The Sunday Subject – May 14, 2023

Turkey’s Erdogan faces close election today

Voting is ongoing in Turkey, where president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, ally to Vladimir Putin and one of the public faces of the past decade’s rise of authoritarianism, faces an election challenge from pro-democracy leader of the Republian People’s Party Kemal Kiliçdaroglu. Erdogan had previously prosecuted Kiliçdaroglu for calling the president a dictator, in what became a heated freedom-of-speech controversy for the county. The two candidates are neck-and-neck, and it’s possible neither will reach the 50% needed to win, leading to a runoff..

Trump found liable in sexual assault case

Donald Trump was ordered by a court to pay $5 million in damages to E. Jean Carroll, a woman who testified that Trump raped her in the 1990s. The jury found there was insufficient evidence to find Trump liable of rape, but after less than three hours of deliberation found him guilty of sexual assault. The defendent’s legal team didn’t offer any real defense of their client’s actions, and the defendent himself predictably called the accusations a “hoax” and the accuser “a wack job.” This was a civil case, not a criminal one, so there was no change of the former Apprentice host serving jail time.

North Carolina Governor Cooper vetoes abortion ban

Democratic governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill that would ban all abortions after the 12th week of pregnancy, to cheers from supporters of reproductive rights. However, the Republicans who passed the ban have veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the state’s General Assembly. The GOP is hoping party discipline will be enough to push the bill through over the Governor’s veto, while Cooper reminded a crowded gathered at the state capitol, “if just one Republican in either [chamber] keeps a campaign promise to protect women’s reproductive health, we can stop this ban.”

Category five cyclone his Bangladesh and Myanmar

Clyclone Mocha as brought landslides and floods to coastal Bangladesh and Myanmar this weekend, and more than half a million people have been evacuated from their homes in southeastern Bangladesh alone. Airports are closed, schools have been turned into shelters, and more than 500 structures in Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp, have been destroyed.