Apr 16, 2017

Erdogan set to gain sweeping new powers in Turkey referendum

Lefteris Pitarakis / AP

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey is claiming victory in a major constitutional referendum, which will bring the most sweeping changes to Turkey's political system in nearly a century and allow Erdogan to potentially remain in power until 2029. The opposition are demanding a recount.

The changes: The role of prime minister will be abolished entirely, and new powers will be concentrated in the hands of the president — including the ability to appoint judges and cabinet ministers, and dissolve parliament.

Why it matters: A coup attempt last July intended to topple Erdogan has instead given him justification to gobble up more power and rule in an increasingly authoritarian manner. The tightness of the result (51.3%-48.7% with 98% counted), though, reveals just how polarized Turkish politics are.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers and South Korea sees first death

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship. South Korea also announced its first death Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 75,465 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 hours ago - Health

SoftBank to cut its stake to get T-Mobile's Sprint deal done

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

T-Mobile and Sprint announced a revised merger agreement that will see SoftBank getting a smaller share of the combined company, while most shareholders will receive the previously agreed upon exchange rate. The companies said they hope to get the deal as early as April 1.

Why it matters: The amended deal reflects the decline in Sprint's business, while leaving most shareholders' stake intact and removing another hurdle to the deal's closure.