Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say

Hungary Election Was Free but Not Entirely Fair, Observers Say Photo Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, center, in Budapest on Sunday with other Hungarian leaders after election results were announced. His party, Fidesz, secured more than 49 percent of the vote. Credit Szilard Koszticsak/MTI, via Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary — One day after Viktor Orban and his governing Fidesz party and its allies won a sweeping election victory, independent election monitors said Monday that the party had used the resources of the state on a very large scale to bolster its chances of winning.
“Voters had a wide range of political options but intimidating and xenophobic rhetoric, media bias, and opaque campaign financing constricted the space for genuine political debate,” said Douglas Wake, the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or O.S.C.E., mission in Hungary.
“The ubiquitous overlap between government information and ruling coalition campaigns, and other abu..

Hungary Election Gives Orban Big Majority, and Control of Constitution

Hungary Election Gives Orban Big Majority, and Control of Constitution Photo Voters outside a polling station in the Ujbuda district of Budapest on Sunday. Credit Marton Monus/MTI, via Associated Press BUDAPEST, Hungary — Prime Minister Viktor Orban of Hungary, who has set about transforming this former Soviet bloc member from a vibrant democracy into a semi-autocratic state under one political party’s control, appeared to have won a sweeping victory in national elections on Sunday, with 93 percent of the vote counted.
By securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, Mr. Orban’s party, Fidesz — along with its ally, the Christian Democrats — now has the power to change the Constitution and further bend the nation to his will.
“Hungary won a big victory,” Mr. Orban told a crowd of supporters gathered on the bank of the Danube just before midnight. He added that there was still “a big fight ahead” but that the parliamentary majority would allow him to continue to protect Hungary.
Gabor ..

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In

As Trump Seeks Way Out of Syria, New Attack Pulls Him Back In
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Days after President Trump said he wanted to pull the United States out of Syria, Syrian forces hit a suburb of Damascus with bombs that rescue workers said unleashed toxic gas.
Within hours, images of dead families sprawled in their homes threatened to change Mr. Trump’s calculus on Syria, possibly drawing him deeper into an intractable Middle Eastern war that he hoped to leave.
“Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter on Sunday. He blamed Iran and Russia — even singling out President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia by name — for their support of the Syrian government.
“Big price to pay,” he wrote, without providing details.

Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. Area of atrocity is in lockdown and encircled by Syrian Army, making it completely inaccessible to outside world. President Putin, Russia and..