President Tayyip Erdogan declared victory in a referendum on Sunday to grant him sweeping powers in the biggest overhaul of modern Turkish politics, but opponents said the vote was marred by irregularities and they would challenge its result.

Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast and its three main cities, including the capital Ankara and the largest city Istanbul, looked set to vote "No" after a bitter and divisive campaign.

Erdogan said 25 million people had supported the proposal, which will replace Turkey's parliamentary system with an all-powerful presidency and abolish the office of prime minister, giving the "Yes" camp 51.5 percent of the vote.

That appeared short of the decisive victory for which he and the ruling AK Party had aggressively campaigned. Nevertheless, thousands of flag-waving supporters rallied in Ankara and Istanbul in celebration.

"For the first time in the history of the Republic, we are changing our ruling system through civil politics," Erdogan said, referring to the military coups which marred Turkish politics for decades. "That is why it is very significant."

Under the changes, most of which will only come into effect after the next elections due in 2019, the president will appoint the cabinet and an undefined number of vice-presidents, and be able to select and remove senior civil servants without parliamentary approval.

There has been some speculation that Erdogan could call new elections so that his new powers could take effect right away. However, Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek told Reuters there was no such plan, and the elections would still be held in 2019.

Erdogan himself survived a failed coup attempt last July, responding with a crackdown that has seen 47,000 people detained and 120,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs.

In Ankara, where Prime Minister Binali Yildirim addressed cheering supporters, convoys of cars honking horns clogged a main avenue as they headed toward the AK Party's headquarters, their passengers waving flags from the windows.

But opponents questioned the validity of the vote, calling for a recount and challenging a last minute decision by the electoral authorities to allow ballots to be counted that were not stamped by election officials.

The head of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), Kemal Kilicdaroglu, said the legitimacy of the referendum was open to question. His party said it would demand a recount of up to 60 percent of the votes.

The chairman of the electoral board said the decision to allow unstamped ballots to be counted was not unprecedented, as the government had allowed such. In some affluent neighborhoods in Istanbul, people took to the streets in protest while others banged pots and pans at home - a sign of dissent that was widespread during anti-Erdogan protests in 2013.

In Istanbul's Besiktas neighborhood, more than 300 protesters brought traffic on a main street to a standstill, a Reuters cameraman at the scenesaid. In Ankara, scuffles between AK Party and opposition supporters broke out near the headquarters of the CHP.

 

EUROPEAN UNEASE

Turkey's lira firmed to 3.65 to the dollar in Asian trade following the referendum, from 3.72 on Friday.

European politicians, however, who have had increasingly strained relations with Turkey, expressed concern. The European Commission, the executive body of the European Union, said the close result meant that Ankara should seek "the broadest national consensus" in implementing the vote.

Relations hit a low during the referendum campaign when EU countries, including Germany and the Netherlands, barred Turkish ministers from holding rallies in support of the changes.

Erdogan called the moves "Nazi acts" and said Turkey could reconsider ties with the European Union after many years of seeking EU membership.

Former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt, who heads the liberal group of MEPs in the European Parliament, said Erdogan needed to change course, noting the result was very tight. "If Erdogan persists, EU should stop accession talks," he said.

Manfred Weber‏, leader of the center-right grouping tweeted: "No matter the result: with his referendum Pres. Erdogan is splitting his country."

After the vote Erdogan repeated his intention to review Turkey's suspension of the death penalty, a step which would almost certainly spell the end of Ankara's EU accession process.

Further deterioration in relations with the European Union could also jeopardize last year's deal under which Turkey has curbed the flow of migrants - mainly refugees from wars in Syria and Iraq - into the bloc.


"This is our opportunity to take back control of our country," said self-employed Bayram Seker, 42, after voting "Yes" in Istanbul.The referendum has bitterly divided the nation. Erdogan and his supporters say the changes are needed to amend the
current constitution, written by generals following a 1980 military coup, confront the security and political challenges Turkey faces, and avoid the fragile coalition governments of the past.

"I don't think one-man rule is such a scary thing. Turkey has been ruled in the past by one man," he said, referring to modern Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

Opponents say it is a step toward greater authoritarianism.

Erdogan and the AK Party enjoyed a disproportionate share of media coverage in the buildup to the vote while the leaders of the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), which opposes the changes, have been in jail for months.

