Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
Mustafa Akinci has won the presidential election in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
Standing as an independent, leftist Mustafa Akinci, 67, won 60.3% of the votes in Sunday’s runoff, according to election commission figures.
He defeated incumbent conservative President Dervis Eroglu, a conservative elected five years ago.
Mustafa Akinci has said he would work with renewed urgency to find a peace deal on Cyprus after four decades of division.
The island was divided in 1974 by a Turkish invasion staged in response to a short-lived Greek-inspired coup staged to secure a union with Greece.
Peace negotiations came to a halt last October, when Greek Cypriots walked out in protest over Turkish rights to explore natural gas off northern Cyprus.
Correspondents say that Mustafa Akinci is viewed as a moderate who can push forward the stalled reunification talks that are expected to resume next month.
The new president capitalized on a wave of discontent against Dervis Eroglu, who failed to unite right-wing supporters.
“We achieved change and my policy will be focused on reaching a peace settlement,” Mustafa Akinci told thousands of joyful supporters at a victory rally.
“This country cannot tolerate any more wasted time.”
Mustafa Akinci said that he had already spoken to Greek Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades and that they had agreed to meet soon.
“[Nicos] Anastasiades and I are [of] the same generation… If we can’t solve this now, it will be a tremendous burden on future generations,” he said, pointing out that the strength of his victory was a riposte to those who accused him of selling out to Greek Cypriots.
Mustafa Akinci earned his political colors during a 14-year term as mayor of the Turkish-Cypriot half of the capital Nicosia from the late 1970s to the early 1990s.
According to the Nepalese authorities, at least 3,218 people are now known to have died in a massive earthquake which hit the country on April 25.
Rameshwor Dangal, head of Nepal’s disaster management agency, said another 6,500 people had been injured.
Dozens of people are also reported to have been killed in neighboring China and India.
Thousands have spent a second night outside after the 7.8-magnitude quake, which also triggered deadly avalanches on Mount Everest.
Vast tent cities have sprung up in Nepal’s capital, Kathmandu, for those displaced or afraid to return to their homes as strong aftershocks continue.
Rescue missions and aid have started arriving to help cope with the aftermath of the earthquake, the worst to hit Nepal for more than 80 years.
The weather cleared on April 27 and helicopters are heading out to the Mount Everest base camp to try to bring down 210 stranded climbers.
The roads to the earthquake’s epicenter, northwest of the capital, have also been cleared and rescue teams are on their way.
Efforts to dig victims out from under the rubble of collapsed buildings in Kathmandu are also continuing.
Home ministry official Laxmi Prasad Dhakal told Reuters rescuers were “in a really bad shape” after working non-stop for two days.
Meanwhile, officials have warned that the number of casualties could rise as rescue teams reach remote mountainous areas of western Nepal.
Initial reports suggest that many communities – especially those close to mountainsides – suffered significant quake damage.
“Villages like this are routinely affected by landslides, and it’s not uncommon for entire villages of 200, 300, up to 1,000 people to be completely buried by rock falls,” World Vision spokesman Matt Darvas said.
In Dhading district, 50 miles west of Kathmandu, people were camped in the open, the hospital was overflowing, the power was off and shops were closed, Reuters news agency reported.
A powerful aftershock was felt on April 26 in Nepal, India and Bangladesh, and more avalanches were reported near Everest.
The 6.7-magnitude tremor, centered 40 miles east of Kathmandu, sent people running in panic for open ground in the city.
It brought down some houses that had been damaged in the initial quake.
At hospitals rattled by the aftershocks, staff moved sick and injured patients outside on Sunday afternoon.
Both private and government hospitals have run out of space and are treating patients outside, officials say.
Deepak Panda, a disaster management official, said medical services were “overwhelmed with rescue and assistance requests from all across the country”, Reuters reports.
Foreign climbers and their Nepalese guides around Mt Everest were caught by the tremors and a huge avalanche that buried part of the base camp in snow.
At least 18 people were killed and 60 more injured; many people are still missing.
At least four out of seven UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu valley – three of them ancient city squares – were severely damaged.
