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story.lead_photo.caption Istanbul’s newly elected mayor, Ekrem Imamoglu, waves to his supporters in the city Sunday outside the Republican People’s Party offices.

Erdogan ally loses Istanbul mayor race

ISTANBUL -- An opposition candidate declared victory in the Istanbul mayor's race for a second time Sunday after the government-backed candidate conceded defeat in a high-stakes repeat election.

"Thank you, Istanbul," former businessman and district mayor Ekrem Imamoglu, 49, said in a televised speech. His supporters were jubilant after unofficial results showed he won a clear majority of the vote.

His opponent, former Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, conceded moments after early returns showed him trailing well behind Imamoglu, 54% to 45%.

The outcome was a blow to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose party or its predecessor had governed Turkey's largest city for 25 years.

Hundreds of opposition supporters broke out in mass celebration outside the headquarters of the Republican People's Party, which backed Imamoglu, chanting "Mayor again! Mayor again!"

Imamoglu narrowly won a previous mayoral election on March 31, but Erdogan's Justice and Development Party challenged the vote. Turkey's electoral board annulled the results after weeks of partial recounts. Imamoglu served 18 days as mayor and was stripped of the post with the board's order for another election.

"You have protected the reputation of democracy in Turkey with the whole world watching," Imamoglu, his voice hoarse after weeks of campaigning, told supporters.

Erdogan's party still controls 25 of Istanbul's 39 districts and a majority in the municipal assembly. Imamoglu will have to work with those officeholders to govern Istanbul.

Chinese official to lead U.N. food agency

ROME -- Qu Dongyu, China's deputy agricultural minister, was elected Sunday as the new director general of the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the first person from a Communist country to hold the influential post.

The agency's 194 member countries convened at the organization's headquarters in Rome to choose a successor to Brazil's Jose Graziano da Silva for the 4-year term.

Qu, 55, a biologist by training, won 108 votes, followed by France's Catherine Geslain-Laneelle with 71 votes and Georgia's Davit Kirvalidze with 12, according to official results. The United States had backed Kirvalidze.

The Food and Agriculture Organization, which has more than 11,500 employees around the globe, works closely with other U.N. agencies to achieve the goal of a hunger-free world by 2030. Today, more than 800 million people are facing hunger, and many experts doubt that the 2030 goal will be reached.

Before the vote, Qu said he aims to focus on hunger and poverty eradication, tropical agriculture, drought land farming, digital rural development and better land design through the transformation of agricultural production. An expert on agriculture and rural areas, he has worked in the field for more than 30 years.

"This is a special day," he said in his speech accepting the post. "This is our day."

3 Indonesians face charges in fatal fire

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- Indonesian police have arrested the owner and two managers of an unregulated factory in North Sumatra that was engulfed by a deadly fire, a spokesman said Sunday.

The three suspects could each face five years in prison if found guilty of negligence leading to the fire that killed 30 people, said North Sumatra province police spokesman Tatan Dirsan Atmaja.

The business was operating from a house in the North Sumatra district of Langkat and reportedly made matchsticks and lighters.

Its female employees were trapped in Friday's blaze by a locked door. Five children died, and only four people escaped, Atmaja said.

A preliminary investigation found the blaze may have started with a worker testing the "spark wheel" of a lighter and inadvertently igniting other flammable agents, including a gas canister, he said.

The suspects -- two men and a woman -- were arrested in the provincial capital, Medan, on Saturday.

7 of 8 climbers' bodies found in India

LUCKNOW, India -- Indian paramilitary soldiers have reached the bodies of seven of eight members from a team of international climbers believed killed on a notoriously dangerous Himalayan mountain, an official said Sunday.

An administrator of Uttarakhand state, Vijay Jogdande, said the soldiers reached the bodies Sunday, but they had yet to be identified. The bodies will now be brought from where they were found at an elevation of more than 16,400 feet to the base camp.

Veteran British mountaineer Martin Moran led a team of four Britons, two Americans, an Australian and an Indian on an expedition on Nanda Devi East. Moran's Scotland-based company said contact with the team was lost on May 26 after an avalanche. Officials said they were all presumed dead.

Five bodies believed to be from the missing team were spotted by air nearly two weeks ago.

The search for the missing eighth mountaineer will continue, Jogdande said.

H.S. Chauhan, president of the Indian Mountaineering Foundation, said authorities would decide on an air evacuation of the bodies depending on weather conditions. Ground expeditions also are in the area for the task.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

Photo by AP/BERNAT ARMANGUE
Moss men take part in the Corpus Christi procession Sunday in the village of Bejar, Spain. Four men and two women covered from head to toe in moss have paraded through the streets of Bejar in western Spain to commemorate a daring raid that local legend says helped liberate their town from Muslim occupation some eight centuries ago.

A Section on 06/24/2019

Print Headline: Erdogan ally loses Istanbul mayor race Chinese official to lead U.N. food agency 3 Indonesians face charges in fatal fire 7 of 8 climbers' bodies found in India

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