The US is cutting off aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the state department said on Saturday, a day after Donald Trump blasted the countries for sending migrants north. Trump claimed on Friday in Florida that the three countries had “set up” caravans of migrants in order to export them to the US. A surge of asylum seekers from the three countries have sought to enter the US in recent days. Congressional Democrats on a visit to El Salvador said the aid decision would only increase the flow of migrants.
A comedian with no political experience raced ahead in Ukraine’s presidential election on Sunday, offering a fresh face to voters fed up with entrenched corruption in a country on the frontline of the West’s standoff with Russia. Exit polls and early counting put 41-year-old Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who plays a fictional president in a popular TV series, comfortably ahead of incumbent President Petro Poroshenko in the first round, though short of a majority. No candidate is expected to receive more than half the votes, meaning the election would go to a runoff on April 21. Out of a crowded field of 39 candidates, none of the likely winners wants to move Ukraine back into Russia’s orbit.
Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan suffered stunning setbacks in local elections as his ruling AK Party lost control of the capital Ankara for the first time since the party’s founding in 2001, and was on course to lose the biggest prize of all, Istanbul. Turkish broadcasters said opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) candidate Mansur Yavas had won a clear victory in Ankara. In Istanbul, the CHP was nearly 28,000 votes ahead as the last votes were being counted.
Zuzana Caputova, a liberal environmental activist and a political newcomer, was elected Slovakia’s first female president Saturday, riding to victory on a wave of public outrage against corruption in government. With 58 percent of the vote, Caputova edged out European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic, a diplomat backed by the county’s governing Smer-Social Democracy party. In her acceptance speech, Caputova framed her win as a rebuke to the nationalist rhetoric on the rise in central Europe in recent years. Since 2015, nationalist parties have won victories in Hungary, Poland and Austria.
Grammy-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle was shot and killed outside his clothing store in south Los Angeles on Sunday, media reports said. Two other people were wounded in the shooting outside Marathon Clothing, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing law enforcement sources. Hussle, whose real name was Ermias Asghedom, grew up in south Los Angeles and often talked about being in a street gang during his teenage years. His debut studio album, “Victory Lap” was nominated for Best Rap Album at this year’s Grammy Awards.