At least 121 people were crushed to death at a religious event in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, during a satsang (a Hindu religious festival) organised by a self-styled preacher called Bhole Baba. Police said that massive overcrowding at the venue in Hathras district led to the crush - they have registered a case against the event's main organisers. It's one of the worst such tragedies for many years in India, where accidents involving large crowds are often blamed on lax safety measures and crowd management.

Officials said most of the dead and injured were women. According to the first information report (FIR) lodged by the police, authorities had given permission for 80,000 people to gather for the event. But around 250,000 people turned up. Chaos broke out at the end of the event as the preacher was about to leave in his car, when thousands of devotees began collecting dust from the path of his vehicle in an act of devotion.

Iran will hold a runoff presidential election pitting a little-known reformist against a hardline former nuclear negotiator, after results showed the lowest-ever poll turnout in the Islamic Republic's history. Turnout collapsed below 40 percent in the race, in which reformist Masoud Pezeshkian bested Saeed Jalili, who competed alongside two other hard-liners. With Jalili now alone in facing the cardiac surgeon, Pezeshkian's campaign would need to draw voters to the July 5 runoff in greater numbers, to offset the conservative vote that is expected to now coalesce around his opponent.

Of the 24.5 million votes cast in the June 28 election, Pezeshkian got 10.4 million, well short of the 50 percent needed to avoid a runoff. Only the top two candidates advance to the runoff a week later, and Jalili will believe he can add most of the 3.5 million votes that went to the two eliminated candidates, to the 9.4 million he himself managed to garner.

A court in Pakistan sentenced a Christian man to death for sharing what it said was hateful content against Muslims on social media after one of the worst mob attacks on Christians in the eastern Punjab province last year. In August 2023, groups of Muslim men burned dozens of homes and churches in the city of Jaranwala after some residents claimed they saw two Christian men tearing out pages from Islam's holy book, the Quran, throwing them on the ground and writing insulting remarks on other pages.

No casualties were reported at the time as terrified Christians fled their homes to safer areas. Though the police arrested more than 100 suspects following the attacks, it remained unclear if any were convicted. Ehsan Shan, though not party to the desecration, was accused of reposting the defaced pages of the Quran on his TikTok account, according to his lawyer Khurram Shahzad. Shan plans to appeal against the death sentence issued by a court in the city of Sahiwal in Punjab province.

France's far-right National Rally (RN) party achieved a resounding victory in the first round of the country's snap parliamentary elections. The Marine Le Pen-led RN and its allies took about 33 percent of the vote, according to official results released by the Ministry of Interior. The left-wing New Popular Front coalition finished next with about 28 percent, but President Emmanuel Macron's centrist Ensemble alliance was facing an existential threat after polling just 20 percent. Forces across the rest of the political spectrum have suggested that they will cooperate to block the far-right party in the second round vote on July 7.

RN president Jordan Bardella, Le Pen's 28-year-old protege and candidate for prime minister, pointed out that the second round would be "the most important in the history of the French Fifth Republic". Macron's decision to call the snap election raised eyebrows that never really stopped questioning the wisdom of that choice, especially after the RN had surged in European Parliament elections last month.

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