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This is BBC World News Today, broadcasting in the UK
I'm Alpa Patel - here are the headlines.
Is Austria about to choose Europe's first hard-right head of state?
With nearly all the votes counted - the independent Green candidate
is neck and neck with the leader of a far-right party.
Pakistan says that a US drone strike which killed the leader
of the Afghan Taliban is a violation of its sovereignty.
Get out: that's the message to the residents of
the Iraqi city of Falluja - ahead of a major offensive
After a campaign featuring fear of migrants and loathing of elites -
exit polls in Austria's run-off election put far right leader
Norbert Hofer as running neck and neck with his rival
Alexander Van der Bellen, who is backed by the Greens.
The final result will not be known until Monday,
when the hundreds of thousands of postal votes will be counted.
Mr Hofer, seen here on the right, insisted that his party wasn't
a far-right organisation and described himself
It's all down to the postal votes now. The Austrians are going to go
to bed tonight without knowing who the next incumbent of the
presidential palace behind me in Vienna is. They will, the postal
votes, there is about 14% of the votes cast, we understand, they'll
be counted tomorrow. We expect to have a result sometime in afternoon.
Then it will become clear whether in fact it was Norbert Hofer of the far
right Freedom party or Alexander Van der Bellen who has won this race. Do
we have any idea what turnout was like in this election? Quite high.
Well over 70%. Higher than the first round of voting back in April when
Norbert Hofer scored a clear victory when he got 35% over the other
candidates that were standing, then. In this run-off vote, more people
turning out, and it's been quite interesting looking at the way the
vote has been split. Alexander Van der Bellen has profited very much
from support from big urban centres in Austria, some of the big cities.
Whereas Norbert Hofer's support comes very much from the
countryside. So we are getting a very, very split picture of Austria
here at the moment. Whatever happens in the result, the far right have
really proved a point here, and that is the dissatisfaction of voters in
Austria. Very much so indeed. There's a great deal of
disillusionment with the parties of the centre-left and centre-right.
The establishment parties. The parties that have ruled this country
on and off for decades. They were both knocked out of this race back
in the first round in April. And what the voters said they wanted was
either the far right or the Green party. There was this real sense of
people protesting against the status quo. And of course the far right as
well has been fuelled in recent months by the migrant crisis here in
Austria. 90,000 people claimed asylum here last year. 100,000 more
transited through to Germany. So this is also something that has
encouraged people to vote for the Freedom party.
Pakistan has described a US drone strike, which targeted the leader
of the Afghan Taliban, as a violation of its sovereignty.
Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in the Pakistani province
of Baluchistan, close to the Afghan border.
A US official described him as an obstacle to peace talks.
Several drones were apparently used in the strike, said to have been
In the burnt out car which had been travelling close to Pakistan's
border with Afghanistan were two men, among them Mullah Mansour.
He has been the official leader of the Taliban since last summer,
and he has been busy trying to tighten his grip on the movement.
Mansour posed a continuing, imminent threat to US personnel
in Afghanistan, to Afghan civilians, Afghan security forces.
Since he took over, the Taliban stepped up its campaign of violence
This was the aftermath of a suicide bombing
The Americans say that Mullah Mansour had been actively involved
The Afghan government says he rebuffed repeated calls to end war.
TRANSLATION: He was a barrier for the peace talks,
and from the date he was announced as the Taliban leader,
he was behind lots of violence against the Afghan people.
The ultimate authority for the Tower bank, Mullah Mansour officially took
over when it was announced the reclusive founder had died two years
earlier. His main deputy has a $5 million bounty on his head, he is
seen as more hostile and hardline. It is not clear who will succeed
Mullah Mansour, or the direction the Taliban will take. Under Mullah
Mansour's leadership, the Taliban extended territory. But they are
likely to be caught up in a battle for succession, and there are fears
that could give militants from so-called Islamic State the chance
to extend their influence. The question for all weary Afghans is
what impact his death will ultimately have on their desperate
hopes for security. Well for more analysis on this -
I've been speaking to Ali Jalali who is a former Afghan Interior
Minister. He joined me from the Afghan
capital, Kabul and gave me his view Mullah Mansour was one of the
leading figures in the Taliban. He was elected as a leader of the
Taliban last year when the death of Malawi Omar was disclosed.
