assailants were from a newly formed Baluch separatist group, Raji Aajoi Sangar, and that they were based in Iran’s adjacent Baluchistan province.
It urged Iran to act against the attackers who had fled back across the border. Groups operating within Pakistan’s and Iran’s Baluchistan provinces, which share a long border, seek independence from both countries. The ministry said the “killing of 14 innocent Pakistanis by terrorist groups based in Iran is a very serious incident that Pakistan protests strongly.”
A global team of experts was set to begin reviewing how the Boeing 737 Max’s flight control system was approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA says experts from nine international civil aviation authorities have confirmed participation in a technical review promised by the agency.
Former National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Chris Hart will lead the group, which also will have experts from the FAA and NASA. They will look at the plane’s automated system including the way it interacts with pilots. The group is expected to finish in 90 days. The Boeing jetliner has been grounded around the world since mid-March after two crashes killed 346 people. Investigators are focusing on anti-stall software that pushed the planes’ noses down based on erroneous sensor readings.