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Egyptians are voting for a third and final day on constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to remain in office until 2030.

The referendum is virtually guaranteed to be approved, as the government pushes for high turnout to grant it legitimacy.

Authorities have waged a wide-scale crackdown on dissent since el-Sissi led the military overthrow of an elected but divisive Islamist president in 2013. The referendum is widely seen as another step toward restoring authoritarian rule eight years after a pro-democracy uprising.

Opposition parties have called on voters to reject the measure, but they have little influence in parliament, which is packed with el-Sissi supporters and overwhelmingly approved the changes.

Polls reopened at 9 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Monday. The results are expected within a week.

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Cyprus’ police chief says the discovery of two dead female bodies down an abandoned mineshaft and the disappearance of the six year-old daughter of one of the victims are “unprecedented” in the east Mediterranean island nation’s history.

Zacharias Chrysostomou said Monday an ongoing murder probe will be conducted “meticulously” so that the case is airtight when presented in court.

The suspect in the killings, a 35 year-old Greek Cypriot military officer, remains in custody. One of the victims has been identified as a 38 year-old Filipino woman who is the mother of the missing child.

Chrysostomou said it’s premature to estimate the scale of the crimes committed and pledged that police will take corrective steps where needed amid a public outcry in how missing persons cases were handled.

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An international rights group says the widespread use of land mines by Yemen’s Houthi rebels not only kill civilians but block aid to the most needy, exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

Human Rights Watch says in a new report Monday that at least 140 people, including children, have been killed in the two governorates of Taiz and Hodeida since 2018, as the Houthis have blanketed farmlands, wells, and roads with anti-personnel and anti-vehicle mines.

HRW researcher Priyanka Motaparthy says the Houthi mines have “not only killed and maimed numerous civilians, but they have prevented vulnerable Yemenis from harvesting crops and drawing clean water desperately needed for survival.”

She says the mines have also “prevented aid groups from bringing food and health care to increasingly hungry and ill Yemeni civilians.”

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Sri Lanka took drastic steps Monday to crack down on new potential terror threats by blocking social media and arresting more than dozen after a series of suicide bombings allegedly carried out by a domestic militant group ripped through its capital on Easter Sunday.

The country’s health minister said the attacks, which killed at least 290 and injured more than 500, were carried out by seven suicide bombers from a local militant group named “National Throwfeek Jamaath.” Police said 13 suspects in connection with the bombings have been arrested.

US STATE DEPARTMENT WARNS 

All of the bombers were Sri Lankan citizens, but authorities suspect foreign links, Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne said at a news conference.

EASTER MASSACRE AT CHURCHES, HOTELS IN SRI LANKA KILLED TV CHEF, MOTHER AND SON, AMERICANS

Officials on Monday that Sri Lankan police investigating the bombings are examining reports that intelligence agencies had warnings of possible attacks.

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Meanwhile, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has vowed to “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Latest on the results of Ukraine’s presidential vote in which TV actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy won in a landslide (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

France and Germany, which have led diplomatic efforts to defuse the conflict in eastern Ukraine, are congratulating Volodymyr Zelenskiy on being elected as president.

They are underlining their support for reform and their commitment to Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said Monday that he spoke with Zelenskiy and restated his readiness to work alongside Germany in the so-called “Normandy format,” which also involves Ukraine and Russia, to help resolve the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Germany and France brokered a 2015 peace accord with Ukraine and Russia to stop the fighting, but the deal is far from implemented. There has been no recent summit between the four countries’ leaders.

In a separate message to Zelenskiy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stressed her interest in stabilizing Ukraine and a peaceful resolution to the conflict, along with reforms to the judicial system, decentralization of Ukraine and fighting corruption.

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12 noon

The European Union is congratulating Volodymyr Zelenskiy on his election as Ukrainian president, pledging strong support for his plans to reform the country and fight corruption.

In a joint letter to Zelenskiy on Monday, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and European Council chief Donald Tusk said the political novice can “count on the EU’s continued and steadfast support of Ukraine’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.”