He was the de facto leader of the Caliban from 2030. When Mullah Omar
died. He faced a dispute over his leadership, and to polish his
credentials he intensified war inside Afghanistan. When he is gone
I think there will be immediately, although there might be some
intensification why his followers, but in the long run I think it is a
major blow to the Caliban. How would the US have been able to track this
man, and would they have needed the knowledge and intelligence from
Afghan security services? Well, he was apparently coming from Iran,
where he spent some time, and he was moving in Baluchistan. I have no
information whether Afghanistan intelligence was or not. But for
years they were asking the United States that the Caliban bases inside
Afghanistan, they were attacking Afghanistan army, allies from across
the border, they were asking to do something. Therefore this is the
first time that the US has targeted a major senior Taliban leader. And
how could this impact on future peace talks? Could it backfire on
the Afghan government and the US? Yes, I think in the immediate future
in the short term, it will create problems for the peace talks,
because there is no unified leadership. Although they appointed
one of the deputies to Mullah Mansour as acting, but it will take
some time for the Taliban to get their forces together. In that time
it is not expected that they will come to the negotiating table.
However, in the long-running, I think this also undermines the power
of the Taliban. And probably some factions eventually will be willing
to come and deal in peaceful talks. Turkey's President Erdogan has asked
a close ally to form Binali Yild-irim will replace
the former Prime Minister. He was forced out for disagreeing
with President Erdorgan's plans to increase the powers
of the presidency. Critics say the President is trying
to tighten his grip on power, by overseeing the choice of a more
compliant Prime Minister. Speaking at the AKP party congress
where he was elected, Mr Yildirim said he was in favour
of more powers for the presidency. TRANSLATION: We need a new
constitution. Turkey needs the new constitution. And are you ready to
bring forth the executive presidency system? Are you ready for that?
After the president was elected by the nation, now nothing will be the
same for Turkey, because our president has received the approval
and the votes of millions of our citizens. He is carrying the
responsibility of this. However much one may claim, some may claim that
the president has no responsibility, he is burdened with the love of the
nation. And he carries the responsibility of the issues of the
nation. For more on this story,
the BBC's Chief International Correspondent Lyse Doucet has this
report from the AK Party This extraordinary party conference
in this sports stadium was very much a celebration of President Erdogan,
even though he wasn't here. And as president he is meant to be above
party politics. Turkey is now very much about his leadership and that's
why he's brought in one of his long-time political allies, Binali
Yildirim, to be the next party chairman and the Prime Minister. In
his remarks today he made it clear where he believes Turkey should
head, and that includes moves towards a more presidential type of
system. Everyone we spoke to hear back-to-back move, saying that
Turkey's Parliamentary democracy no longer suited Turkey. But many
questions are being asked whether it will only concentrate even more
power in the hands of President Erdogan. A lot of talk over what is
described as the war on terror. In other words, moves against the
Kurdish insurgency in the south-east of Turkey, and questions as to
whether that could include even more pressure on journalists and civil
society here in Turkey as well as against members of the pro-Kurdish
political party since the immunity for politicians has been lifted.
These are questions being asked in Turkey and in many capitals across
Europe, which very much wants to work with Turkey, with President
Erdogan, to resolve some key ongoing crises. The war in Syria next door,
and the refugee crisis where Turkey is expected to play an important
role. So this is a moment today not just for AKP, but for Turkey itself.
The British film director, Ken Loach, has won top
His film, "I, Daniel Blake," was awarded the Palme d'Or
for Best Picture at the 69th Cannes Film Festival.
It's his second Palme d'Or for Best film.
Jacyln Jose - a 'soap' star in the Philippines -
won the best actress award for her role in Ma Rosa,
portraying a mother who's forced to sell drugs to survive.
And Shahab Hosseini from Iran won best actor award,
for his part in "the Salesman" - which also won best screenplay.
