5.15.2023

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Good morning. It's Monday, May 15, and we're covering tight elections in Turkey, the world's largest singing competition, and much more. First time reading? Sign up here.

 

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Need To Know
 

Runoff in Turkey

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and challenger Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu appear headed to a runoff in the country's presidential race after neither secured a majority of votes in yesterday's election. Current results have Erdoğan with 49.5% of the vote and Kılıçdaroğlu with 44.8%. 

 

Erdoğan is one of the most powerful figures in the history of modern Turkey, having served as prime minister beginning in 2003 until assuming the presidency in 2014. The country's strategic location—controlling the Bosphorus Strait in the west and bordering Syria, Iraq, and Iran to the south and east—has often made him a key player on the international stage. Erdoğan has also been frequently criticized for moving Turkey toward an autocracy.

 

Erdoğan faced stiff headwinds during his reelection campaign. Opposition parties united behind a single candidate, a long-running economic crisis that saw inflation peak above 80% in the fall, and a pair of recent earthquakes that left 50,000 people dead—a death toll many blamed on government corruption.

 

If results are confirmed, the runoff will be held May 28.

 

Cyclone Mocha

At least six people were killed as Cyclone Mocha moved over Myanmar and Bangladesh yesterday, triggering floods and landslides and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents in low-lying coastal areas. Officials expect the death toll to rise as search and rescue efforts get underway.

 

The system is the second-most powerful storm recorded in the Bay of Bengal. Measurements suggest it reached the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, with sustained winds near 175 miles per hour, before weakening slightly ahead of landfall. Footage shared on social media from landfall included a toppled radio tower

 

The Bangladeshi city of Cox's Bazar—home to an estimated 1 million Rohingya refugees—was reportedly spared the worst of the storm as the center of Mocha's path passed by to the east.

 

Sweden Wins Eurovision

Swedish singer Loreen won her second Eurovision title for the song "Tattoo" during Saturday night's finale in Liverpool, United Kingdom, in the 67th edition of one of the most highly watched live music performances in the world (see recap). With the win, 39-year-old Loreen became the second artist and first woman ever to win the contest twice. 

 

An original slate of 37 performances was whittled down to 26 ahead of the final competition, the first to allow anyone in the world to vote for their favorite performers. The show, which in recent years has garnered over 100 million viewers worldwide, is known for its glamorous costumes and staging—see a visual breakdown here.

 

While the event was held in the UK due to the war in Ukraine, much of the night—whose theme was "United by Music"—featured tributes to Ukraine. The technically nonpolitical nature of the event stirred controversy Friday when organizers did not permit Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to speak at the event. 

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In The Know
 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Brittney Griner plays in first game since 10-month detainment in Russia (More) | Boston Celtics top Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 to advance to NBA Eastern Conference Finals (More) | See schedule for conference finals (More

> Tony Awards (June 11) won't be televised due to writers strike; the Tonys were originally scheduled to air on CBS (More) | Poker legend Doyle Brunson dies at 89 (More)

> Arlington Renegades upset DC Defenders 35-26 to win 2023 XFL championship (More) | Memphis Grizzlies star Ja Morant suspended for second time for flashing gun in social media video (More)

 

Science & Technology

> Former executive at ByteDance, parent company of TikTok, alleges the Chinese government maintained access to the social video platform's global data, used service to elevate propaganda (More)

> New gene-editing technique allows scientists to induce specific cancer-linked mutations to study their contribution to tumor development (More)

> Controversial fossil to return to Brazil after two years of negotiations; specimen, allegedly smuggled to Germany in 1995, is the first nonavian dinosaur fossil with feather-like structures found in South America (More)

 

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -0.2%, Dow -0.03%, Nasdaq -0.4%); S&P 500 and Dow fall for second consecutive week, while Nasdaq closes slightly up for the week (More)

> Southwest Airlines pilots vote to authorize a strike seeking higher compensation; company says strike would have no effect on operations (More)

> Netflix to reduce spending by $300M in 2023 to drive increased profitability (More)

 

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) vetoes bill banning most abortions after 12 weeks, eight weeks earlier than current state law; sets up first potential veto override by the state's Republican supermajority (More

> Early season heat wave settles over Pacific Northwest; temperatures at Portland International Airport hit daily record of 93 degrees, 12 million people under a heat advisory (More) | Tornado kills two as deadly storms sweep across Texas (More)

> Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad agree to weekend cease-fire mediated by Egypt; fighting had killed 33 people in Gaza and two in Israel since Tuesday (More) | Thailand opposition parties on track win nationwide elections, running on antimilitary government platform (More)

From our partners: Tired of one-sided political news? We have the solution. Tangle is an independent, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the best arguments from the right, left, and center on one big debate every day. Sign up for free to get a 360-degree political read.

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Etcetera
 

The evolution of TV portrayals of motherhood.

 

Seven worst-case debt limit scenarios

 

How famous creative thinkers from history spent their days.

 

Meet the Luddites, the original skeptics of industrialization.

 

Taylor Swift sticks up for fan mid-song. (via Twitter)

 

Explore the original illustrations from Charles Dickens' famous novels.

 

Can you spot the AI-generated images? (best on desktop)

 

The big business of fake Salvador Dalí art.  

 

Clickbait: Pay $1 per minute to talk to an AI influencer clone.

 

Historybook: National Woman Suffrage Association founded by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1869); Poet Emily Dickinson dies (1886); Mickey Mouse makes first cartoon appearance (1928); Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright born (1937); Soviet Union begins withdrawal of 115,000 troops from Afghanistan (1988).

"Independence is happiness."

- Susan B. Anthony

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