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Colombia Elects Populist Conservative as President

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, New York Times

Colombia Elects Populist Conservative as President

Iván Duque, a populist young conservative who tapped into dissatisfaction with the economy and a controversial peace deal with rebels, won Colombia’s presidential vote Sunday. Duque, a former senator from the right-wing Democratic Center party, won about 54 percent of the vote, election officials said. He defeated Gustavo Petro, a former guerrilla member and onetime mayor of Bogotá, who got about 42 percent. Duque’s showing capped a remarkable rise. Buoyed by charm and a conservative upwelling in Colombia, he secured the presidency in an election where many who voted for him did not even know his name a year ago.

Macedonia Signs Historic Deal With Greece on Name Dispute

Macedonia signed a landmark agreement Sunday to change its name to North Macedonia, sealing a deal with Greece that would resolve a decades-old dispute and pave the way for the enlargement of the European Union and NATO. Hailing a “patriotic and mutually beneficial agreement for both peoples,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras of Greece said it was important to see the accord through. It must still pass a referendum in Macedonia and ratification in the parliaments of both countries. "It is our historic responsibility to ensure that this step we are making is not left up in the air,” Tsipras said.

Shunned by Italy, Migrants at Sea Arrive in Spain

About 600 migrants disembarked from three ships Sunday in Valencia, Spain, more than a week after they had been rescued at sea only to be turned away by Italy and Malta. Arriving separately, the Aquarius, a rescue ship, and two Italian navy vessels reached Valencia carrying 630 migrants that the Aquarius had originally picked up from six rubber dinghies in the Mediterranean Sea off Libya. After their exhausting journey, migrants shouted with joy as their ships entered Valencia’s port. The migrants will be granted a special humanitarian permit to stay in Spain for 45 days while authorities review their cases.

Thai King Now Owns Monarchy Assets. He’ll Have to Pay Taxes on Them.

Assets of the Thai royal family that have been managed by an official agency have been turned over to direct ownership by the king, who will be able to manage them as he sees fit but must also begin to pay taxes on them, the agency has said. The wealth of King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, including the newly transferred assets, is estimated at more than $30 billion. The transfer of the assets is part of a continuing effort by the 65-year-old king to consolidate his authority since he ascended the throne in 2016.

New Bombing Hits Afghanistan Before Taliban Cease-Fire Expires

A day after President Ashraf Ghani announced that the government would extend its cease-fire with the Taliban, the lull in the long-running war appeared to be over Sunday. A deadly explosion rocked the city of Jalalabad, in Nangarhar province, as insurgents, government officials and civilians mingled together in the last hours of a temporary peace. Officials said at least 18 people were killed and 50 others wounded in the blast Sunday. The Taliban also announced that it would not reciprocate the government’s offer: The fighting would resume after their cease-fire expired late Sunday, a spokesman for the group said.

Romania’s Leaders Target Anti-Corruption Prosecutor

The leader of Romania’s governing party — convicted of voter fraud, suspected of stealing millions of dollars of European Union funds, and soon to face a verdict in a case involving abuse of power — had a message for the more than 100,000 citizens who gathered in one of the capital’s squares recently: He is the victim. The demonstrators in Bucharest were protesting what they call a “parallel state” in Romania. The country has aggressively battled high-level graft for more than a decade, an effort now in jeopardy after a court ordered the dismissal of the country’s top anti-corruption prosecutor.

A Financier’s Profit-Minded Mission to Open a Channel Between Kushner and North Korea

An American financier approached the Trump administration last summer with an unusual proposition: The North Korean government wanted to talk to Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Gabriel Schulze explained that a top North Korean official was seeking a back channel to explore a meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Schulze’s outreach was but one step in a circuitous path that led to last week’s handshake between Trump and Kim in Singapore — a path that involved the previously unreported role for Kushner. People familiar with the negotiations said Schulze’s early contacts were useful.

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