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The World Jewish Congress has expressed its “disgust and outrage” following reports that an effigy made to look like a stereotypical Jew was hanged and burned in a Polish town as part of an Easter ritual.

Robert Singer, CEO of the New York-based group, said in a statement that “Jews are deeply disturbed by this ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering.”

Residents, among them children, beat and burned the effigy in the southeastern town of Pruchnik on Good Friday. The figure represented Judas, the discipline of Christ who betrayed him according to the New Testament.

Poles also expressed their disgust at the revival of the anti-Semitic ritual. Some posted photos online of the same ritual being carried out before World War II.

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Authorities in West London on Sunday said they are searching for a mugger who sucker punched his victim so hard, that his teeth had to be removed from the victim’s lungs, reports said.

The Metropolitan Police released the graphic video that showed the suspect rummage through the victim’s pockets while he was lying on the ground. The victim suffered a fractured skull and a bleed on the brain, The Sun reported.

The 23-year-old victim was in a coma for weeks, the report said. The incident occurred in August but the video was just released.

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“This was a completely unprovoked assault on a young man walking home after a night out,” a detective told the paper. “The victim has only just managed to make a full recovery from his physical injuries, however this attack has had a large psychological impact on him.

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Police say officers patrolling a main highway in North Macedonia found 58 migrants packed into a van and detained three men on suspicion of smuggling migrants.

Police said in a statement issued Sunday that the officers stopped the van on Saturday afternoon and arrested two Macedonian citizens and a third man from Kosovo.

The statement says 56 of the people packed inside the van were from Pakistan and two were from Syria.

Police say they were taken to a shelter in the southern town of Gevgelija, near the border with Greece and will be deported.

They allege the migrants entered North Macedonia illegally from Greece and were to be transported north to Serbia’s border and then on to other European countries.

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Two teenagers who were arrested in the shooting death of a 29-year-old journalist in Northern Ireland have been released from police custody without being charged.

Police let the 18- and 19-year-old men go Sunday night and appealed to anyone with information about whoever killed Lyra McKee to come forward.

McKee was fatally wounded during rioting Thursday night in the city of Londonderry.

Police say she was probably hit by a bullet someone fired at police. Video from the scene showed a gunman wearing a black face mask aiming at officers.

The two teens were arrested under an anti-terrorism law on Saturday. Their release means authorities are still seeking the person who pulled the trigger.

McKee’s funeral is scheduled to be held in her native Belfast on Wednesday.

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The Latest on the presidential election in North Macedonia (all times local):

9:55 p.m.

Returns from North Macedonia’s presidential election are giving an indication of which of the three candidates will compete in a runoff early next month.

The May 5 runoff is inevitable because the small European country’s election law requires a candidate to get 50% plus one of registered voters, not just voters who cast ballots for president, to be elected in the first round. The state electoral commission reported the turnout Sunday was 39.26%.

With about half of polling stations reporting, Stevo Pendarovski and Gordana Siljanovska Davkova were in a close contest for the most support. Pendarovski, the joint candidate of the ruling Social Democrats and 30 other parties, held a slight lead, with 42.4% of the partial vote to Siljanovska’s 41.1%.

The main conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party backed Siljanovska, the first woman to run for president in the country. .

Blerim Reka, a candidate supported by two small ethnic Albanian political parties, had 12.3% of the early returns.

___

8:15 a.m.

Polls opened early Sunday in North Macedonia for a presidential election seen as a key test for the government following the country’s changing its name to end a decades-old dispute with neighboring Greece over the use of the term “Macedonia”.

More than 3,400 polling stations opened at 7 a.m. local time (0500 GMT) and will close at 7 p.m. (1700GMT).

Three university professors are vying for the largely ceremonial presidency post.

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova is backed by the main conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, Stevo Pendarovski is a joint candidate of the ruling Social Democrats and 30 smaller parties, while Blerim Reka is supported by two small ethnic Albanian parties.

A candidate needs 50% plus one vote of the 1.8 million registered voters to win outright in the first round.

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Ukrainians cast ballots Sunday in a presidential runoff which had the incumbent struggling to fend off a strong challenge by a comedian who denounces corruption and plays the role of president in a TV sitcom.

