Turkey has started an espionage investigation after a discussion between top officials on potential military action in Syria was leaked on YouTube, heralding a possible government crackdown on its political opponents after elections on Sunday. The recording of the meeting between Turkey's intelligence chief, foreign minister and deputy head of the military was by far the most serious breach in weeks of highly sensitive leaks, a scandal which Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has cast as a plot to sabotage the state and topple him. Erdogan and his aides have blamed the Hizmet movement of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, a former ally whose followers have influence in the police and judiciary, of running a "dirty campaign" of espionage to implicate him in corruption ahead of crucial nationwide municipal elections on Sunday.
Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi is likely to hold an election rally in Delhi April 6, a party leader said Saturday. The venue for the rally is yet to be decided, said the state's unit chief spokesperson Mukesh Sharma. He also said that there will not be any more rallies by party chief Sonia Gandhi in Delhi other than the one scheduled at Ajmal Khan Park Sunday. "Sunday's rally will be her first and last rally in Delhi ahead of the Lok Sabha polls," Sharma said.
Syrian President Bashar Assad is quietly preparing the ground to hold elections by early this summer to win another 7-year term, even as the Syrian conflict rampages into its fourth year with large parts of the country either in ruins or under opposition control and nearly a third of the population scattered by civil war.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Saturday his country has "no intention" of invading Ukraine after Russia set off an international crisis when it annexed Crimea. Lavrov's declaration came after he reportedly spoke with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on the phone before the pair is scheduled to meet Sunday in Paris. Details of their phone call weren't immediately released. But Russia's foreign ministry said the call was initiated by the United States and followed Russian President Vladimir Putin's call to President Barack Obama on Friday. The pair discussed a proposal for a diplomatic solution after Russia's annexation of Crimea this month.