In Bhaktapur, until now Nepal’s best preserved old city, reports say half of all homes have been destroyed and 80% of temples damaged.
The centenary of the Gallipoli campaign, one of the bloodiest of World War One, is marked with series of events held around the world.
Princes William and Harry have met relatives of veterans on HMS Bulwark, ahead of a service on the Turkish peninsula.
Australia, New Zealand and Turkey leaders will also attend the events.
About 131,000 people – 45,000 Allied forces and 86,000 from Turkey – died in the campaign, which began in 1915.
The fatalities included about 25,000 British forces, 10,000 from France and 10,000 from Australia and New Zealand.
The series of events – to mark the 100th anniversary of the landings – will begin with a Commonwealth and Irish commemoration.
Warships from Allied nations will fire a salute in honor of the sailors who died.
There will also be an international ceremony organized by Turkey and a service to mark France’s participation in the battle.
The events will commemorate the World War One campaign when allied forces landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in modern-day western Turkey – then part of the Ottoman Empire – in April 1915.
However, the invasion failed, with the Allied forces unable to advance more than a few miles inland.
A bloody stalemate ensued which lasted until Allied troops evacuated the peninsula eight months later in January 1916.
Events will continue on April 25 with services to mark ANZAC Day, which is widely marked in Australia and New Zealand.
The centenary is expected to be the largest ever commemoration of the battle, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Australian PM Tony Abbott, New Zealand PM John Key and Prince Charles leading the ceremonies.
Thousands of Australians, New Zealanders and Turks are also expected to make the journey to Gallipoli for the anniversary, including relatives of those who fought and died at Gallipoli.
There are no longer any surviving veterans of the campaign.
In London, Queen Elizabeth, the Duke of Edinburgh – who is patron of the Gallipoli Association – and Prince William will be joined by senior government and military figures to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
Armenia marks the centenary of the start of mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks.
Presidents Vladimir Putin and Francois Hollande joined other leaders at the memorial for the victims on the outskirts of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan.
Armenia says up to 1.5 million people died, a figure disputed by Turkey.
Turkey objects to the use of the term “genocide” to describe the killings.
The issue has soured relations between Armenia and Turkey.
Turkey accepts that atrocities were committed but argues there was no systematic attempt to destroy the Christian Armenian people. It says many innocent Muslim Turks also died in the turmoil of war.
A memorial service will also be held in Turkey on April 24 and PM Ahmet Davutoglu has said the country will “share the pain” of Armenians.
However, Ahmet Davutoglu reiterated Turkey’s stance that the killings were not genocide.
Turkey is also hosting ceremonies to mark the 100th anniversary of the start of the Battle of Gallipoli.
However, the actual fighting in Gallipoli began on April 25, and Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has accused Turkey of “trying to divert world attention” from the Yerevan commemorations.
After the flower-laying ceremony in Yerevan, Serzh Sargsyan addressed the guests, saying: “I am grateful to all those who are here to once again confirm your commitment to human values, to say that nothing is forgotten, that after 100 years we remember.”
France’s President Francois Hollande said: “We will never forget the tragedies that your people have endured.”
April 24 marks the 100th anniversary of the day the Ottoman Turkey authorities arrested several hundred Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, today’s Istanbul, most of whom were later killed.
The Armenians regard this as the beginning of the Ottoman policy of mass extermination of Christian Armenians suspected of supporting Russia, the Ottoman Empire’s World War One enemy.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is also among those attending the ceremonies.
President Barack Obama issued a carefully worded statement for the anniversary, referring to “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century”, without using the term “genocide”.
During his 2008 presidential election campaign, then senator Barack Obama had vowed to “recognize the Armenian genocide” and in his new statement said: “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed.”
However, Barack Obama’s phrasing has angered Armenian Americans.
Bryan Ardouny, executive director of the Armenian Assembly of America, said in a statement: “President Obama’s exercise in linguistic gymnastics on the Armenian genocide is unbecoming of the standard he himself set and that of a world leader today.”
On April 23, the Armenian Church canonized the 1.5 million people it says were killed in the massacres and deportations.
