*FLASH: FRENCH FORCES NAB GBAGBO Reuters is reporting that French special forces seized incumbent Ivory Coast leader Laurent Gbagbo. Earlier in the day French ground troops went into battle for the first time in Abidjan, the country’s principal city, the BBC reported. Gbabgo, who had been bunkered down in his Abidjan residence, refused to cede power after losing an election last year to President Alassane Ouattara, recognized internationally as the Ivory Coast’s rightful president. Read an in-depth account of the past two weeks in the Ivory Coast from the French weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, in English via Worldcrunch.
STILL SHAKING Exactly one month after suffering a monster 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami, Japan was hit Monday (5:16 p.m. local time) by yet another powerful aftershock. The 6.6-magnitude temblor temporarily knocked out power at the troubled Fukushima nuclear plant, the site of an ongoing radiation emergency. Prime Minister Naoto Kan marked the one-month anniversary by thanking the world for its continued support of Japan.
BURQA BAN BEGINS French authorities on Monday began enforcing a controversial law that prohibits women from wearing full-face veils in public. Under the law, the first of its kind in Europe, people caught wearing Muslim niqabs or burqas can face fines of 150 euros, or be forced to take French citizen classes, Reuters reported. The ban resulted in at least two arrests, according to the Telegraph.
PERU PRESIDENTIAL VOTE SET FOR RUNOFF As expected, Ollanta Humala finished first in Sunday’s presidential election in Peru. The left-leaning former military officer garnered 31.6% of the vote, well ahead of the likely second place finisher, Keiko Fujimori (23%), the 35-year-old daughter of jailed ex President Alberto Fujimori, the Wall Street Journal reported. Assuming the results stand, the two will meet in a June 6 runoff.
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BRACING FOR BURNOUT Working hard doesn’t always work, according to an article from France’s Le Monde. Mental health experts say that for highly driven professionals, “burnout” is a real and potentially dangerous problem.
LOVE IN A LOOPHOLE Unable to marry in socially conservative Italy, a gay couple from the town of Savona worked a legal loophole to gain official recognition for their same-sex relationship. Municipal law allows the two men to be a “family unit,” La Stampa explains.