France prepares to go to the polls, Pakistan awaits a new prime minister, Elon Musk says thanks but no thanks, and America now provides gender neutral passports.
FRENCH ELECTION HEATS UP
French voters are to decide between President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen in the final round of the presidential election in two weeks time.
Following a first round vote, incumbent Macron took the majority of votes 27.8%, with Le Pen coming second and garnering 23.5%.
Who is Marine Le Pen? When Macron first became president in 2017, it was also against Le Pen in the final round. The Times has described her as "a Eurosceptic who wants to impose sweeping changes on Brussels". Back in 2017 during an interview, Le Pen said her policies aligned with those of President Trump and President Putin. During this year's campaign, she has sought to distance herself from President Putin, instead focusing on the issues such as the cost of living.
Worth noting: A man called Jean-Luc Mélenchon came third, gaining about 22% of the vote. The Guardian described him as "hard-left" in his policies. Anyway, following the results Mélenchon urged his supporters to "not give a single vote" to Le Pen. The Times said Le Pen has "little hope" of becoming president without at least some of these voters. Of the other nine candidates who ran, only one - Eric Zemmour - has encouraged their supporters to vote for Le Pen.
What's next? April 24 is when Macron and Le Pen will once again battle for the presidency.
Here is a really helpful article with some excellent context on all of this.
WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
Pakistan's Imran Khan was ousted as prime minister following a vote of no confidence over the weekend.
174 legislators voted against him - two more than the simple majority required, and included some lawmakers from his party and the coalition he once led.
What's next for Pakistan? According to Al Jazeera, Shehbaz Sharif is a leading contender for the job of prime minister. Parliament is expected to swear in a new leader later today. Sharif is the brother of "disgraced former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif".
From today, US citizens will have the option to choose a gender neutral passport by selecting 'X' as their gender.
"Non-binary and intersex Americans, who are neither exclusively male nor female, are estimated to make up 1.2 million and 4 million people, respectively...many of them have been unable to obtain IDs that accurately reflect who they are because of laws that differ by state. Fourteen states, for example, require proof of genital surgery to update the gender marker on a birth certificate." - Context from NBC News
- BBC News: Carr: Theatres should host mask-only performances
- The Guardian: Civil unrest due to rising energy bills 'isn't far away', says Martin Lewis
- The Financial Times: How Kyiv was saved by Ukrainian ingenuity as well as Russian blunders
- Al Jazeera: Zelenskyy warns that the coming week 'crucial' for Ukraine
- The Irish Times: Waiting for inheritance since parents died almost 20 years ago
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
Our weekend piece took an impartial look at the recent headlines involving Hunter Biden, President Biden's son.
Hunter is currently the subject of a Justice Department investigation, but the media coverage surrounding him is also under scrutiny.
You can read our full piece 👉🏽 Hunter Biden: Misinformation or Media Bias?
Over the weekend, David and Victoria Beckham's son Brooklyn married Nicola Peltz, daughter of US billionaire Nelson Peltz.
Anyway, the wedding dominated a lot of entertainment headlines, and Vogue had some of the first photos. Here is a link to the Vogue article with more photos.
Just days after becoming one of Twitter's largest shareholders by purchasing a 9.2% stake, Musk has reversed a decision to join the company's board.
Parag Agrawal, Twitter's CEO, said he believes the decision "is for the best". Agrawal also suggested that in order to be a board member, Musk would have had to "act in the best interests of the company and all our shareholders".
"Crucially, in exchange for a board seat, Mr Musk agreed not to buy more than 14.9% of the company... his decision to reject the offer of a board seat now leaves the door open, if he so wishes, to take an even larger stake in the company." - Context from the BBC's James Clayton
A video of Manchester United footballer Cristiano Ronaldo appearing to knock a young fan's phone to the ground following a defeat against Everton went viral over the weekend.
Ronaldo has since apologised, but Merseyside Police have launched an investigation into the incident.
"It's never easy to deal with emotions in difficult moments such as the one we are facing. Nevertheless, we always have to be respectful, patient and set the example for all the youngsters who love the beautiful game. I would like to apologise for my outburst and, if possible, I would like to invite this supporter to watch a game at Old Trafford as a sign of fair-play and sportsmanship." - Ronaldo's statement following the incident
According to Sky Sports News, the 14-year-old boy who was holding his phone is autistic, and according to his Mum is "really upset" and "in complete shock".
Nearly 20 years after calling off their wedding the day before it was set to occur, Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez are engaged once again. The couple reunited less than a year ago.
As CNN noted, it will be the fourth marriage for Lopez, and the second for Affleck.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE...
Nope... no sign of any humans around here. We're good.