The church said it wanted to proclaim the martyrdom of those who died for their faith and homeland.
After the ceremony, bells tolled in Armenian churches around the world.
Also on April 23, German President Joachim Gauck described the killings as genocide, on the eve of a debate in the German parliament on the issue.
Earlier this month, Turkey recalled its envoy to the Vatican after Pope Francis also used the word “genocide” in a reference at a Mass at St Peter’s Basilica.
France has been a strong advocate of recognizing the killings as genocide and President Francois Hollande has pushed for a law to punish genocide denial. The issue has strained Franco-Turkish relations.
Michael Brown’s parents are suing Ferguson authorities over their son’s death.
Michael Brown, 18, was shot dead by Ferguson police in August 2014.
The wrongful-death suit seeks a minimum of $75,000 compensation.
The shooting of the unarmed Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Missouri became a national cause and sparked protests, some violent.
The shooting was reviewed by a grand jury, which decided in November not to charge Darren Wilson.
However, Michael Brown’s parents say they have new forensic evidence that raises questions about the police version of events.
“The narrative of the law enforcement all across the country for shooting unarmed people of color is the same: That they had no other choice,” attorney Benjamin Crump said.
“But time and time again, the objective evidence contradicts the standard police narrative.”
Along with seeking punitive damages from the City of Ferguson, the suit also calls for a court order prohibiting the use of police techniques “that demean, disregard, or under-serve its African-American population”.
A St Louis County grand jury and the Department of Justice had declined to prosecute Darren Wilson, who resigned in November. Civil cases generally require a lower standard of proof than criminal cases.
This is not the only current civil case involving the police killing of an unarmed black man. In New York, the family of Eric Garner is seeking $75 million in damages.
Michele Marie Leonhart, the Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), will resign following allegations that agents attended parties funded by cartels.
Michele Leonhart’s retirement was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder.
The move follows a justice department report last month alleging that drug agents attended parties with prostitutes, some funded by local drug cartels, in a foreign country.
The DEA said the incidents had happened in Colombia.
Correspondents say Michele Leonhart, who has run the agency since 2007, had been under pressure to resign since testifying to a congressional committee last week.
Following her appearance, a majority of the committee said they had lost confidence in her.
“Michele has led this distinguished agency with honor, and I have been proud to call her my partner in the work of safeguarding our national security and protecting our citizens from crime, exploitation and abuse,” Eric Holder said.
Eric Holder added that Michele Leonhart would leave the agency in mid-May.
According to the justice department report, the sex parties were held at government-leased quarters where the phones and laptops of agents were present.
It said that DEA investigators at the time had not reported the allegations because they “did not believe that the special agents’ conduct rose to the level of a security risk requiring a referral”.
The report said that several agents were also provided with money, expensive gifts and weapons.
One DEA official told investigators: “Prostitution is considered part of the local culture and is tolerated in certain areas called <<tolerance zones>>.”
Seven agents who admitted attending parties were given suspensions ranging from two to 10 days. One was cleared of wrongdoing.
The investigation had been instigated by Congress following reports from 2012 that Secret Service agents had hired prostitutes while protecting the president during a summit in Colombia.
John Hinckley Jr.’s lawyer has told a court his client should be permanently released from his mental health facility.
John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan, who survived, and three others outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington in 1981.
He was found not guilty by reason of insanity but was sent for treatment to a Washington hospital.
Currently, John Hinckley Jr. spends 17 days per month at his mother’s home in the nearby state of Virginia.
John Hinckley’s lawyer, Barry Levine, told a federal court on April 22 that the would-be assassin is “clinically ready” to leave St Elizabeth’s Hospital permanently because he has been in “full and stable remission” for more than two decades.
The lawyer is asking a judge to grant his client “convalescent leave”, which would allow him to live outside the hospital with regular visits to mental health professionals.
Prosecutor Colleen Kennedy disagreed and said more restrictions and conditions are necessary to keep John Hinckley Jr. and others safe.
His mother is 89 years old and lives near Williamsburg, Virginia.
