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Istanbul braced for a major security lockdown for May Day on Sunday, with almost 25,000 police on duty and numerous roads closed for an occasion that regularly sees clashes between Turkish protesters and police. The Istanbul governor's office said in a statement Saturday that in order "to provide for the security of citizens" on labour day, 24,500 members of the Turkish security forces would be on duty in the city. The metro station on the main Taksim Square will be completely closed and the station at the end of the main shopping street Istiklal Caddesi will be closed to exiting passengers.
Eleven giant pyres of tusks were set alight Saturday as Kenya torched its vast ivory stockpile in a grand gesture aimed at shocking the world into stopping the slaughter of elephants. Lighting the fire in Nairobi's national park, Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta demanded a total ban on trade in ivory to end the "murderous" trafficking and prevent the extinction of elephants in the wild. "The height of the pile of ivory before us marks the strength of our resolve," Kenyatta said, before thrusting a burning torch onto the ivory.
Thousands of angry protesters broke into Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Saturday and stormed the Iraqi parliament building after lawmakers again failed to approve new ministers. Jubilant supporters of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr invaded the main session hall, shouting slogans glorifying their leader and claiming that they had rooted out corruption. The Iraqi capital was already on high alert for a major Shiite pilgrimage, participants in which were targeted in a bombing that killed 23 on Saturday, but extra security measures were taken after protesters stormed the Green Zone.