Opinion surveys ahead of the election showed 53-year-old President Petro Poroshenko trailing far behind comic actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy, reflecting public dismay with Ukraine’s endemic corruption, a moribund economy and a five-year fight against Russia-backed insurgents in the country’s east.

Zelenskiy, 41, got twice as many votes as Poroshenko in the first round vote three weeks ago. Like his sitcom character, a teacher thrust into the presidency after a video of him blasting corruption went viral. He focused his campaign on fighting graft, riding the wave of public distrust of Ukraine’s political elite.

Poroshenko, a billionaire candy magnate before he took office, has relied on traditional political barnstorming, using sympathetic television stations to extensively cover his appearances.

Zelenskiy largely stayed away from the campaign trail and eschewed interviews. He campaigned mainly on Instagram, where he has 3.7 million followers. After Zelenskiy voted Sunday, police handed him a court summons for failing to keep his ballot away from cameras, an administrative offense punishable by a $30 fine.

The candidates engaged in fierce mutual criticism and jockeyed for dominance. Wrapping up the campaign with a sentimental moment, both men dropped to on their knees during a debate at the country’s largest sports stadium Friday to ask forgiveness of those who lost relatives on the eastern battlefront.

COMEDIAN COULD UNSEAT UKRAINE’S POROSHENKO IN THIS SUNDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures while speaking to the media as his wife Maryna stands next to him, at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. ()

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures while speaking to the media as his wife Maryna stands next to him, at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. () (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Millions of Ukrainians who live in the rebel-controlled east and in Russia-annexed Crimea are unable to vote. Russia seized Crimea in 2014 in a move that Ukraine and almost all of the world views as illegal. Fighting in the east that erupted that same year after the Russian annexation has killed more than 13,000 people.

Poroshenko campaigned on the same promise he made when he was elected in 2014: to lead the nation of 42 million into the European Union and NATO. However, the goals have been elusive amid Ukraine’s economic problems, pervasive corruption and fighting in the east. A visa-free deal with the EU spawned the exodus of millions of skilled workers for better living conditions elsewhere in Europe.

In a jab at his rival, the president warned voters that “it could be funny at first, but pain may come later.”

Poroshenko emphasized the need to “defend achievements of the past five years,” noting the creation of a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is independent from Moscow’s patriarchate, a schism he championed.

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PUSHES FOR NEW PARLIAMENT 

But Poroshenko’s message fell flat with many voters struggling to survive on meager wages and pay soaring utility bills.

“We have grown poor under Poroshenko and have to save to buy food and clothing,” said 55-year-old sales clerk Irina Fakhova. “We have had enough of them getting mired in corruption and filling their pockets and treating us as fools.”

Poroshenko denies any link to an alleged embezzlement scheme involving one of his companies and a top associate.

Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy shows his ballot before casting his ballot at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Ukrainian comedian and presidential candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy shows his ballot before casting his ballot at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Zelenskiy, who comes from Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking east, has opposed Poroshenko’s push for a bill that would outlaw the Russian language and mocked the creation of the new church as a campaign stunt.

Speaking to reporters, he said his campaign already “helped unite the country.”

Like Poroshenko, Zelenskiy pledged to keep Ukraine on its pro-Western course, but said the country should only join NATO if voters give their approval in a referendum. He said his top priority would be direct talks with Russia to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy’s image has been shadowed by his admission that he had commercial interests in Russia through a holding company, and by his business ties to self-exiled billionaire businessman Ihor Kolomoyskyi. A Poroshenko archrival, Kolomoyskyi owns the TV station that aired the sitcom the actor starred in as well as his comedy shows.

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However, his ties to Kolomoyskyi have not sullied his image enough to cast him as a corrupt candidate in the eyes of voters.

“I have grown up under the old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies and corruption,” said Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old computer programmer who cast her ballot for Zelenskiy. “It’s time to change that.”

Source: Fox News World

Comedian and actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy will become Ukraine’s next president after winning a vast majority of the embattled country’s votes despite having no political track record.

According to an exit poll on Sunday, 41-year-old Zelensky garnered 73 percent of the vote, unseating the incumbent candidate Petro Poroshenko. Zelensky was known for his role in a Ukraine television sitcom in which he plays the role of a president. Like his sitcom character, a teacher thrust into the presidency after a video of him blasting corruption went viral. He focused his campaign on fighting graft, riding the wave of public distrust of Ukraine’s political elite.