While living with her, John Hinckley is allowed to live a normal life that includes unsupervised shopping and dining out, and occasional contact with the US Secret Service.
Ronald Reagan was just 69 days into his presidency when the attempt was made on his life.
The former president suffered a punctured lung, but survived after being rushed to a nearby hospital.
Three others were wounded, including White House aide James Brady who was shot in the head and suffered brain damage and partial paralysis.
A Secret Service agent and a police officer suffered lesser wounds.
A gun control law passed in 1993 was nicknamed The Brady Bill and the White House press briefing room bears James Brady’s name. He died in August of last year at the age of 73.
New York City’s buses must display a controversial advertisement that refers to Muslims killing Jews, a judge has ruled.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) had opposed the advertisement, arguing it could incite terrorism and violence.
Judge John Koeltl rejected the argument and said the ad was protected under the US constitution, which enshrines the principle of free speech.
The ad, a parody paid for by the controversial American Freedom Defense Initiative, lead by notorious anti-Muslim blogger Pamela Gellar and author Robert Spencer, depicts a man wearing a scarf around his face, accompanied by this quote: “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah.”
The quote adds that his actions are attributed to “Hamas MTV,” and then states: “That’s His Jihad. What’s yours?“, with “Hamas TV” being a reference to Palestinian Media Watch’s translation of a hateful, anti-Israel music video released online.
The ad includes a disclaimer that the ad’s statement does not reflect the MTA’s stance. It’s also not the first time the Authority will run an ad from the AFDI, which touts itself as a pro-Israel organization.
The ad has already been displayed on public transport in Chicago and San Francisco.
Judge John Koeltl said that although he was sensitive to security concerns, the MTA had underestimated the tolerance of New Yorkers and overestimated the potential impact of the ad.
“It strains credulity to believe that New Yorkers would be incited to violence by ads that did not incite residents of Chicago and San Francisco,” he said.
Judge John Koelt delayed enforcing his ruling for 30 days so the MTA could decide whether to appeal.
MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg said they were “disappointed in the ruling and are reviewing our options”.
The American Freedom Defense Initiative is run by controversial blogger and activist Pamela Geller. It is listed as an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, a civil rights group.
US Ambassador to Poland Stephen Mull has been summoned over Holocaust comments made by FBI director James Comey.
Poland’s foreign ministry said James Comey had suggested in a Washington Post article that some Poles were accomplices.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said he made it clear the US believed “Nazi Germany alone” was responsible.
Six million Polish citizens were killed by the Nazis during World War Two, half of them Jewish.
In the Washington Post article on April 16, aimed at raising education about the Holocaust, James Comey wrote: “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil.
“They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.”
The words sparked a storm of protest in Poland.
Poland’s President Bronislaw Komorowski told Polish television the comments were an “insult to thousands of Poles who helped Jews”.
PM Ewa Kopacz said: “To those who are incapable of presenting the historic truth in an honest way, I want to say that Poland was not a perpetrator but a victim of World War Two. I would expect full historical knowledge from officials who speak on the matter.”
Ambassador Stephen Mull, who on April 19 attended ceremonies marking the 72nd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising against the Nazis, said that any suggestion that “Poland, or any other countries other than Nazi Germany, bear responsibility for the Holocaust, is a mistake, harmful and insulting”.
After the summons, Stephen Mull said: “I made clear that the opinion that Poland is in any way responsible for the Holocaust is not the position of the United States.
“Nazi Germany alone bears responsibility. I now have a lot of work before me to make things right in this situation.”
However, Stephen Mull also said he believed the wider message of the article was that many people had either aided the Nazis or not done enough in response to the atrocities, including in the US.
The Washington Post on April 19 published a column criticizing James Comey’s comments.
At least two Cuban dissidents will be standing for the first time in municipal elections on April 19.
Hildebrando Chaviano is an independent journalist and lawyer, and Yuniel Lopez a member of an outlawed political party, the Independent and Democratic Cuba Party.
Yuniel Lopez and Hildebrando Chaviano are standing for places on local councils in Havana.
Their election would be unprecedented in Cuba’s single-party system.
