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Zero turnout as Poland holds bizarre ghost election

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Warsaw (AFP) – Poland’s election day Sunday will be one for the history books as polling stations remain closed and turnout will clock in at zero due to a political crisis set off by the coronavirus pandemic.The EU member of 38 million people has found itself in the bizarre “Twilight Zone” predicament in which the presidential ballot is formally neither postponed nor cancelled, because the government and opposition were unable to agree on a constitutional and safe solution.”We’re in a fog of legal absurdity,” Warsaw-based political scientist Stanislaw Mocek told AFP, echoing the widespread hea…

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WHO urges aggressive virus measures as flare-ups spark new closures

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The World Health Organization has urged countries grappling with coronavirus to step up control measures, saying it is still possible to rein it in, as some nations clamp fresh restrictions on citizens.

With case numbers worldwide more than doubling in the past six weeks, Uzbekistan on Friday returned to lockdown and Hong Kong said schools would close from Monday after the city recorded "exponential growth" in locally transmitted infections.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on countries to adopt an aggressive approach, highlighting Italy, Spain, South Korea and India's biggest slum to show it was possible to stop the spread, no matter how bad the outbreak.

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Fury in France as protesters slam Macron’s choice of interior minister accused of rape

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Chanting “Impunity is Over!” or dancing against sexual violence, women’s rights activists protested Friday in multiple cities in France and abroad against President Emmanuel Macron’s appointment of a new interior minister who is accused of rape and a justice minister who has minimized the #MeToo movement.

The actions started Friday morning in Dijon, where new Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Prime Minister Jean Castex were meeting with police. A dozen feminists held out banners and signs condemning Darmanin and rape culture.

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Ghislaine Maxwell seeks release on $5 million bail

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Ghislaine Maxwell's lawyers asked a New York court Friday to release her on bail of $5 million, insisting she will stay in America to fight sex abuse charges related to Jeffrey Epstein.

The British socialite has been charged with sex trafficking minors for Epstein, her former boyfriend and convicted sex offender who killed himself in prison last summer while awaiting trial.

In documents filed with the Southern District of New York, her attorneys said the daughter of late newspaper baron Robert Maxwell "vigorously" denies the charges and "intends to fight them."

They argued that "she is not a flight risk" and asked Judge Alison Nathan to release her from custody on $5 million bail, signed by six of her associates and secured by a $3.75 million property in Britain.

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