🌏 Philippines Elects A Former Dictator's Son, Ukraine's Hero Dog Patron And More

All the world news you need to know this week.

Hello and welcome to the Almost newsletter, a weekly email to help you stay updated and make sense of important stories happening around the world including:

  • 🌏 This Week’s Top Stories
  • 👩 Women To Know
  • 🙌 Good News For Your Weekend

The son of a former Filipino dictator, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., claimed victory on Wednesday May 11 as the country’s new president after results showed he had won in a landslide.

With over 98% of the votes officially counted, Marcos Jr. – who ran with Sara Duterte, the daughter of incumbent hardliner president Rodrigo Duterte – obtained more than 31 million votes, almost double the votes of his rival, vice-president and human rights advocate Leni Robredo, who garnered about 14 million votes.

64-year old Marcos Jr. ran under the slogan “Together we shall rise again”, evoking a sense of nostalgia to his father’s dictatorship from 1965 to 1986, a period marked by martial law and widespread human rights abuses, corruption and poverty, the BBC reported.

Marcos Jr. and his family fled to Hawaii after a pro-democracy uprising in 1986 ended the dictatorship. In 1991, Marcos Jr. returned home and has been a member of congress and senate since.

Ahead of the elections, Robredo’s supporters fought against a massive misinformation campaign on social media, which glorified the Marcos’ violent regime as the “golden age” of the Philippines.

Thousands of young voters have taken to the streets to protest the election results, citing voting irregularities.

Despite reports of voting machine malfunctions, the Election Commission said the problem was too small to make a difference in results.

Marcos Jr. has called for people not to judge him by his ancestors but his actions.

Also Happening Around The World

🇭🇰 In other election news, John Lee, the hardline security chief who oversaw Hong Kong’s pro-democracy crackdown, has been elected as its new leader on Sunday May 8 after running uncontested.

🇵🇸 Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian-American journalist for Al Jazeera, has been shot and killed while covering a raid by Israeli forces in the town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

🇺🇦 At least 60 people  were killed after a bomb exploded on a school in eastern Ukraine on Saturday May 7.

🇨🇺 An explosion rocked a well-known luxury hotel in Havana, Cuba, on Friday May 6, killing at least 26 people, including a pregnant woman and a child, and injuring at least 74 people.

🇦🇺 Farmers in Australia are dumping thousands of avocados as there is an oversupply and the costs of transportation are too high.

Afghan women have taken the streets of Kabul to protest after the Taliban ordered all women in Afghanistan to wear burqas covering themselves from head-to-toe when going out in public.

The Taliban had previously mandated women wear burqas during its rule from 1996 to 2001, when it enforced a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law.

During this time, girls were banned from going to school and workplaces and required to be accompanied by a male relative and wear a burqa at all times in public. Women who disobeyed were whipped or executed.

The latest burqa announcement is an escalation of growing restrictions on women in the country since the Taliban seized power last August.

Under the new rule, if a woman did not cover her face outside the home, it could lead to her father or closest male relative being jailed for three days or being fired from their job.

The burqa mandate has drawn condemnation from human rights groups as “gender apartheid.”

The United Nations mission in Afghanistan said the mandate would make it challenging for the Taliban to be recognized internationally as the country’s legitimate government, the New York Times. The country is currently suffering from an economic crisis and widespread hunger.

More Women You Should Know About

🇵🇦 A woman has been elected as the first woman leader of one of Panama’s smallest Indigenous communities.

🇮🇳 Women in India are demanding justice after a 13-year-old girl was allegedly gang-raped by four men in Uttar Pradesh, only to be allegedly raped again by a police officer to whom she reported the attack.

🇸🇻 In South America, women are calling for the right to legal abortions after a woman was sentenced to 30 years in prison after she suffered a miscarriage following a medical emergency.

🇧🇾 Sofia Sapega, a Russian law student and the girlfriend of Belarusian opposition journalist Roman Protasevich, has been sentenced to six years in prison by a Belarus court.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has awarded a medal of courage to Patron, a Jack Russell terrier, for his admirable service detecting bombs since the start of the Russian invasion.

Patron, whose name means “ammo” in Ukrainian, has detected more than 200 Russian mines and unexploded ordnances in northern Ukraine, Chernihiv, and is the mascot for the State Emergency Service.

Patron, who is two years old, has also taught children about the dangers of unexploded ordnances and the safety rules in locations where there are mine threats, according to Zelensky.

Patron and his human, Mykhailo Iliev of the Civil Protection Services, received their awards on Sunday May 8 in the presence of Zelensky and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

More Good News For Your Week

🇪🇸 Spain’s Barcelona has launched an accessible service at a beach to help people with disabilities to enjoy the waves.

🇬🇧 Ncuti Gatwa, the Rwandan-Scottish actor who rose to prominence playing Eric Effiong on Netflix’s hit TV series “Sex Education”, has been named as the next Doctor on the BBC’s long-running “Doctor Who” TV series.

🇰🇪 What appeared to be a wild lion hiding in the bushes in Kenya turned out to be a shopping bag.

Thanks so much for opening this email. If you think a friend would like this, you can forward it to them! You can also follow Almost on Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. We also have a Chinese version.

Let us know your thoughts about this week’s news in the comments or by replying directly to this email ✨