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Polls have closed in Indonesia with the world’s largest Muslim democracy electing a president, a parliament and local authorities.

Some 192 million people were eligible to vote in the elections, with 800,000 polling stations across the archipelago’s 18,000 islands.

The incumbent president Joko Widodo voted earlier and said he was optimistic about the results.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana speak to journalists after he cast his ballot
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Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his wife Iriana speak to journalists after he cast his ballot

The former furniture salesman is the first president from outside the Jakarta elite.

Just over 20 years ago, the fall of Suharto brought about the end of decades of dictatorship, the darkest days of which saw ruthless crackdowns on opponents of those in power.

Mr Widodo’s challenger is Prabowo Subianto, a special forces general during the era of Suharto’s military dictatorship.

An Indonesian election worker dressed as a ghost welcomes voters in Jakarta
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An Indonesian election worker dressed as a ghost welcomes voters in Jakarta

An unofficial count at the half way stage put Mr Widodo and his running mate, conservative cleric Ma’ruf Amin, 13 percentage points ahead.

At stake is the future direction of a country that is growing rapidly and is becoming an increasingly important economic power in the region.

Some investors are worried that the appeal for votes amid the growing influence of conservative Islam will translate into populist policy.

Mr Widodo, a moderate Muslim from Java, picked Islamic cleric Mr Amin as his vice president nominee, after a smear campaign and hoax stories accused him of being anti-Islam, a communist or too close to China, all politically damaging in Indonesia.

An Indonesian election worker dressed as Batman in Surabaya
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An Indonesian election worker dressed as Batman in Surabaya

Mr Prabowo has links to some hardline Islamist groups and his running mate is business entrepreneur Sandiaga Uno.

The opposition has also claimed to have uncovered data irregularities affecting millions on the electoral rolls and has vowed to take legal action or use “people power” if its complaints are not resolved.

Monitors from 33 countries have been invited to observe to make sure the election is fair and carried out according to the rules.

Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto waves to a crowd after voting
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Presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto waves to a crowd after voting

Many of the thousands of volunteers taking part in the process dressed up to mark the festive nature of the occasion, in a celebration of the opportunity to vote.

Voters were allowed to cast their votes for an eight-hour period across a country that stretches more than 3,000 miles (5,000km) and three time zones from its western to eastern tips, underscoring the Herculean logistical task.

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Game Of Thrones fans aren’t happy with this Daenerys Targaryen waxwork | Ents & Arts News

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She is Daenerys Targaryen, Mother of Dragons, a queen who could soon claim the Iron Throne.

So it is only fitting she should have a waxwork in her honour – but perhaps makers could have made it a bit more… well, a bit more Daenerys-like.

Dublin’s National Wax Museum’s new addition pays homage to the Game Of Thrones character, played by Emilia Clarke, but has been widely mocked online.

“Wow, Winter’s really taken its toll,” said one commenter on the venue’s Instagram post, referencing one of the series’ most famous lines: “Winter is coming.”

“How do you f*** this up with all the technology there is,” said another user.

“Oh my god WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO HER,” said another post.

Pic: HBO/Sky Atlantic
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The real Daenerys, with boyfriend/nephew Jon Snow. Pic: HBO/Sky Atlantic

Many have said the figure looks more like Legolas from Lord Of The Rings, who was played by actor Orlando Bloom, or Lucius Malfoy, played by Jason Isaacs in the Harry Potter films.

More from Game Of Thrones

They might have a point…

Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter
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Jason Isaacs as Lucius Malfoy in Harry Potter
Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Lord of the Rings
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Orlando Bloom as Legolas in Lord of the Rings

Daenerys is not the only famous face to be immortalised in less-than-flattering wax or stone.

Remember the Christian Ronaldo bust? Mo Salah‘s? And Beyonce has had numerous sculptures which haven’t quite lived up to the real Queen Bey.

:: How many times can Beyonce statues get it wrong?

A bust of Cristiano Ronaldo has caused a storm on the internet
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This statue of Cristiano Ronaldo was eventually replaced
The statue features Mo Salah with his arms outstretched
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Not sure if Mo Salah’s statue is in proportion

Statues of Michael Jackson, Lucille Ball and Diego Maradona have also been ridiculed in recent years.

Clarke herself has yet to comment on her own figure, but let’s hope Daenerys sees the funny side.

Should she decide to unleash those dragons, it wouldn’t last long.



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Emiliano Sala’s father dies three months after footballer’s fatal plane crash | World News

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The father of Emiliano Sala has died three months after the Premier League footballer was killed in a plane crash.

Horacio Sala, 58, suffered a fatal heart attack in Argentina, the mayor of his hometown Progreso said.

“2019 has been very hard on us,” Julio Muller told local media.

“I think Horacio couldn’t get over what happened to Emi.

“Every news he heard about the investigation was really tough for him.”

A plane carrying Emiliano Sala crashed on 21 January, just two days after he had completed a £15m move from French club Nantes to Cardiff City.

The Argentinian striker was travelling to the Welsh capital in a private plane with pilot David Ibbotson when it went down in the English Channel near Alderney.

Horacio Sala described his anguish after the wreckage was discovered, telling Argentinian television: “I cannot believe it. This is a dream. A bad dream. I am desperate.”

Horacio Sala was visibly emotional during a vigil for his son in February
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Horacio Sala was visibly emotional during a vigil for his son in February

The footballer’s body was recovered on 7 February after a privately-funded search was launched, while Mr Ibbotson remains missing.

It has also emerged that one of Emiliano Sala’s best friends died last week in a car crash.

Sebastian Rabellino was a footballer for San Martin de Progeso, the club where Sala started his career as a youth player.

Following Sala’s death, Cardiff City and Nantes are locked in a legal battle over his £15m transfer fee after the Premier League club refused to pay the first £5m instalment.

Emiliano Sala is Cardiff's record signing
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Emiliano Sala had signed for Cardiff City for £15m

It is understood Cardiff argue that Sala’s contract had been rejected by the Premier League because it contravened signing-on fee rules and was therefore “null and void”, Sky Sports News reported.

The club also claim that further contract clauses – proposed by Nantes – had not been met.

Meanwhile, Cardiff City has denied claims it failed to offer Emiliano Sala suitable travel arrangements before his ill-fated flight to the UK.

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Uber seeks market value of over $90bn in share sale | Business News

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Uber is seeking a market value just above $90bn in its planned flotation, according to documents filed with regulators.

The ride hailing firm said it planned to offer 180 million shares in its Initial Public Offering (IPO) at a price of between $44-per share to $50-per share.

There would be an additional 27 million shares sold by current equity holders, Uber said.

It had been widely reported in US media that Uber had reduced its top valuation from a more lofty $120bn following a lacklustre stock market debut for its largest rival in North America, Lyft.

While Lyft’s shares climbed when trading first began last month, Lyft’s market value has plummeted since – down by 22% ahead of Friday’s opening.

In the filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Uber revealed the path to profitability would likely be a rocky road for investors.

It reported a net loss of $1bn for the first quarter of the year on revenues of roughly $3bn.

It said its shares would trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker name UBER.

Uber also said PayPal had agreed to purchase $500m of stock in a private placement as the pair embark on a venture to create a digital wallet for customers.

The filing kicks off a 10-day roadshow for potential investors to ask questions of senior management.

They are likely to face questions on subjects ranging from profitability to the treatment of drivers following controversy over its treatment of so-called gig economy workers and safety provisions.

More follows…

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