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Music, cheering, noise, chaos, and above all – dancing.

There is nothing quite like being on the Brazilian election trail.

Exuberant is the only word I can think of.

We joined the supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city.

Enormous sound systems blared out the favourite Lula anthems, and people danced and cheered and sang along.

They came in their thousands to see the man they consider to be a saviour from the right-wing presidency of Jair Bolsonaro.

Lula, a former president, is bidding to stage a remarkable comeback to the top of the political ladder.

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Arrested in 2018 on corruption charges, later quashed, he was consistently the most popular political leader in the world with approval ratings in the 80-90% range during his time in office from 2003 to 2011.

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city

Many thought he could capture the presidency in the first round last Sunday, and he didn’t.

But, worse for both Lula and his party, President Bolsonaro confounded the polls and closed the gap to a handful of points.

Now everything is to play for in the days leading up to the decisive second round on 30 October.

Despite that exuberance on the streets, Lula’s team were shocked by how much the president made up ground. But the people we talked to in the crowds say they still believe in their man.

“We’re going to fight for him. I’m fighting,” says 61-year-old Maria Francisca Neves.

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city. Maria
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Maria

Maria has travelled from the Jardim Limpao favela, where she lives. She is unemployed and says she and many others are struggling to survive.

“We want them to fight for us, for us to be able to eat meat again, to have our table full of food, for us to have a glass of milk to drink in the morning and be able to give that to our children, to be able to go to university…”

“We are in a battle, and we are going to win. Lula will get there, I have faith in God, I thank God!” she added passionately.

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city. Erivan (left)
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Erivan (left)

Another supporter, Erivan Paulino de Souza, said he would have preferred Lula had won in the first round to put an end to the tension.

“But everything we have achieved in our lives has been through fighting – we go and conquer, nothing has ever been easy for us,” he explained.

“This is not the first election that has gone to the second round, and so we will fight until the end.”

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city
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Lula da Silva

They all waited in the blistering heat for hours when, finally, he appeared from the side door of the union building on the street where he was arrested in 2018.

He was helped onto the back of a truck, joined by politicians from his Workers’ Party.

And so began a chaotic caravan through the streets of the town.

This is the first time Lula has been back on the campaign trail since he failed in that first round, and they loved it.

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city

The streets were jammed with supporters, waving flags, and dancing. Many were trying to touch Lula or to at least get his attention.

A huge cheer erupted when the would-be president began taking photos of the crowd with a professional camera.

Almost certainly a move to underline his basic campaign message that he is for the people and part of the people.

He has certainly aged and is not the energetic president of the past, but he still shows the touch of the ‘man of the people’ which has proved so popular for so long.

The real question though is whether his type of politics can appeal to an electorate that is already terribly divided.

Followed by thousands, we watched as Lula and his entourage and political colleagues wound their way through the streets.

Shoppers and shop owners watching on as this loud parade made its way to a nearby square.

supporters of Lula da Silva in Sao Bernardo do Campo, a dormitory town on the edge of Sao Paulo city

Most held their hands in the air with their thumb and index fingers in the shape of an L.

L for Lula, they say, and L for love.

Read more:
The marginalised people in communities like favelas hold the balance of power
Brazil’s rainforest is under attack again

Once the caravan got to the square, the 76-year-old addressed the crowd, promising not to give up, and warning against the spread of misinformation.

“You know that our adversary’s speciality is to lie, seven or eight lies a day through fake news, through zap (WhatsApp), through any other way to talk to people.

“In the next 24 days, you have to be alert, you need to know how to tell truth from the lies,” he said.

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‘Too poor to vote’ in Brazil election

Presidential elections are often won by the candidate with momentum.

In truth President Bolsonaro grabbed that momentum when he drew near to his adversary.

Lula needs new momentum now. And he and his team hope that this is the start.

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Zelenskyy calls on Biden and Xi to join Ukraine peace summit

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Zelenskyy calls on Biden and Xi to join Ukraine peace summit

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has directly called on his US and Chinese counterparts to join his latest summit for peace in Ukraine.

Speaking from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine on Friday, Mr Zelenskyy announced a “global peace summit”, co-hosted by Switzerland, starting on 15 June.

He claimed 80 countries have already confirmed their attendance.

But he said: “I am appealing to the global leaders of the world who are still outside the global efforts of the global peace summit.

“To President Biden, the leader of the United States, and to President Xi, the leader of China, we do not want the UN charter to be burned.

“Please show your leadership in advancing the peace.”

