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

New reports on surveillance, 'demographic genocide' of Uighurs; Israel hesitates on annexation; Russian election comes to close

New reports on China's policies toward Uighurs show draconian efforts to cut birthrates and surveil the largely Turkic-speaking and Muslim population. Israel hesitates with moving forward on annexing part of the West Bank. In Russia, a week-long vote comes to a close. A Eurovision spoof film is inspiring covers from real musicians.

Pages