"I voted 'No' because I don't want this whole country and its legislative, executive and judiciary ruled by one man," said Hamit Yaz, 34, a ship's captain, after voting in Istanbul.

Proponents of the reform argue that it would end the current "two-headed system" in which both the president and parliament are directly elected, a situation they argue could lead to deadlock. Until 2014, presidents were chosen by parliament.

The government says Turkey, faced with conflict to the south in Syria and Iraq, and a security threat from Islamic State and PKK militants, needs strong and clear leadership.

 

The package of 18 amendments would give the president the authority to draft the budget, declare a state of emergency and issue decrees overseeing ministries without parliamentary approval.

Jose Mourinho believes he is held to a different standard to other Premier League managers, including Chelsea boss Antonio Conte.

Manchester United take on Mourinho 's former side Chelsea at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon looking to close the gap on the top four, while their opponents lead the race for the title.

 

Bur while Conte has been hailed for the rapid change in fortunes at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho believes he would be criticised for employing a similar style to the Italian, while his record in his first season at United is analysed in a negative way.

The Portuguese pointed to United's strong away record, and League Cup victory, as positives quickly forgotten by his detractors.

He told Sky Sports: "I know that you like to criticise me, so when I was winning titles with Chelsea, you were criticising the style of play. In this moment to be the best counterattacking team in the country is not to be criticised anymore - it is an amazing thing."But the reality is the best team is the team that wins more matches and at the end of the season are champions, and obviously we are far from it."

Mourinho added: "It depends on how you analyse it. You could say my record at home is very bad, or my record away from home is very good. You say my home record is very bad.

"You could say I win a trophy in my first season but you forget it too soon."

Mourinho admits that United need to be challenging for titles rather than Champions League qualification, but has outlined five factors that he believes make up a successful first campaign in Manchester.

"For me a good season is to be ready for every match, to fight every match for the best result and to defend Man United prestige," he said. "To play for the fans, for the love they have for the team and for the club to play every match with a great attitude.

"We could have better results but we could also have worse results. The Europa League is one (competition), eight teams can win it and we are one of the eight teams.

"In the Premier League we are not fighting for the title, we are fighting for top four which is an important thing but the nature of this club is to fight for titles and the only title we can win now is the Europa League."

Christians believe Jesus was mocked publicly and crucified on a solemn Friday two thousand years ago. Today, the calamitous day is celebrated as Good Friday.

But what’s so good about that?

 

One answer is that at the time of Jesus’ crucifixion, “good” may have referred to “holy” in Old English, a linguistic theory supported by many language experts.

According to Slate, the Oxford English Dictionary notes the Wednesday before Easter was once called “Good Wednesday.” Today, it’s more commonly known as Holy Wednesday.

And Anatoly Liberman, a University of Minnesota professor who studies the origins of English words, told Slate if we consider the alternative names for Good Friday, such as “Sacred Friday” (romance languages) or “Passion Friday” (Russian), this theory makes a lot of sense.

 

A third answer, some believe, is that the “good” in Good Friday was derived from "God” or “God’s Friday” — the way the term “goodbye” comes from a contraction of the phrase “God Be With You.”

 

Still, not everyone refers to this day as Good Friday. For example, 

The Catholic Encyclopedia mentions that, in the Greek Church, the holiday is known as "the Holy and Great Friday." In German, it's referred to as "Sorrowful Friday

Perhaps more than any other feature of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, the stage and space designed by the Los Angeles-based Do Lab gives fans the impression of a mirage wavering in the dusty desert heat.

Tilted, rickety-looking towers made of wooden pallets defined the Do Lab’s creation one year. Another time, rainbow-striped fabric spiraled up trumpet-shaped frames that doubled as sculptures and sun shades.

On Friday, April 14, Coachella-goers were greeted with a new design: an origami-like dome with eight triangular openings, rising to a sort of smokestack in the center and stretched with blue, orange and yellow fabric.

 

 

Founded by twins Josh and Jesse Flemming and their younger brother Dede, the Do Lab is back for a 13th year at the ever-expanding music festival at Indio’s Empire Polo Club.

And the aesthetic they absorbed on visits to Burning Man has added a touch of fantastic chaos to the well-oiled machine Coachella has become.

