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Selena Gomez pays tearful tribute to life-saving friend

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LOS ANGELES — Selena Gomez has paid a tearful tribute to her life saving friend Francia Raisa, who donated a kidney to her earlier this year, while making an acceptance speech at Billboard’s Women In Music event.

Gomez received top honors at the annual Billboard’s 2017 Woman of the Year award at a star-studded event in Los Angeles on Thursday evening (November 30).

Gomez received the award from Raisa herself, who has been Selena’s closest friend and confidant for nearly a decade, and she struggled to hold back her emotions as she paid tribute to her in her opening remarks, contactmusic reported.

“To be honest, I think Francia should be getting this award,” the 25 year old star said, breaking down in tears.

“She saved my life… I feel incredibly lucky.”

Gomez then went on to describe the ‘hard times’ following her surgery in the summer. Due to complications in her ongoing battle with lupus, she had received an emergency kidney transplant, with Raisa selflessly stepping up for her best friend.

“Specifically this year, I would like to thank my amazing team and my family because they stuck with me through some really hard times. And I got to do a lot this year, even though I had a couple of other things to do,” Gomez told the crowd at the Hollywood gala.

The event, which honors female trailblazers in music, also paid tribute to Solange Knowles, Kelly Clarkson and Camila Cabello.
“I’ve never felt as proud to be a women in the industry than I do today,” Gomez said while adding how crucial it is that voices “are being heard for the fist time.”

Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran presented the award to Greenwald, calling her ‘a warrior and a tank.’

Taraji P Henson presented the icon award to Mary J Blige. The Grammy-winning legend said her path to success has not been easy.

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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