“To all Ukrainians, no matter where you are, I promise that I will never let you down,” Zelensky said upon receiving the poll results, The Washington Post reports. “Though I’m still not president, I can say as a Ukrainian citizen to all the countries of the former Soviet Union: Look at us. Everything is possible.”

Zelenskiy largely stayed away from the campaign trail and eschewed interviews. He campaigned mainly on Instagram, where he has 3.7 million followers. After Zelenskiy voted Sunday, police handed him a court summons for failing to keep his ballot away from cameras, an administrative offense punishable by a $30 fine.

The candidates engaged in fierce mutual criticism and jockeyed for dominance. Wrapping up the campaign with a sentimental moment, both men dropped to on their knees during a debate at the country’s largest sports stadium Friday to ask forgiveness of those who lost relatives on the eastern battlefront.

COMEDIAN COULD UNSEAT UKRAINE’S POROSHENKO IN THIS SUNDAY’S PRESIDENTIAL RUNOFF

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures while speaking to the media as his wife Maryna stands next to him, at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. ()

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko gestures while speaking to the media as his wife Maryna stands next to him, at a polling station, during the second round of presidential elections in Kiev, Ukraine, Sunday, April 21, 2019. Top issues in the election have been corruption, the economy and how to end the conflict with Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine. () (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky)

Millions of Ukrainians who live in the rebel-controlled east and in Russia-annexed Crimea are unable to vote. Russia seized Crimea in 2014 in a move that Ukraine and almost all of the world views as illegal. Fighting in the east that erupted that same year after the Russian annexation has killed more than 13,000 people.

Poroshenko campaigned on the same promise he made when he was elected for his first five-year term in 2014: to lead the nation of 42 million into the European Union and NATO. However, the goals have been elusive amid Ukraine’s economic problems, pervasive corruption and fighting in the east. A visa-free deal with the EU spawned the exodus of millions of skilled workers for better living conditions elsewhere in Europe.

In a jab at his rival, the president warned voters that “it could be funny at first, but pain may come later.”

Poroshenko emphasized the need to “defend achievements of the past five years,” noting the creation of a new Ukrainian Orthodox Church that is independent from Moscow’s patriarchate, a schism he championed.

UKRAINE’S PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE PUSHES FOR NEW PARLIAMENT 

But Poroshenko’s message fell flat with many voters struggling to survive on meager wages and pay soaring utility bills.

“We have grown poor under Poroshenko and have to save to buy food and clothing,” said 55-year-old sales clerk Irina Fakhova. “We have had enough of them getting mired in corruption and filling their pockets and treating us as fools.”

Poroshenko denies any link to an alleged embezzlement scheme involving one of his companies and a top associate.

Zelenskiy, who comes from Ukraine’s mostly Russian-speaking east, has opposed Poroshenko’s push for a bill that would outlaw the Russian language and mocked the creation of the new church as a campaign stunt.

Speaking to reporters, he said his campaign “helped unite the country.”

Like Poroshenko, Zelenskiy pledged to keep Ukraine on its pro-Western course, but said the country should only join NATO if voters give their approval in a referendum. He said his top priority would be direct talks with Russia to end the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Zelenskiy’s image has been shadowed by his admission that he had commercial interests in Russia through a holding company, and by his business ties to self-exiled billionaire businessman Ihor Kolomoyskyi. A Poroshenko archrival, Kolomoyskyi owns the TV station that aired the sitcom the actor starred in as well as his comedy shows.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

However, his ties to Kolomoyskyi have not sullied his image enough to cast him as a corrupt candidate in the eyes of voters.

“I have grown up under the old politicians and only have seen empty promises, lies and corruption,” said Lyudmila Potrebko, a 22-year-old computer programmer who cast her ballot for Zelenskiy. “It’s time to change that.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The archbishop of Paris and Catholics from around France and the world honored the firefighters who saved Notre Dame Cathedral, praying Sunday at a special Easter Mass for a swift reconstruction of the beloved monument.

The fire that engulfed Notre Dame during Holy Week forced worshippers to find other places to attend Easter services, and the Paris diocese invited them to join Sunday’s Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache Church on the Right Bank of the Seine River.

Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit handed over a bible that had been rescued from Notre Dame to the firefighters, who held a place of honor at Sunday’s service.