The festival gates opened Friday to 125,000 people for the first of two weekends of large-scale art installations, culinary offerings such as Peruvian burritos and artisanal marshmallow s’mores, and wide-ranging musical performances including Friday-night headliner Radiohead, with Lady Gaga and Kendrick Lamar to follow on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

 

 

Even with the weather at a manageable high-80s level for opening day, the Do Lab was crowded with people seeking the annual ritual of dancing ’til they broke a sweat, then basking in the spray of water guns fired from the stage.

 

EVOLVING EXPERIMENT

 

 

The idea for the Do Lab was born around 2004, when the Flemming brothers – Pennsylvania transplants looking for creative careers in Los Angeles – realized their TV production jobs weren’t stimulating, Dede Flemming said.

Jesse played in a band, Josh worked on lighting and then set designs for his shows, and Dede helped.

 

 

“We were always just trying to go the extra mile and just make things more visually appealing,” Dede said.

Meanwhile, they were going to festivals and drawing inspiration from the creative anarchy of Burning Man, which creates an ephemeral city of art in the Nevada desert.

The Do Lab’s first year building at Coachella was 2005, when the brothers made what they considered an art project, a 60-foot geodesic dome with sculptures and water misters that was a place to cool off.

But since they bring music wherever they go, Jesse Flemming said, “It kind of turned into this little party inside the middle of the festival.”

 

Coachella invited them back, and they began experimenting with different types of building materials and bigger structures. Meanwhile, the Do Lab became known as a stage for not just music but performance art, with the audience as part of the act.

People wear glitter, sequins and fur, and everybody dances with abandon, said fan Heidi Hernandez, 32, who comes from Las Vegas to attend the festival.

“Everywhere you turn something new and cool is happening,” she said. “You literally just turn into like a wild animal there, but you don’t feel weird about doing it.”

 

 

That’s what the Do Lab is aiming for: an immersive experience, Jesse said.

“We always enjoyed it when the show was kind of surrounding you and performers were popping up all over the place and things got really weird, and it kind of gave people the freedom to express themselves.”

The Do Lab’s evolution from a simple shady space wth a DJ to a work of art you can dance in somewhat describes what has happened to festival culture at large. And many of the artists who have started at the Do Lab have graduated to spots on Coachella’s other stages. Others come back to do hotly anticipated “surprise” sets at the Do Lab.

 

 

Coachella now features major art installations and an array of food offerings in addition to a varied menu of music, and other events compete to give fans something memorable and unique.

“Festivals have recognized that it is the (overall) experience,” said Tucker Gumber, of Los Angeles, an avid fan who created a festival smartphone app FestEvo and by this summer will have clocked 10,0000 hours at festivals.

“Every minute of every day needs to be fun, not just the headliners,” he said. “It needs to be an adventure.”

 

“WHAT DO YOU see?” That’s a question put forth in the first trailer for this December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi—and trust us, you’ll want to watch the above clip plenty of times, just to take everything in. Picking up where 2015’s The Force Awakens left off, the Rian Johnson–directed Last Jedi clearly focuses on the relationship between the now-grizzled Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) and the upstart Rey Westilldontknowherlastname (Daisy Ridley). In the trailer, we watch as Rey takes her first steps toward fully understanding the Force—in one memorable shot, she practices her lightsaber skills on a cliff overlooking the sea—and we listen as Luke tells her the “one truth” about the future of the Jedi. (Hint: It ain’t too promising!)

But there’s plenty more dazzling Star Wars imagery to absorb here, from a TIE-blasting Millennium Falcon to lightsaber-wielding Kylo Ren to a brief shot of Carrie Fisher as the late General Organa. Oh, and Finn’s here, too! And Poe! And, of course, the still-rollin’ BB-8! We’ll find out how they’re all faring in that galaxy far, far away when Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15.