Juncker and Tusk wrote that “you can count on the EU’s strong support to Ukraine’s reform path, including consolidating the rule of law, fighting corruption, maintaining macro-financial stability and pursuing the essential reform of the energy sector.” And they said that further implementation of a Ukraine-EU association agreement could be a “crucial instrument” in achieving that.

Zelenskiy, a TV actor, trounced incumbent Petro Poroshenko in Sunday’s election.

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11:30 p.m.

Even with a landslide win in Ukraine’s presidential election to give him a powerful mandate for change, TV actor Volodymyr Zelenskiy has daunting challenges ahead.

The simmering, deadly conflict in eastern Ukraine and the conundrum over Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea are likely to dominate the agenda of the man who up until now has only played the president in a TV sitcom. Zelenskiy, a Russian speaker from central Ukraine has promised to step up efforts to re-integrate the east back into Ukraine’s fold but has offered no details on how he is going to do that.

A political novice, 41-year-old Zelenskiy will also have to face off against Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has ruled his country for nearly two decades, if he wants to mend relations with Ukraine’s neighbor.

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10:30 a.m.

With nearly all the votes counted in Ukraine, TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy is projected to win the country’s presidential runoff vote in a landslide.

The Central Election Commission says Monday that Zelenskiy has won 73% of the vote while the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko got just 24% support with more than 96% of the ballots counted.

Unlike in most of the elections in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history, Zelenskiy appears to have won both in Ukraine’s west and east, areas that have been traditionally polarized. One of the campaign slogans of the popular television comedian who has no previous political experience was to unify Ukraine, which has been torn by bitter debates over its identity as well as the separatist conflict in the east that is fueled by neighboring Russia.

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Spanish politicians are swapping campaign buses for tractors, buddying up with hunters and inspecting home-grown tomatoes in Spain’s often-neglected rural regions as they hunt for votes in Sunday’s general election, one of the country’s most polarized votes in decades.

The ballot comes as Spain’s traditional bipartisan political landscape — which used to revolve around the left-wing Socialists and the conservative Popular Party — has fractured into five main political parties, including a far-right populist newcomer. That has spurred a race for votes in Spain’s overrepresented hinterland, where nearly one-third of the seats in parliament’s lower house are up for grabs.

Spain’s electoral rules grant a bigger say in parliament’s lower house to provinces with shrinking populations. A few thousand votes in these areas can swing a win for one party or another, turning the “every vote counts” cliché into a reality for candidates far from the big cities.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called the Afghan president to express disappointment over the indefinite postponement of talks with the Taliban and to condemn the insurgent’s latest “spring offensive.”

The Afghan-to-Afghan talks in Qatar were scheduled to start last week when they were scuttled after a falling out over who should attend. It would have marked the first time that Taliban and Kabul government officials sat together.

The State Department says Pompeo called President Ashraf Ghani on Saturday and condemned the Taliban’s recent announcement of starting another offensive in the spring. The Taliban have, however, managed to keep up a steady tempo of attacks even during the harsh winter months.

Pompeo also encouraged both sides to agree on participants, saying the talks are Afghanistan’s best chance at peace.

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An Afghan official says an explosion at a coal mine in the northern province of Samangan has killed at least seven miners.

Hashim Bayan, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, says two other miners were injured in the blast on Monday morning in the remote Dar-i-Suf district.

There has been an increase recently in such incidents in the district as miners work without proper equipment or knowledge of safety measures.

Six miners were killed and another one was injured when an explosion in a nearby coal mine earlier this month caused two tunnels to collapse.

Bayan says people in the area are very poor and have no other options but to work as best as they can in the coal mines to make a living.

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Results from nearly all polling stations show that TV star Volodymyr Zelenskiy has won the Ukrainian presidential runoff vote in a landslide.

The Central Election Commission says Monday that Zelenskiy has won 73% of the vote while the incumbent President Petro Poroshenko got just 24% support with more than 95% of the ballots counted.

Unlike in most of the elections in Ukraine’s post-Soviet history, Zelenskiy appears to have won both in Ukraine’s west and east, areas that have been traditionally polarized.

One of the campaign slogans of the popular television comedian who has no previous political experience was to unify Ukraine, which has been torn by bitter debates over its identity as well as the separatist conflict in the east that is fueled by neighboring Russia.

Source: Fox News World

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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