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Chatter: Pakistan ex-premier claims victory in elections

Nawaz Sharif edges toward a majority in Pakistan's parliament, Hong Kong's top court grants a transsexual woman the right to marry her boyfriend, and Ground Control to Commander Hadfield.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
           

                      

   

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NEED TO KNOW

And the winner is... Nawaz Sharif by a country mile, according to the unofficial results of Pakistan's election. Sharif, a two-time ex-premier who was toppled in a military coup in 1999, and his Pakistan Muslim League-N party are on course to win a majority in parliament and form the country's next government.

Sharif has pledged to overhaul Pakistan's sluggish economy and end a decades-old feud with India. Karachi stocks hit an all-time high following the win.

Final results are still days away, but Sharif is already in talks on forming a government. He has been congratulated by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who said he hoped for a "new course" in relations between the two countries.

GlobalPost's Mariya Karimjee writes from Karachi about Pakistan's "44 percent" — the country's women — and their potential role in turning the political tide.

It wasn't us. Syria has denied any involvement in weekend car bombings in Turkey that killed at least 46 people and wounded 100 more. 

The bombings in downtown Reyhanli, a Turkish border town, have heightened fears that Syria's ongoing civil war is spilling over into neighboring countries.

Turkey has accused a group with links to Syrian intelligence of carrying out the bombings. Damascus said it had nothing to do with it. So far, nine Turkish citizens have been detained in connection with the attack.

WANT TO KNOW

Hong Kong makes history. Sort of. In a surprise decision, Hong Kong's top court has granted a transsexual woman the right to marry her boyfriend.

While it is a landmark ruling for this semi-autonomous Chinese territory, it falls short of allowing same-sex marriage. The decision only covers the right of a transgender person who was born male to marry a man, and for one who was born female to marry a woman.

A Mother's Day tragedy. Some 19 people, including two children, were injured when multiple gunmen opened fire during a Mother's Day parade in New Orleans.

The FBI believes the shooting, which took place during a second-line parade in the city's 7th Ward, was an act of street violence. New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu has appealed for help from witnesses in catching the gunmen.

Second-line parades, a tradition in New Orleans, are loose, sometimes impromptu processions in which people march and dance in the streets, often following behind a brass band.

STRANGE BUT TRUE

Ground control to... Major Chris? Social media-loving astronaut Chris Hadfield has released a gift to the internet: a video of him performing David Bowie's beloved "Space Oddity" all the way from the International Space Station.

Hadfield, the first Canadian commander of the ISS, is leaving the station and decided to mark the moment with the iconic 1969 Bowie tune, which records the curious journey of the fictional Major Tom, who is "floating in the most peculiar way" (as is Hadfield in the video).

An active Twitter user, Hadfield's geek cred was already solidified by his five-month stint on the ISS. With the professionally produced video, and what appears to be tacit approval from Bowie himself, he is likely to ascend to the ranks of nerdy royalty.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-pakistan-ex-premier-claims-victory-elections

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