In a rare display of unity in their ethnically divided country, Bosnians reveled Monday, in the success of director Danis Tanovic, whose film "No Man's Land" won this year's Oscar for best foreign language movie. Both in the Muslim-Croat and Serb regions of the country, ordinary people, politicians and Tanovic's fellow film-makers said for once everyone had a reason to celebrate after the devastating war which raged between 1992 and 1995. Foreign Minister Zlatko Lagumdzija said 33-year-old Tanovic's success had projected a new image of Bosnia "not as a country of problems but as a country which has a future, because it has talented and determined people." "The crown of this success is the Oscar, and Tanovic showed with his example that determination and talent never lose a battle," the minister said. The film by the Sarajevan, who now lives in Paris, tells a tragi-comic tale of three soldiers -- two Serbs and a Muslim -- trapped in an open trench during the Bosnian war. One of them is lying on a mine that will explode if he is removed. The United Nations (news - web sites) peacekeepers who get involved are shown as powerless, a view shared by many in Bosnia based on their own wartime experiences. On a snowy day in the war-scarred capital Sarajevo, taxi driver Mevludin Rakic said he was proud of the film's success. "I am so excited about the Oscar award and especially about the fact that Tanovic said this is also an Oscar for Bosnia," he said, referring to the director's victory speech. "MEANINGLESSNESS OF WAR" In Banja Luka, capital of Bosnia's Serb Republic, taxi driver Dragan, 44, also praised the film. "It shows the meaninglessness of the war here and that ordinary people suffered in it," he said. Tanovic, who ran the Bosnian government army's film archive during the war before leaving for Brussels to finish film school, shot his debut work with a budget of $1 million raised from several European producers. Professors and colleagues from Sarajevo university's school of acting and directing said they were overwhelmed by his win. "The only thing I can say now is 'Thank you, Danis'. He is a legend," Srdjan Vuletic, who studied with Tanovic before and during the war, told Reuters after a modest victory ceremony at the Bosnian film-makers' association. "This marks the beginning of a new era in Bosnian film-making," said Vuletic, who has won international awards for short movies and hopes to start shooting his first feature soon. Vuletic said he hoped Tanovic's success would give an opportunity to other budding film-makers to make movies in Bosnia instead of trying to find funding abroad.
The Bosnian Supreme Court has ordered the detention of five former Bosnian officials, including a former interior minister, Bakir Alispahic, on suspicion of terrorism and espionage. A lawyer for Mr Alispahic is reported as saying his client and the other four officials are to be detained for 30 days. Mr Alispahic, the former head of the Muslim-led intelligence service (AID) and two former senior AID officials, Irfan Ljevakovic and Enver Mujezinovic, are also charged with abuse of office. Police allege that the accused co-operated with the Iranian intelligence agency to establish a terrorist training camp in the Bosnian mountains. The targets are reported to have been political opponents of the Party for Democratic Action (SDA), led by Alija Izetbegovic.
A human rights investigator who claims she was sacked for exposing the sexual abuse of Bosnian women by her United Nations colleagues, told a tribunal that girls as young as 15 were offered for sex," the Daily Telegraph of London reports. "Kathryn Bolkovac, 41, said women were forced to dance naked in Bosnian bars frequented by UN police officers. . . . "The former American policewoman claims she was sacked because she sent an email to Jacques Paul Klein, the chief of UN mission in Bosnia-Hercegovina, which highlighted the sexual exploitation of women by those who had been sent to protect them from the sex trade." Bolkovac was employed by U.S.-based DynCorp, which responded that she was fired for time-card irregularities. Bolkovac denied the charge. Instead, "she said she also found that international staff were helping local police to sell women for the sex trade and she feared this was being 'covered up,'" the Telegraph said.
Bosnian officials have signed a $15 million contract with Siemens of Germany to print new identification documents that will be same throughout the country, Reuters reports in a story posted at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20020430/tc _nm/tech_bosnia_siemens_dc_1 Those documents will include drivers licenses and ID cards, which are currently different in each of Bosnia's two entities.
Secretary-General Kofi Annan intends to appoint a senior police official from Denmark as the next head of the law enforcement component of the United Nations Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina?s (UNMIBH), a UN spokesman announced today in New York. Police Commander Sven Christian Frederiksen will succeed the current Commissioner of UNMIBH?s International Police Task Force (IPTF), Vincent Coeurderoy of France, upon the expiration of the latter?s tour of duty at the end of the month. As the UN Mission is scheduled to complete its mandate by the end of this year, Mr. Frederiksen will also continue on as the first head of the EU Police Mission (EUPM) that is slated to take over from UNMIBH the responsibility for building up the local police force. To ensure a smooth transition and continuity between the two Missions, Mr. Frederiksen?s primary task will be to bring UNMIBH to a successful conclusion, the spokesman said, noting that the EU will appoint a senior officer to undertake the planning for the EUPM under Mr. Frederiksen?s general supervision.
