Top of The World

Putin scores victory in 'gameshow'-like vote; Myanmar mine collapse; Ethiopian singer's death sparks protests; Botswana's mysterious elephant die-off

Vladimir Putin scored an apparent victory in a week-long constitutional referendum that had the trappings of a gameshow. A large landslide struck the Hpakant jade mining site in Myanmar. The killing of Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, an Ethiopian singer and activist, has sparked days of protest. A mysterious die-off of elephants in Botswana has stumped scientists. And, Amsterdam's red-light district is reopening after the coronavirus shutdown.

Leaders

‘Putin is obsessed with the idea of legitimacy,’ opposition activist says of ‘sham’ referendum

"Vladimir Putin from this day de jure, belongs to the same league of rogue authoritarian regimes as ... [Hugo] Chavez in Venezuela, [Blaise] Compaoré in Burkina Faso, [Islam] Karimov in Uzbekistan and many, many others," opposition leader Vladimir Kara-Murza told The World. "And this should be said publicly and clearly from the highest rostrum in the Western world."

Religion

Whose Haghia Sophia? 

The Byzantines commissioned it as a Greek Orthodox cathedral. The Ottomans conquered it and turned it into an ornate mosque. Then, secular revolutionaries converted it into a monument to two faiths. Its ownership and usage have become a perennial political debate.

Top of The World

Hong Kong national security law to take effect; Iran sentences journalist to death; Koalas could be extinct by 2050 in New South Wales

A controversial national security law for Hong Kong is set to take effect, as pro-democracy advocates warn of eroding freedoms in the semi-autonomous region. New reports say US President Donald Trump was briefed in February about suspected Russian bounties on US soldiers, contradicting the president's claims. An Iranian journalist has been sentenced to death. An Australian inquiry shows koalas in NSW could become extinct by 2050.

Conflict & Justice

Police reform requires culture change, not just diversity, advocates say

As demonstrations against police brutality and racism continue in the US and in other parts of the world, people who work with police departments to address biases and build ties with communities of color are questioning the effectiveness of their work. The World looks at the San Jose Police Department, which, despite its diversity, was criticized for its response to recent protests.

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