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Iraq: Al-Sadr rules out talks, demands early elections

After his supporters stormed parliament and declared a sit-in, influential Shiite leader Muqtada al-Sadr dismissed calls for dialogue with an Iran-backed faction and called for the dissolution of the legislature.

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Northern Ireland voters go to the polls today (May 5) in what could be the most important election in a generation. They will elect the 90 members of the Northern Ireland Assembly, from which a power-sharing executive should be formed. These institutions were created by the 1998 Good Friday peace agreement. According to opinion polls, Sinn Fein - representing mostly people of Catholic and Irish background - could become the largest party for the first time.
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The British prime minister has faced calls to step down after breaking COVID lockdown rules. In Northern Ireland, polls suggest the Irish nationalist party Sinn Fein could win the largest number of seats.
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Is it a sign that Northern Ireland is ready to overcome old divides, or of new troubles ahead? For the first time ever, Unionists could find themselves in the minority when ballots are counted in regional assembly elections. Under the Good Friday Agreement, the DUP would still share power with Sinn Fein, who could trigger a referendum on a united Ireland.
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A new round of fighting has driven some 1,000 Yazidi families from their homes. The security situation remains fragile, despite a cease-fire agreed on earlier this week.
14 May
On May 15, parliamentary elections will take place nationwide in Lebanon. The Lebanese diaspora, estimated to be double the size of the domestic population, already cast their ballots last week. Around 60 percent of people across 58 countries turned out, slightly more than in 2018. We bring you a special edition of Middle East Matters on Lebanon's first elections since the mass protests of 2019.
14 May
There's political upheaval in Nigeria after ten government officials step down, signalling their interest in the 2023 elections. And Somalia prepares for a presidential poll this weekend, after months of delays. Sunday's winner will have no shortages of challenges, as the country faces an Islamist insurgency, famine, and drought. Finally, in Niger, anti-corruption NGOs file a legal complaint over the government's accounting. They allege that over 95 million euros of state funds are missing.
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In a UN Security Council briefing, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert said the streets in Iraq could "boil over" if political leaders were unable to end a political stalemate that has gripped the country for over seven months.
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A 66-year-old British man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for trying to smuggle ancient artifacts out of Iraq. A German arrested alongside him was acquitted.
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A deadly attack on churchgoers has highlighted the failure of Nigeria's leaders to end the conflicts wracking the country. As campaigning gears up ahead of elections in February 2023, the violence could worsen.
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A weekly news show produced with photos, videos and personal accounts from FRANCE 24 Observers around the world – all checked by our staff here in Paris.
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This week, we explore the upcoming French legislative elections, the so-called "third round" of the presidential race. This time, French voters are electing 577 MPs to the Assemblée nationale, the lower house of parliament. Though arguably just as important as the race for the Élysée Palace, turnout tends to be lower. So do these elections work? We tell you more in this edition of French Connections.
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The migration crisis, the rise of nationalism and the Covid-19 pandemic have put borders back in the headlines. Although frontiers had never disappeared, globalisation and modern forms of transport had seemed to render them obsolete, at least in many regions. FRANCE 24 brings you a documentary series on four borders that are emblematic of our times. Our reporter Lucile Wassermann travelled to the Arar border crossing between Iraq and Saudi Arabia, which is coming back to life in the middle of the desert.