Jumaat, 4 Oktober 2013

The Star Online: World Updates

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The Star Online: World Updates

Hundreds of Sudanese protest, but numbers down after crackdown


KHARTOUM (Reuters) - Several hundred Sudanese protested in Khartoum on Friday to demand the resignation of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, but crowds were much smaller than last week, when protests provoked a bloody security crackdown.

Amnesty International said on Wednesday that 210 protesters were killed in clashes with security forces last week, quoting figures from a Sudanese doctors' union. This was well above the 34 reported dead by the government, which has denied shooting any protesters it calls "vandals".

Authorities have said they arrested 700 people in what was the worst unrest in central Sudan in years, triggered by cuts in subsidies on cooking oil and fuel that doubled pump prices overnight.

In Khartoum's Bahri district some 500 people took to the streets on Friday, shouting "freedom, freedom", a Reuters witness said.

About 100 people also gathered in the Burri district of the capital, where a week ago a member of prominent family was shot dead, a witness said.

In Port Sudan on the Red Sea, Sudan's biggest port, about 50 people staged a sit-in in front of the security headquarters calling for the release of political prisoners.

The protests were much smaller than those last week ago, when thousands took to the streets.

The government cut subsidies to ease a financial crunch aggravated by the secession of oil-producing South Sudan in 2011. The South's departure deprived Khartoum of three-quarters of the crude output it relied on for state revenues and foreign currency needed to import food.

Bashir has held power since staging a bloodless coup in 1989, in spite of rebellions, U.S. trade sanctions, an economic crisis, an attempted coup last year and an indictment from the International Criminal Court on charges of masterminding war crimes in the western region of Darfur.

(Reporting by Khalid Abdelaziz; Writing by Ulf Laessing; Editing by David Brunnstrom)

Guinea's opposition demands annulment of legislative vote


CONAKRY (Reuters) - Guinea's opposition coalition demanded the annulment of last week's parliamentary election on Friday, citing what it said were widespread irregularities in the voting process and threatening to call for protests.

The opposition's decision raised fears of a return to the political violence in which at least 50 people were killed in the months preceding the polls. The climate of instability has deterred mining investment in the world's largest bauxite exporter.

"The opposition demands the annulment of this election because of the scale of fraud witnessed," said a statement read by opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla during a news conference.

Sylla said the opposition reserved the right to use all legal means of protest, including public demonstrations across the West African country.

The opposition, which has accused the government of trying to rig voting lists, had warned it would not tolerate any attempt to steal the ballot.

A spokesman for President Alpha Conde's ruling RPG party called the decision "incomprehensible."

"The transparency of this vote was assured by the presence of international observers," Moustapha Naite said.

A European Union observer mission said on Monday that the weekend election was marred by serious organisation problems, including a failure to tackle problems with the voter lists, and called for the national electoral commission, CENI, to publish results bureau by bureau to ensure transparency.

CENI began gradually releasing election results on Wednesday with Conde's RPG party taking an early lead in several districts. The opposition rejected the results and pulled its delegates out of the national electoral commission on Thursday.

However, results published late on Friday after the opposition's announcement showed its UFDG and UFR parties won in the communes of Dixinn and Matam, two of the five voting areas which make up the capital, Conakry.

Bus plunges down hillside outside Mexico City, killing 14


MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - At least 14 people died on Friday when a bus hurtled down a hillside on the outskirts of Mexico City, ejecting six victims through the windows and leaving 25 injured, police said.

Before it careened off the highway, the bus was en route to the city of Toluca in the hills of the State of Mexico, which surrounds much of the capital.

"There wasn't a collision with another vehicle, but instead the bus veered off the asphalt and plunged down the mountainside about 100 or 120 meters," Miguel Angel Contreras, the attorney general of the State of Mexico, told reporters.

The cause of the accident remained unclear, he said.

Local television footage of the accident's aftermath accident showed the bus upside down, wreckage strewn amid broken tree branches as emergency workers stretchered off survivors.

(Reporting by Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Leslie GEvirtz)

Kredit: www.thestar.com.my

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