Faithfuls attend a Sunday Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache church on the Right Bank of the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Faithfuls attend a Sunday Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache church on the Right Bank of the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Aupetit thanked city officials for their support amid “the drama” of last Monday’s fire, and “especially you, those for whom this Mass is dedicated” — the firefighters who struggled for nine hours to contain flames that consumed Notre Dame’s roof and collapsed its spire.

FAMILY FROM VIRAL NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL PHOTO FOUND, DAD CHOOSES TO STAY ANONYMOUS

He notably thanked fire service chaplain Jean-Marc Fournier, who saved the most precious thing for Catholics from the fire, the chalice containing consecrated hosts that for Catholics are the body of Christ.

Police and a soldier guarded the entry to Sunday’s Mass, creating a long line to check bags before visitors could enter the 13th-century Saint-Eustache Church. It was unclear if the extra security was linked to an Easter Sunday attack on churches and hotels in Sri Lanka that killed at least 190 people and wounded nearly 500 others.

Notre Dame’s parishioners were joined by Catholics and others from around France and beyond. An Associated Press reporter heard at least six languages being spoken in the crowd.

NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL KEPT STANDING AMID FIRE WITH GIANT ROBOT ‘COLOSSUS’

“Everyone is affected by what happened to Notre Dame,” said Parisian Michel Ripoche. “Easter is a holiday we celebrate every year, all our lives. Clearly what happened at Notre Dame added to the importance” of today’s service.

The archbishop of Paris and Catholics from around France and the world honored the firefighters who saved Notre Dame Cathedral, praying Sunday at a special Easter Mass for a swift reconstruction of the beloved monument.

The archbishop of Paris and Catholics from around France and the world honored the firefighters who saved Notre Dame Cathedral, praying Sunday at a special Easter Mass for a swift reconstruction of the beloved monument. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Peggy Godley, visiting from Chicago with her husband and two daughters, “wanted to see what it was like to celebrate a Mass in Paris.”

“We didn’t get to see Notre Dame. We were hoping to be there, but it’s too late,” she said.

Faithfuls attend a Sunday Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache church on the Right Bank of the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2019.

Faithfuls attend a Sunday Mass at the grandiose Saint-Eustache church on the Right Bank of the Seine river in Paris, Sunday, April 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Notre Dame isn’t expected to reopen to the public for five or six years, according to its rector, although the French president is pushing for a quick reconstruction. Investigators believe the fire was an accident, possibly linked to renovation work.

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Notre Dame Rector Patrick Chauvet told The Associated Press on Good Friday that he has “plenty of hope, because I believe that from this suffering there will be a renaissance.”

He said he would fight for speedy rebuilding work.

Culture Minister Franck Riester said Sunday that most of the sensitive spots in the cathedral have been stabilized, including support structures above its prized rose windows.

“There remain some sensitive points in the vaulted ceiling, and so teams from the Culture Ministry, construction companies are working to remove the rubble that remains on the ceiling and progressively cover it up. And after that, we can say that the Notre Dame of Paris is saved,” he said on France-2 television.

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Protesters have attacked the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party during the funeral of a soldier who was slain during clashes with Kurdish rebels.

Television footage on Sunday showed some protesters hitting Kemal Kilicdaroglu on the head as security officials tried to escort him away from the crowd.

The attack comes weeks after Kilicdaroglu’s pro-secular Republican People’s Party took control of the key cities of Ankara and Istanbul in Turkey’s March 31 local election away from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party.

Erdogan had led a highly divisive electoral campaign, portraying the elections as a matter of national survival and equating opposition parties with terrorists.

The soldier was among four killed Saturday in a clash against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party rebels near Turkey’s border with Iraq.

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With French police suicides on the rise, officials are expressing shock and anger after some yellow vest protesters encouraged police to kill themselves.

Radical protesters have clashed with police nearly every weekend for five months on the margins of largely peaceful yellow vest demonstrations for economic justice.

On Saturday, Associated Press reporters heard some protesters in Paris shouting “Kill yourselves!” at police firing tear gas and rubber projectiles and charging the crowd to contain the violence.

Police unions denounced the protesters’ call, which prompted indignation online. Interior Minister Christophe Castaner called it a “disgrace.”

Police unions held silent protests Friday after two officers killed themselves last week. Unions say police ranks have seen 28 suicides so far this year, compared to 68 over all of 2018.

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