Residents evacuated from a building hit by strikes in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
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Residents evacuated from a building hit by strikes in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

He added that it must be “real peace – not just a pause in the strikes” after various ceasefire breaches by the Russians.

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Finally, he urged: “The efforts of the global majority are the best guarantee that all commitments will be fulfilled.”

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Shopping mall hit by strike in Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

Printworks and shopping centre targeted this week

Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, with a pre-war population of 1.5 million people, is close to the frontline, and has been consistently targeted since the initial invasion in February 2022.

On Thursday, its ‘Vivat’ printworks, which is the country’s largest, was hit by missiles, killing seven people, and destroying an estimated 50,000 books. A further 21 people were injured, Ukrainian officials said.

On Saturday, a strike on a shopping centre killed six people, injured 40, and left a further 16 unaccounted for, local authorities said.

Elsewhere in the city, an additional 11 people were injured as a result of strikes, including a 13-year-old boy.

Just over the border, in Russia’s Belgorod region, the regional governor there said four residents died as a result of Ukrainian attacks on Saturday.

Aftermath of Russian strike on Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters
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Aftermath of Russian strike on Kharkiv on Saturday. Pic: Reuters

Read more
Crowded DIY stores hit by strikes
Ukrainians training without firing due to shortages
Putin thanks Xi for his Ukraine efforts

Mr Zelenskyy warned a new Russian offensive is being planned northwest of Kharkiv.

Ukrainians and military analysts have repeatedly warned of depleting weapon supplies on the frontline.

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Earlier this month the US agreed to a further $2bn (£1.6bn) in military support for Ukraine.

It has consistently resisted calls to send US troops there, in line with NATO’s refusal for direct involvement in the conflict.

China has resisted calls by NATO and its member states to take a direct stance against Russia in support of Ukraine.

President Xi hosted Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a show of “friendship” earlier this month.

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Hamas launches first rocket attack on Israel from Gaza in months

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Hamas launches first rocket attack on Israel from Gaza in months

Hamas has launched rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza for the first time in months.

The barrage of rockets set off air raid sirens in cities as far away as Tel Aviv.

There were no immediate reports of casualties or damage in what appeared to be the first long-range rocket attack from Gaza since January, although Palestinian militants have continued to sporadically fire rockets and mortar rounds at communities along the Gaza border since then.

Hamas’s military wing claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Israeli military said eight projectiles crossed into Israel after being launched from the area of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where Israeli forces recently launched an incursion.

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This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly.

Please refresh the page for the fullest version.

You can receive breaking news alerts on a smartphone or tablet via the Sky News app. You can also follow @SkyNews on X or subscribe to our YouTube channel to keep up with the latest news.

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India: Newborn babies killed in fire at hospital in Delhi after ‘chain of explosions’

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India: Newborn babies killed in fire at hospital in Delhi after 'chain of explosions'

At least six newborn babies have died after a fire broke out at a children’s hospital in India, according to reports.

Firefighters said they carried 12 newborns out of the centre in the Vivek Vihar district of east New Delhi late on Saturday night, but five of them died due to smoke inhalation.

Two other infants are believed to have already died, according to local media. There are differing reports as to whether six or seven infants have been killed so far.

Another five survived and are being treated in a nearby hospital, Delhi fire department chief Atul Garg said.

The blaze, which broke out on the first floor of the hospital, was put out after about an hour.

Burnt registration cards lie on the floor of a baby care center in New Delhi, India, Sunday, May 26, 2024. A fire broke out in the care center on Saturday night killing six infants, a fire service officer said on Sunday. (AP Photo/Dinesh Joshi)
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Burnt registration cards lie on the floor of the hospital. Pic: AP

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Mr Garg told the ANI news agency that an oxygen cylinder blast was the likely cause of the fire, but there has been no official confirmation.

“It was a very tough operation,” he was quoted as saying by India Today.

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“We made two teams. One team started firefighting because there was a blast of cylinders. We can say it was a chain of blasts of cylinders.

“We had to save ourselves also. We started rescue operations for babies as well. Unfortunately, we could not save all the children… That is a regrettable incident.”

The owner of the baby hospital has fled, according to Delhi police.

Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s chief minister, called the fire “heartbreaking”, adding that the “causes of the incident are being investigated and whoever is responsible for this negligence will not be spared”.

Machines move the debris following a fire in a gaming zone in Rajkot, in the western state of Gujarat, India, May 26, 2024. REUTERS/Amit Dave
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Machines move debris after a fire in Rajkot. Pic: Reuters

Earlier on Saturday, at least 27 people were killed in a fire at a crowded amusement park in the city of Rajkot in Gujarat state in western India.

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