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Lula speaks at a rally earlier this week. Photo: Mauro Pimentel / AFP / Getty Images

After a marathon session, Brazil's Supreme Court rejected a plea from former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to remain free while he appeals his conviction for corruption by a 6-5 margin. That means Lula, who left office in 2011 with sky-high approval ratings and currently leads the polls as a candidate in Brazil's October presidential election, may begin his 12-year sentence in the coming days.

The big picture: Politics in Brazil, the world's fifth most populous country and the ninth largest global economy, have been engulfed by corruption scandals. Lula's successor, Dilma Rousseff, was removed from office in 2016 amid corruption allegations while sitting president Michel Temer has faced similar claims.

What's next:

  • From the FT: "He will still have the right to continue appealing and can remain a pre-candidate in the elections until at least August, when the official candidates will be decided. But if he has not won his appeal by then, he will most likely be struck off the list because of a law that prohibits those with criminal convictions upheld on appeal from running for public office."
  • From the NYT: "His supporters contend that removing the country’s most popular presidential candidate from the ballot would be an affront to democracy. ... Legal experts say that Mr. da Silva could try to fight the electoral court’s ruling if he remained free, but that his imprisonment makes that quest all but impossible."
  • From Bloomberg: "As investors breathe a sigh of relief that recent market-friendly policies are safe for now, none of the centrist, reform-minded candidates are polling beyond single digits. In fact, the most popular hopeful after Lula is Jair Bolsonaro, a former Army captain who says he knows nothing about economics."

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

In photos: Pope Francis spreads message of peace on first trip to Iraq

Pope Francis waving as he arrives near the ruins of the Syriac Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (al-Tahira-l-Kubra), in the old city of Iraq's northern Mosul on March 7. Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP via Getty Images

Pope Francis was on Sunday visiting areas of northern Iraq once held by Islamic State militants.

Why it matters: This is the first-ever papal trip to Iraq. The purpose of Francis' four-day visit is largely intended to reassure the country's Christian minority, who were violently persecuted by ISIS, which controlled the region from 2014-2017.

Cuomo faces fresh misconduct allegations from former aides

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo during a February press conference in New York City. Photo: Seth Wenig/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The office of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was on Saturday facing fresh accusations of misconduct against his staff, including further allegations of inappropriate behavior against two more women. His office denies the claims.

Driving the news: The Washington Post reported Cuomo allegedly embraced an aide when he led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and that two male staffers who worked for him in the governor's office accused him of routinely berating them "with explicit language."

In photos: Protesters rally for George Floyd ahead of Derek Chauvin's trial

Chaz Neal, a Redwing community activist, outside the Minnesota Governor's residence during a protest in support of George Floyd in St.Paul, Minnesota, on March 6. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

Dozens of protesters were rallying outside the Minnesota governor's mansion in St Paul Saturday, urging justice for George Floyd ahead of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's trial over the 46-year-old's death.

The big picture: Chauvin faces charges for second-degree murder and manslaughter over Floyd's death last May, which ignited massive nationwide and global protests against racism and for police reform. His trial is due to start this Monday, with jury selection procedures.