Both Hildebrando Chaviano and Yuniel Lopez told foreign press agencies they thought the government was caught off guard by the strength of their support in the opening round.
Like half of the 27,000 candidates for municipal posts, the two were selected by a show of hands in a local neighborhood meeting. The final round of the elections is by secret vote – there is no campaigning.
“We have to take advantage of the moment,” Hildebrando Chaviano said.
“No-one from the government was expecting us to be nominated and even less that we would become candidates.”
Yuniel Lopez said: “Some people say that there is fear in Cuba, and I say that people have lost their fear.”
They are running for seats on municipal assemblies that oversee local matters that include water supplies, street repairs and insect fumigation.
Municipal assemblies also nominate candidates for half the representatives on provincial assemblies.
The provincial assemblies then nominate candidates for half the members of the National Assembly, which elects Cuba’s ruling Council of State, which in turn elects the president.
The other half of the candidates at municipal and provincial level are selected by a government electoral commission, ensuring continued Communist Party control.
President Raul Castro began introducing gradual but wide-ranging economic reforms in 2010.
He also promised changes to the electoral system, but has yet to provide details.
Observers say the fact that dissidents are on the ballot is the first indication that at least in appearance, Cuban authorities may be softening their control on politics.
US ambassador to South Korea Mark Lippert could face a “bigger mishap” than the knife attack to his face last month if he does not stop insulting North Korea with “laughable” accusations, a North Korean propaganda unit said.
Ambassador Mark Lippert said in a speech on April 15 that if North Korea improves its human rights record and takes steps to end its nuclear program, it will be rewarded with prosperity and better ties with the outside world, including the US.
North Korea’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said Mark Lippert’s remarks were proof that Washington was intent on hostility.
“Lippert needs to drop the bad habit of rashly engaging in scheming chatter distorting the truth and instigating war by taking issue with us,” the committee said in a commentary published on April 16 on the Uriminzokkiri propaganda web site.
“Otherwise, next time, he could face a bigger mishap than getting cut in the cheek by a South Korean citizen,” it said.
North Korea frequently rails at the US, South Korea’s biggest ally, accusing it of preparing for imminent invasion.
A US State Department spokesperson said: “We have seen the statement which is unfortunately consistent with the nature of the regime and its rhetoric.”
Mark Lippert was slashed in the face with a fruit knife by a South Korean man with a history of erratic behavior at a breakfast forum in central Seoul that left a gash that required 80 stitches. He also suffered injuries to his arm.
South Korean police charged Mark Lippert’s attacker with attempted murder. He was not charged with any North Korea-related crime after being questioned over his multiple visits.
North Korea previously called the attack “deserved punishment” but denied any role in it.
Martin Richard’s parents have called on federal authorities to drop the death penalty as a possible punishment for bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
Martin William Richard, 8, was the youngest victim in the 2013Boston Marathon bombings.
Bill and Denise Richard’s son was one of three people killed in the explosions two years ago.
The Richards said an execution sentence “could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives.”
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was convicted last week.
Martin Richard’s parents made their plea in a front-page piece in the Boston Globe on April 17.
“We are in favor of and would support the Department of Justice in taking the death penalty off the table in exchange for the defendant spending the rest of his life in prison without any possibility of release and waiving all of his rights to appeal,” they wrote.
The Richards were injured in the attack and their daughter, Jane, lost one of her legs in one of the explosions.
“The defendant murdered our 8-year-old son, maimed our 7-year-old daughter, and stole part of our soul. We know that the government has its reasons for seeking the death penalty, but the continued pursuit of that punishment could bring years of appeals and prolong reliving the most painful day of our lives,” they said.
Throughout the piece, the Richards never mention Dzhokhar Tsarnaev by name, electing instead to refer to him as “the defendant”.
“I care deeply about their views and the views of the other victims and survivors,” US Attorney for Boston, Carmen Ortiz, said. She refused to go into specifics.
Families of other victims have expressed support for the death penalty.
The court will begin the penalty phase of the trial on April 21, one day after this year’s Boston Marathon.