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World Digest: April 8, 2021

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In the election of the mayor of Busan, the country’s second largest city, Park Heong-joon of the People Power Party defeated Kim Young-choon of the Democratic Party by about 28 percentage points.

In recent months, Moon and his ruling party have grappled with declining approval rates caused by soaring house prices, allegations of real estate speculation involving public officials, and other alleged political missteps.

Moon said on Thursday that he would accept the election results seriously, calling them a rebuke by the people against his government.

Ankara dismisses claims of snubbing EU official

Turkey strongly rejected accusations on Thursday it snubbed Ursula von der Leyen, one of the European Union’s top executives because of her gender, after a protocol blunder at a meeting at the presidential palace Turkish triggered a public outcry.

The affair also branched out into an argument between Turkey and Italy, whose Prime Minister Mario Draghi compared the Turkish president to a dictator and spoke of von der Leyens’ humiliation.

Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, and Charles Michel, President of the European Council, met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday for talks on Turkey-EU relations. The guests were led into a large hall, but only two chairs had been set up for the three leaders. Von der Leyen stood watching the men, who took the chairs, expressing his astonishment with an ehm sound and a gesture of disappointment. She was then seen sitting on a large sofa, away from her male counterparts.

The images, also revealing a lack of unity between the two European leaders, drew sharp criticism on social media.

Turkey said the EU’s protocol requests had been implemented, but the European Council’s chief of protocol said his team did not have access to the room during a preparatory inspection.

Singapore’s future appointed ruler steps down: Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s future-designate ruler withdrew from the line of succession in a surprise move, saying in a letter that a younger person with a “longer trail” should be the next prime minister. The announcement rolls back plans for the retirement of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee, 69, had planned to retire at 70 but has indicated he could stay until the coronavirus crisis is over.

Access to information is deteriorating in Myanmar: An information blackout under Myanmar’s military junta worsened as fiber broadband service, the last legal way for ordinary people to access the Internet, intermittently became inaccessible on multiple networks. Authorities in some areas have also started to confiscate satellite dishes used to access international news broadcasts. Protests against the February 1 military coup continued on Thursday despite the killing of 11 people a day earlier.

Mexico updates its count of the missing: The number of people who have been missing in Mexico since its war on drugs began now stands at 85,006, the government said. The figure was part of a report on the searches of those who went missing between early 2006 and April 7. Deputy Human Rights Secretary Alejandro Encinas said the largest number of bodies found in the current administration were in the states of Jalisco, Sinaloa, Colima, Guanajuato and Sonora.

Possible caravage withdrawn from auction: The Spanish Ministry of Culture has blocked the auction of a painting that could be the work of the Italian master Caravaggio in Madrid. Auction house Ansorena said it removed “The Crown of Thorns,” with a starting price of $ 1,785, after officials said its provenance was under consideration.

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