In the polarizing French elections, centrist Emmanuel Macron will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in a run-off for the French presidency on 7 May. With 97% of polling stations declared, newcomer Macron was leading the field with 23.9%. National Front leader Le Pen was close behind on 21.4%. Various political rivals are now expected to unite in a bid to keep the Front National from power.

Some good news from Mosul as around 250 civilians, including women and children, who were kidnapped and believed to have been used as human shields by the Islamic State were rescued by Iraqi forces in Mosul on Sunday. A security source told Iraqi government media that an assault on ISIS in an old industrial area, near Mosul’s Jadida neighborhood led Iraqi forces to around 250 civilians that had been kept prisoners by the militants. Other parts of Mosul as seeing hundreds of people make their way back to areas retaken by government forces despite heavy fighting still taking place nearby.

Finally, congratulations to Lionel Messi who scored his 500th Barcelona goal to send his team top of La Liga with an injury-time winner against 10-man Real Madrid. It puts Barcelona level on points with Real Madrid, but with a better head-to-head record. It was a close game ending in 3-2, with many fans celebrating the night in Erbil with gunshots and fireworks.