Stay with us on BBC News, still to come:
On her feet again. The Revolutionary walking stick bringing back mobility
for people with Parkinson's disease. This morning and Indian air force
plane carrying Mr Gandhi's body landed. The president walked to the
plaintiff solemnly witness his return. The first truly free
elections in Romania's history. It was a remarkable climax to what was
surely the most extraordinary funeral ever given to a pop singer.
It's been a peaceful demonstration so far but suddenly the police are
tear gas in the crowd, we don't yet know why. The prelaunch ritual is
well established here. Helen is said to be in good spirits but just a
little apprehensive. In the last hour east to Moore has become the
world's newest nation. The challenges ahead are daunting but
for now at least it is time to celebrate.
With nearly all the votes counted Austria's presidential election
Former Green leader Alexander Van der Bellen and far right leader
Pakistan says that a US drone strike which killed the leader
of the Afghan Taliban is a violation of its sovereignty.
Manchester United are finalising minor details in Jose Mourinho's
contract before appointing the former Chelsea boss
Earlier today current Louis Van Gaal left the team hotel in London today
following yesterday's FA Cup win over Crystal Palace,
without having been told by the club that Mourinho is set to succeed him.
Five months after he was sacked by Chelsea, Jose Mourinho
is set for a sensational return to management.
It might be news to the man he'll replace.
This morning, Louis van Gaal left Manchester United's London hotel
without being told by the club that it was time to say goodbye.
Just 12 hours earlier he was celebrating victory in the FA Cup.
A trophy that will now be a parting gift.
Despite spending millions on players, he had failed to qualify
United have expectations he just couldn't meet.
While all this unfolded, Mourinho was watching boxing at the O2.
It is understood an agreement with United had
It's quite exciting, especially with the whole thing, Pep
The naughty side of me thinks it will be spicy.
Although he has gone out with winning a trophy I think it
needed change and with a manager at this moment in time,
I think Mourinho is the best man for the job.
Sir Alex Ferguson won 38 trophies in nearly three
Mourinho's record doesn't suggest that type of longevity,
but he is a proven winner and won't be overawed
by the challenge of trying to step out of Ferguson's shadow.
Mourinho made his name at Porto, by winning the Champions League.
That brought him to the attention of Chelsea, where he won three
Premier League titles in his two spells with the club.
He's also won major trophies in Italy with Inter Milan
He will make it exciting, the Premier League.
This season, since he has gone, press conferences have
If nothing else it gives us something to talk about.
Many will view Mourinho is a controversial appointment.
He left Chelsea in December after a spectacular slump in form
and a public fallout with medical staff.
United however have decided he's a risk worth taking.
Barcelona have already won the Spanish title -
can they make it a league and cup double?
They're taking on Sevilla in the final of the Copa del Rey.
Sevilla will also be hoping to make it a double.
It's just four days since they lifted the Europa League
trophy in Basel with a 3-1 win over Liverpool.
And there's been high drama at the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Javier Mascherano has been sent off, so Barcelona are down to ten men.
Just approaching half time and it's still goalless.
Despite it raining much of the morning in Paris,
There were wins for two of the world's top players.
Petra Kvitova is through to the second round after a tough
Australian Nick Kyrgios overcame a first set code violation to defeat
But the rain came back and washed out day one.
Only 10 of 32 matches were completed.
Rory McIlroy won the rain delayed Irish Open at the K Club.
It's the world number three's first victory of the season.
A final round of 69 got him to 12 under par, a three shot victory,
and a first win at his home tournament.
It means an awful lot. This is a tournament I've grown up watching as
a kid. Then playing in the amateur. And been dreaming about since my
first time at the golf club. To win it today and win it in the fashion
that I did, and being host as well, it means an awful lot. Finally,
Canada retained their ice hockey World Championship title after
beating Finland 2-0 in the final in Moscow. Thank you.
That's the warning for residents in the Iraqi city of Falluja,
just over an hour's drive from Baghdad.
The Iraqi army is planning to retake the city from Islamic
state militants, who have held it since 2014.
It was in fact the first Iraqi city to fall to the group.