A U.S. federal court judge has ruled that Nikola Vuckovic must pay $140 million in restitution to four Bosnians he tortured during the war. Vuckovic, who served in the Bosnian Serb Army, came to the U.S. in 1997 as a refugee. Judge Marvin H. Shoob found that Vuckovic "repeatedly tortured" each of the plaintiffs, meriting "substantial punitive damages," according to a statement released by the Center for Justice and Accountability. Vuckovic did not appear in court for the trial. "The witnesses testified about frequent beatings, teeth pulled out with pliers and heads smashed against walls while soldiers hurled anti-Muslim abuse. All said they lost about half their body weight during detention," AP reported. Kemal Mehinovic acknowledged that it's unlikely the victims will be able to collect the money, but said justice was nevertheless served. "I brought this case because I felt an obligation towards those who were killed or tortured by Vuckovic," he told AP. "I am satisfied with the result. He will no longer be able to live peacefully in the United States." The case was brought under two U.S. laws that allows victims of human rights abuses to sue perpetrators who live in the U.S. The Center's statement on the case is posted at http://www.cja.org/BosniaPR4.29.02.htm
"Forty-one suspects are held at the UN detention centre in the Netherlands and judges at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia have agreed that dispatching some suspects to be tried at home may be the best way to ease the logjam," the London-based Independent newspaper reports. "The tribunal, which is intending to complete its task by the end of 2008, is bursting at the seams." Trials for high-level suspects such as Slobodan Milosevic would remain in The Hague, the Independent said. "In the short term, only Bosnia and Herzegovina is likely to be able to meet the UN's required standards," the Independent noted, which would rule out any such trials in Serbia.
An estimated 1,500 workers protested in Banja Luka last month, complaining they are severely underpaid -- and many haven't even been paid the meager salaries they're owed. "Some workers face years of back pay," AFP noted. Unemployment in the Serb-controlled sector of Bosnia is estimated at 39 percent, AFP said.
NATO forces report they discovered a large amount of weapons and ammunition in Mostar, including grenade launchers and up to 6,000 mortar shells. The site, in a Muslim-controlled portion of the now-divided city, was believed to have been a weapons storage area during the war, BBC said. "Sfor spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Nicolas Rambaud said that if the cache, which totalled some 75 tonnes of ordnance, were to explode it would spread devastation over a wide area, with a crater some 100 metres across," the Telegraph newspaper of London reported. Another large amount of weapons was uncovered several weeks earlier in Mostar, when a new owner moved into a textile factory.
For the first time since their loved ones were murdered ten years ago, Bosnian refugees returned to the town of Bratunac to "mourn at the sites where their men were rounded up and killed, and where their bodies were later dumped," AP reported. About 100 women arrived by bus from refugee camps in Sarajevo and Tuzla Saturday to mark the anniversary of the massacre, visiting a soccer stadium and an elementary school where hundreds of unarmed civilians were rounded up and slaughtered. "Tears poured down the cheeks of the women and a few sobs could be heard. One woman dropped to her knees, overwhelmed by her emotions. Friends rushed to her and offered a shoulder to cry on," the European edition of Stars & Stripes reported. " 'We are standing here 10 years later and it seems to us like it happened yesterday,' Sevala Halilovic, one of the mourners, said before she laid flowers in front of the door of the gymnasium where the Muslim men had been rounded up." "Local Serbs have long denied that the massacres ever took place," AP notes in a story posted at http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20020511/a p_wo_en_ge/bosnia_visiting_home_1 "But as the war grows more distant, some have begun to admit that atrocities were committed here." The Bosnians were arrested and executed although there had been no fighting in the town. On May 11, 1992, "men with megaphones ordered the Muslims to move out of the stadium through its main gate," wrote Chuck Sudetic in his book Blood and Vengeance: One Family's Story of the War in Bosnia "Outside, the Muslim men were separated from their wives and children. The air became a din of voices calling out names. . . . "Men who tried to linger with their families were beaten with clubs and metal bars. The women and children were packed aboard buses and trucks and driven over the mountains . . . "The Serbs ordered the 750 Muslim men left behind in Bratunac to line up in rows of four and march down the main street. ... The Muslims were marched to the yard of the primary school and told to kneel. Some of the men were beaten with wooden bats and electrical cables. "Then they were lined up, two-by-two, and marched into the gymnasium. ... In a garage behind the school, [one prisoner] saw stacks of corpses of Muslim men who had been abducted in Bratunac. Within three days, there would be 350 more. "The dead were eventually loaded aboard trucks and dumped into the Drina."