Macron, Le Pen face off in France’s presidential election
French President Emmanuel Macron, the centrist incumbent up for reelection, will face off against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in a winner-takes-all runoff for the French presidency Sunday. Macron faced Le Pen in the presidential runoff five years ago, but polls show Le Pen is much closer to a potential victory this time. Macron has invested efforts in trying to draw in young voters who supported more politically extreme candidates in the first round of the election, with a rally on climate action early last week. Meanwhile, Le Pen has spent the past few years trying to rebrand as less extreme but remains intent on rolling back rights for Muslims and drastically reducing immigration policies, Macron warns to be racist and dangerous. If victorious, Le Pen would become France’s first female president in her third attempt at the seat.
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Ukraine will again try to evacuate civilians from beleaguered Mariupol
Efforts to evacuate civilians to safer areas will continue in Ukraine Saturday, the nation’s officials said. Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said on the Telegram messaging app there will be another attempt to evacuate women, children and the elderly from the strategic port city of Mariupol, which has been besieged by Russian forces for weeks and largely reduced to rubble. Capturing Mariupol is seen as central to what has been called a new phase of Russia’s invasion, but thousands of Ukrainians remain in the Azovstal steel mill complex. Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered troops Thursday not to storm the stronghold but to seal it off. Another mass grave was found, this time in the village of Vynohradne, officials said Friday. The city council posted a satellite photo from Planet Labs showing what it said was a serious that could hold the bodies of at least 1,000 Mariupol residents. The discovery of mass graves has led to accusations that the Russians are trying to conceal the slaughter of civilians.
EU passes historical social media legislation
The European Union passed a new law early Saturday that will require tech giants like Meta, Google and Twitter to more aggressively police their content and take down anything deemed harmful or illegal quickly — or potentially risk paying billions in fines. The EU said the legislation is the first in the world to target digital regulation. A critical part of the law would limit how big tech giants target users with online ads. The Digital Services Act would effectively stop platforms from targeting users with algorithms using data based on their gender, race or religion. Additionally, targeting children with ads will be prohibited. The new legislation comes as lawmakers in the United States are still grappling with how to make big tech companies do better with curbing harmful content.
Memorial service, vigil set for former NFL QB Dwayne Haskins
A service will be held Saturday to honor Dwayne Haskins, the former NFL and Ohio State quarterback who died on April 9 at 24 when he was hit by a dump truck in Florida. The service will take place in Rockaway Township, New Jersey, where Haskins was born and raised until his high school years. A vigil is also planned for Sunday night at Haskins’ high school in Potomac, Maryland. Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin, former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and current Ohio State coach Ryan Day were among the several hundred mourners who attended an emotional 90-minute memorial service in Pittsburgh Friday. Haskins spent the 2021 season with the Steelers. Haskins’ parents said in a statement to USA TODAY Sports that they were not attending the Friday service. “We have never met or spoken to the wife of her (Kalabrya), and we did n’t want our son’s funeral service to be the place we met her for the first time,” Dwayne Sr. and Tamara Haskins said.
Record Store Day brings new vinyl drops to independent stores
Saturday is Record Store Day. More than 300 new music releases are set to land almost exclusively at independent record stores across the country. It’s the 15th annual Record Store Day, which celebrates the 1,400 independent record stores nationwide with exclusive releases and artist performances. This year there’s something for everyone in the drops — including a reissue of Nicki Minaj’s “Beam Me Up Scotty,” a 7-inch single of Taylor Swift’s “The Lakes,” a 50th anniversary record from The Rolling Stones and even “Peppa’s Adventures: The Album” from the children’s cartoon Peppa Pig. Vinyl records are in style, with vinyl LP sales growing 51% last year to 41.7 million, nine times the amount of vinyl sold in 2011, according to MRC Data.
Contributing: The Associated Press