Written by: Trevor Steele, Peak Associate 


Erdogan re-elected in Turkey

Incumbent Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development (AK) party won a majority in both the presidential and parliamentary elections held in Turkey on June 24, though the election was considered by many to be far from a fair one. A report by the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe judged that Erdogan’s opponents had been denied media coverage and that Erdogan and the AK party had misused state resources and restricted freedoms of assembly and speech. The Economist magazine describes the “New Turkey” as more Islamist, nationalist, and authoritarian.

With files from The Economist.


Alternatives to military service in South Korea

A new ruling by South Korea’s constitutional court requires the government to provide new forms of civil service to take the place of the previously mandatory military service. Refusal to participate in the military prior to this ruling, a decision made by hundreds of civilians on moral grounds, was a jailable offense. South Korea’s defense ministry announced that it would introduce the option of community service in facilities such as hospitals and homeless shelters as an alternative to military service. All South Korean men must complete roughly two years of service between the ages of 18 and 28.

With files from The New York Times.


French gangster’s brazen helicopter escape

Redoine Faid, 46, who was serving a 25-year sentence for a failed armed robbery that resulted in the death of a police officer, escaped from prison south of Paris on July 1. Three men stole a helicopter and held a pilot hostage, before forcing him to fly them to the prison where Faid was held. The men armed with assault rifles, and smoke bombs helped Faid escape via the stolen helicopter. His prison break has triggered a massive manhunt involving 3,000 police officers.

With files from Le Monde.


Mexico votes

Mexicans are choosing a new president, after a long and violent election campaign which saw the deaths of over 130 candidates and political workers. The frontrunner and former mayor of Mexico City Andrés Manuel López Obrador was the runner-up in the last two elections, but this time around his pledge to tackle corruption has seen him emerge as the likely winner. The incumbent president Enrique Peña Nieto has been widely criticized for corruption and poor economic growth. Obrador’s election would make him the first president from outside Mexico’s two main parties (the Institutional Revolutionary Party and the National Action Party) to be elected in nearly 100 years.

With files from BBC News.

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