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Turkey presidential election

Turkey's presidential candidates have wrapped up their campaigns ahead of a runoff to be held on Sunday. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged people to vote in a way that would allow the legislature and executive to work together. Erdogan also questioned his rival Kemal Kilicdaroglu's ability to function without a parliamentary majority if he wins. Kilicdaroglu meanwhile addressed supporters in Istanbul, touching on what he called “serious economic problems.” He said the situation is not bright in Turkey. Economy is a major issue for voters, as inflation has soared in the past couple of years, triggering a cost-of-living crisis. The Turkish lira has greatly lost its value as well. On Friday, it plunged to a record low of 20 against the US dollar.

Russia-Ukraine war

Ukraine says Russian troops have temporarily eased attacks in and around the flashpoint city of Bakhmut to regroup and strengthen their capabilities. Russia says its forces have completely taken over the city but Kiev says it still controls pockets of Bakhmut. The battle for the city has been the longest and bloodiest during the war. The capture of the city would bring Russia slightly closer to its goal of controlling the whole Donetsk region. Meanwhile, Ukraine says it will soon launch a highly anticipated counteroffensive. Ukrainian officials say the push could start as soon as tomorrow or ultimately by the end of the week. Ukraine says the offensive aims to recapture territory taken by Russia since the start of the war.

Serbia protest

Tens of thousands of Serbs have taken to the streets of Belgrade in an anti-government protest over two mass shootings that killed 18 people. The crowd surrounded a compound housing the state broadcaster, calling for the resignation of the Serbian president. They also demanded more media freedom. This was the fourth such protest organized by opposition parties. They blame the government of failing to rein in media that have promoted violence, and to act against criminal elements in the society. The government denies opposition parties' accusations, accusing them of staging protests for political gain. On May 3, a young boy killed nine students and a security guard in Belgrade in the first mass shooting in Serbia. A day later, a 21-year-old man killed eight others outside the city.

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