Falluja is domminated by Sunnis and was once favoured
The city increasingly resented the American-supported
If you remember in 2003, resistance against the American
And US Marines were accused of targeting civilians
During that invasion - toxic munitions were blamed
for a surge in the number of birth defects in Falluja
Anger grew under former President Nouri al Maliki.
And Falluja became a base for Al-Qaeda in Iraq,
The government has been battling to retake it ever since.
I was joined earlier by Firas Abi Ali from
the think tank IHS - and he told me how Islamic State
militants are expected to react and prepare
Isis will try to stop people from thinking, others will be hesitant
about surrendering themselves to Shia militias who in anyway suspect
them of being collaborative with the Islamic State. So for these reasons
you can expect a pretty high civilian death toll from this
operation. The Iraqi army will be supported by the Iranians
Revolutionary guard and Hezbollah. Will that complicate the mission on
the ground? It reflects the disagreements between the Iraqi
militias and the Iraqi government, and reflects the disagreements
between the Iranians and the United States. It can be quite negative in
terms of dealing with the Sunni population, there have been various
atrocities documented. And the participation of the Iraqi militias
is their way of saying to the Baghdad government that we can
secure it, keep in mind this offensive is happening after a
series of suicide bombings targeting Baghdad, a major penetration for the
Islamic State. The militias have pretty much forced the government
into engaging in this offensive, and this is their way of asserting their
supremacy. The uranium's way of showing they are the real supporters
of the Iraqi people rather than the United States. If they are able to
retake it, how significant will that be? It will be a major blow to the
Islamic State in that it is one of their key centres, and where some of
their leaders and some of their families have been situated. That
will be a major blow to them. It will be one of the loss of the
congregations that they control in Anbar province. And as the Iraqi
government and the militias allied with it clear and bar province, the
sort of hotbed of Sunni rebelliousness will have been
pacified. It will make political compromise much harder. Because the
Sunnis would be much less likely to compromise with the Shia militias if
they see them taking the lead in this operation, or engaging in
atrocities. Are Islamic State on the run in Iraq? They are being
gradually defeated. But ultimately the conditions that allow for the
degradation of the Islamic State, the Shia Sunni disagreements, the
Kurdish disagreements, these have not gone away. And the Islamic State
had been in the past defeated and managed to re-emerge by exploiting
these divisions. So until we see some kind of stable secondary
democratic rule, we will still have the problem of militancy and
insurgency. President Obama has arrived
in Vietnam beginning an Asian trip that will also see him
travel to Hiroshima. His first stop is Hanoi where he's
keen to build stronger The spotlight is likely to be
on his visit to Hiroshima where the US dropped
the atomic bomb that killed 140,000 people and ushered
in the nuclear age. It may look just like any other
walking stick, but a new aid for people with Parkinson's
is helping them to retain The stick can sense when a user's
limbs have seized up, and then vibrates in a way that
helps them to regain their rhythm, and start walking again,
here's Andrew Plant From the outside it's a walking
stick like any other. But inside the handle
is an invention helping people with Parkinson's disease to get
a grip on their condition. Sufferes can seize up
when they walk and this can help I suddenly realise I'm not walking
and sometimes a little bit Or I count slowly and then
try to start walking again. You turn the device
on and it is basically sensing that People with Parkinson's sometimes
freeze up, but the beat in the handle helps them remember
how to move and can It's the brainchild of this Bristol
student who watched her grandfather Since I kept going to the patients
and talking to them, With Parkinson's they have a classic
Parkinson's posture which you can just recognise,
that they have this walking problem. She came up with the idea
when she was a student at She has now been given a grant
to get the idea up and running. The NHS and Parkinson's charities
have expressed interest. She hopes it could one day help more
people like Marcia to keep on moving Mexicans have been treated to the
site of some rare and beautiful old cast. More than 100 vintage cars
dating back as far as 1922 took part in a 1200 kilometre rally along
Mexico's Riviera mayor. He rallied past several cities on the Yucatan
Peninsula. The goal was to promote tourism, and it was organised by
several vintage car associations. Fantastic cars, there.
The outcome of Austria's election is too close to call. The former Green
party leader and the far right candidate are neck and neck.