Today in the world: European Parliament election has started, and opposition protests in Indonesia

In the Netherlands, the European Parliament elections start

The first polling stations for the European elections in the Netherlands are open. The polling stations are open from 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. local time.

The Netherlands currently has 26 seats in the European Parliament. In current parliament, Holland was represented by 17 pro-European deputies and 9 European skeptics.

In general, about 427 million people in the Old World can cast their votes in the European Parliament elections. The European Parliament elections will be held across the EU Member States over the next few days, from Thursday to Sunday. The United Kingdom, like the Netherlands, will vote on Thursday. On Friday, citizens of Irland will join voting.

On Saturday, Lithuanians, Maltese and Slovaks will cast their votes. But most other countries are voting over the weekend. In the Czech Republic, the voting will last two days: Friday and Saturday. In Belgium, Luxembourg, Bulgaria, Greece and Cyprus, the voting is compulsory. The one who ignore will be charged a penalty. The final result will follow on Sunday evening.

Over the coming days the residents of the European Union will choose 751 members of European Parliament, who will serve for the next five years. The number of MEPs for the next five-year term would be reduced to 705, if the Great Britain delivers Brexit before the summer.

The number each country gets its proportional to its population. Germany, the most populous, will get 96 MEPs, while tiny Malta, Cyprus and Luxemburg, has just six.

Second night of Indonesian protesters

Calm returned to the streets of the Indonesian capital Thursday after a second night of clashes between security forces and protesters angry about the outcome of last month’s election, which handed President Joko Widodo a second term. Downtown areas of the capital became a battlefield with tear gas, rubber bullets, rocks and firecrackers overnight. The violence began Tuesday night when six people were killed. Two more were killed on Wednesday night, officials said.

The unrest followed an early Tuesday announcement by the General Election Commission confirming that Widodo had beaten his challenger, former general Prabowo Subianto, in the April 17 poll.

The opposition did not agree with the election results announced by the the Electoral Commission, and the demonstrations that began peacefully turned into clashes.

“The Indonesian national army and police have no choice. They will take tough measures in accordance with current legislation. I will not allow anyone to undermine security, democratic processes and the unity of the state,” Widodo said.

The government temporarily blocked some social media functions to prevent inflammatory hoaxes and fake news that could fan unrest and arrested 257 people.

Prabowo has alleged “massive cheating and irregularities” and refused to concede defeat. The election agency has said there was no evidence of systematic cheating and independent observers have said the poll was free and fair. Prabowo’s camp has said it plans to contest the result of the election in the Constitutional Court.

The Election Commission, which had previously considered the request, stated that the charges were groundless. The international observers present at the elections also confirmed that the elections were held without violations.

Decree of Ukraine president to dissolve Rada comes into force, and parliament speaker plans to contest in the Court

A decree issued by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelenskiy on disbanding parliament and holding snap elections in July 21 has taken effect. The decree was published on May 23 in the Uryadoviy Kuryer (Government’s Courier) newspaper, which under Ukrainian law means the decree has entered into force.

Parliament speaker Andriy Parubiy told his plans to contest the desicion to disband parliament in the Constitutional Court.

After announcing in his May 20 inaugural address that he would dissolve parliament, Zelenskiy made it official with the decree the following day. In his opinion, the Ukrainian parliament does not keep the people’s promises.

Britain Dealt Defeat at U.N. Over Its Control of Chagos Islands

The United Kingdom suffered a humiliating defeat Wednesday when the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly demanded that Great Britain cede to Mauritius the British-ruled Chagos Islands, home to an important U.S. military base.

A total of 116 countries in the 193-nation assembly voted in favor of a resolution, while 56 countries abstained.

Mauritius was a colony of Great Britain from 1814 to 1968. The Indian Ocean Chagos I archipelago has been at the center of a decades-long dispute over London’s decision to separate it from Mauritius in 1965 and establish a joint military base with the United States on Diego Garcia, the largest of the islands, in 1966 for a lease. In 2016, the lease contract was extended for next 20 years.

Resolutions adopted by the General Assembly are not legally binding, but they do carry political weight. It urged Britain to “withdraw its colonial administration” from the Chagos Islands within six months as Britain forcibly evicted people from the islands.

Karen Pierce, the UK’s ambassador to the UN, said the issue had not been for the General Assembly consideraton as it was currently a “bilateral sovereignty dispute”.

She also said the resolution would “set an unwelcome precedent” over sovereignty disputes “that should be of concern to member states”.

USA issued coin with allies in World War II without USSR

In the United States issued coins with allies in World War II without the USSR

The American company Bradford Exchange issued commemorative gold coins to the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, which, on one side, depicted the flags of the US allies – France and Great Britain, but the USSR flag is missing. On the reverse side, probably, there are Harry Truman, who became president after the death of Roosevelt, and Dwight Eisenhower, one of the participants in the signing of the capitulation pact of Germany.

Each metal-made coin is plated in 24K gold. “Remember all those who served and sacrificed to secure our freedom with this World War II Victory 75th Anniversary Proof Coin Collection, exclusively from The Bradford Exchange Mint”, the company’s description says.

The decisive contribution of the USSR to the victory over Nazi Germany was repeatedly noted by the leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition countries – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and French General Charles de Gaulle.

Cannes documentary film premiere about Diego Maradona

The premiere of a documentary film by Asif Kapadia about Diego Maradona’s life and career was held at Cannes Film Festival this year. “Diego Maradona” tracks the soccer star’s rise to glory at Italian team Napoli and as Argentina’s World Cup winning captain, as well as shining a light on his fall from grace, extravagant life and battles with drug addiction.

A British filmmaker Asif Kapadia is also made “Senna”, about racing driver Ayrton Senna, and “Amy”, delving into the life of late singer Any Winehouse.

– It was a pretty tricky period. To learn Maradona, to see how he just sits and works, to understand who he really is, how much he remembers. But we are talking about the events that took place thirty years ago! It was all very interesting. At first I was not sure if he would tell much. But to interview him is a real pleasure,” the director says.

Having sifted 500 hours of material from the soccer superstar’s personal archive, Kapadia finds some great set pieces.

“From the very first 10 minutes until the very end of the film, I had tears in my eyes. It really moved me because it also reflects on the dark side of Maradona, It’s a tough film but at the same time very loving towards Maradona,” Daniel Arcucci, a sports writer who is also the soccer player’s official biographer, and who appears in the film, said.

Diego Maradona is missed out on the Cannes documentary premiere due to “a shoulder injury requiring medical attention”, the film’s publicists said.

The film is due for general release in the middle of June.

Nury AMANOV