7 May 2017   Leave a comment

The French election had a decisive outcome:  Emmanuel Macron won the second round with 65% of the national vote.  Marine Le Pen garnered 35% of the vote, slightly less than the polls had predicted.  Macron chose the anthem of the European Union, Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, as the music prior to his victory speech in front of the Louvre.  The selection was a clear statement of his commitment to the European Union, a sentiment that seems to be shared by most French.  For her part, Marine Le Pen gave a concession speech that clearly indicated that she was committed to opposing Macron.  It is likely that her National Front Party will go through a makeover to gain control of the Parliament in the upcoming elections.  Le Pen’s defeat is consistent with the defeat of the right-wing parties in Austria and the Netherlands earlier this year. Now attention turns to the upcoming elections in Germany and Italy.

Emmanuel Macron

82 of the around 276 Chibok school girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram in Nigeria in 2014 have been returned to Nigerian authorities.  The release was the result of intense negotiations between the rebel group and the Red Cross.  The group will likely join 21 girls previously released and who are in Ajuba receiving counseling.  None of the freed children have been yet returned to their families.  The fate of the other children is unknown, but some have been forced to carry out bombing missions for the rebels.  The Chibok victims are only the most well-known of the people kidnapped by Boko Haram:  there are thousands of others who are less well-publicized.

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Posted May 7, 2017 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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