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Why elections in Europe spring a surpriseLast spring, Europe watched with surprise as a new centrist party in France, En Marche!, defeated the two traditional parties. The election win was a signal that the French want more independence and individuality in their political identity. Now it may be Germany’s turn.

In Alabama, an early test of anti-establishment mood“We cannot be bought,” declares B.B. Sellers, as he and his wife leave a sweltering outdoor rally for Roy Moore, the firebrand former judge who has been leading in a tight Republican run-off for US Senate. The GOP establishment has flooded the state with millions of dollars in advertising in advance of Tuesday’s primary election, trying to boost the chances of incumbent GOP Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed earlier this year after former Sen. Jeff Sessions stepped down to become US attorney general.

Defiant, Kurds vote in northern Iraq, seeking path to independenceIn Erbil, capital of northern Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdish region, the longstanding dream of statehood has been sold as a done deal. Streets have been lined with billboards in favor of Kurdish independence, and hawkers old and young have been making a killing selling the sun-emblazoned tricolor flag of Kurdistan. In the run-up to the vote, major powers, including the United States, issued dire warnings that the vote will undermine the war against the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) and further destabilize Iraq.

As waters recede, Bangladesh takes stock – and plans for more flood-prone futureIn late August, while hurricane Harvey was battering Texas and Louisiana, heavy rain led to devastating floods and landslides across the region. The dangerously high flood waters forced Sufia and her husband to abandon their home, a bare-bones hut of corrugated-steel walls held up by wooden beams and concrete pillars in the countryside of Tangail District, about 50 miles north of the capital, Dhaka.

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