Algeria's electoral body Saturday announced five candidates for the Dec. 12 presidential election, including two former prime ministers and all products of the system challenged by months of pro-democracy protests.
The electoral authority validated the candidacies of former prime ministers Ali Benflis and Abdelmadjid Tebboune, and two former ministers, one of them a moderate Islamist, plus the head of a small party.
The elections are to replace former longtime President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, forced to resign in April after protests and a stern warning from army chief Ahmed Gaid Salah, who has emerged as the country's authority figure.
Protesters had opposed Bouteflika's planned bid for a fifth term after 20 years in power and now want to dismantle the corruption-ridden system that kept him in office and the long-standing, if often shadowy, role of the military at the top. Bouteflika was Algeria's first civilian president since the nation's first leader after independence from France in 1962, Ahmed Ben Bella, was deposed in a coup.
Besides the two former prime ministers running in next month's presidential election, the other candidates are: former tourism minister and moderate Islamist, Abdelkader Bengrina; former culture minister and current interim secretary of the RND party that was in the governing coalition, Azzedine Mihoubi; and the head of the El Moustakbel (Future) party close to the FLN, also in the ruling coalition, Belaid Abdelaziz.
The announcement came a day after tens of thousands of Algerians marched for a 37th consecutive week to demand an end to Algeria's post-colonial political system. Protesters say they don't trust those currently in power to ensure democratic elections, citing their past links to Bouteflika.
The five who will run were among 23 people who tried to run for the presidency but fell short of the requirements. Rules for candidates included gathering 50,000 signatures from citizens on voting lists from at least 50 regions.
The United Auto Workers announced Saturday that President Gary Jones is taking a paid leave of absence amid a federal investigation of corruption within the union.
The UAW said Jones requested the leave, which is effective Sunday. UAW Vice President Rory Gamble will serve as acting president.
"The UAW is fighting tooth and nail to ensure our members have a brighter future. I do not want anything to distract from the mission," Jones said in a statement.
The union is in the middle of negotiating new four-year contracts with Detroit automakers.
UAW-represented workers at General Motors Co. recently approved a new contract after a 40-day strike. Union members are scheduled to begin voting Monday on a proposed contract with Ford Motor Co., which Gamble helped negotiate. If Ford workers ratify the agreement, the UAW will begin bargaining with Fiat Chrysler.
The FBI has been investigating fraud and misuse of funds at the UAW for more than two years. Ten people have been convicted so far, including union leaders and auto company officials.
Jones has not been charged, but federal agents searched his suburban Detroit home in August in connection with the investigation.
In a recent court filing, federal prosecutors alleged that seven top UAW officials had conspired since 2010 to embezzle funds through schemes such as submitting false vouchers for conference expenses.
The Detroit News, citing sources familiar with the investigation, said Jones is one of the unnamed union leaders.
A U.N. human rights team is gathering testimony about hundreds of people allegedly injured by Chile's police during street protests in recent weeks.
The team on Friday heard accounts about ruptured eyeballs, broken bones and other serious injuries inflicted by police pellets or the impact of tear gas canisters.
"We are certain" that police have not respected their own guidelines about the appropriate use of force, said Dr. Enrique Morales of Chile's state Medical College.
Interior Minister Gonzalo Blumel has disputed such allegations, saying police were instructed "from the first moment" to follow protocols on ensuring public order and safety.
Authorities have also noted that at least 76 police officers have been injured in attacks by protesters.
At least 20 people have died in the protests, which started last month after the government announced a hike in subway fares. The protest movement expanded to include broader grievances over education, health services and growing economic inequality.
Most protests have been peaceful, but there have also been cases of arson and looting.
The mission sent by Michelle Bachelet, a former Chilean president who is the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, is investigating allegations of human rights violations during Chile's unrest.
The United Nations team will collect testimonies and reports throughout the country. The team will continue its work until Nov. 22.
On Friday, about 100 people, including doctors and students, spoke for several minutes each to four members of the U.N. mission.
Morales, the doctor, said he and others displayed photographs of patients who had lost not only eyesight but also parts of eyeballs.
The Medical College says its doctors have treated more than 140 people for eye injuries, a statistic that does not include similar injuries recorded at private hospitals.
Chile's National Institute of Human Rights, which is independent of the government, has recorded 1,574 people who were taken to hospitals after being injured in protests. Several hundred of those were shot.
The institute has filed nearly 200 lawsuits against the state, including some related to alleged homicide and sexual assault.
In some cases, security forces have taken women to areas not monitored by security cameras and made them undress, according to María José Guerrero, head of a group called the Observatory against Street Harassment.
More protests are expected in Chile next week.
Anti-government protesters attacked the Hong Kong office of China's official news agency in a show of anger against Beijing after chaos broke out downtown on Saturday, with police firing tear gas to repel gasoline bombs.
Streets in the upscale Causeway Bay shopping area and nearby Victoria Park were clouded in tear gas, sending thousands of protesters fleeing as riot police moved swiftly to stymie the latest rally in the city's 5-month-long push for genuine autonomy.
Police deployed at least two water cannon trucks in the vicinity. They had issued warnings to protesters who occupied the area that they were taking part in an unauthorized rally and were violating a government ban on face masks.
Some protesters stormed Xinhua News Agency's office in the city's Wan Chai neighborhood, smashing windows and the glass entrance door, splashing red ink, spraying graffiti and setting a small fire in the lobby. Graffiti that was sprayed on the wall next to the entrance read "Deport the Chinese communists."
It was the first strike against the Chinese state-run news agency, a day after the ruling Communist Party in Beijing vowed to tighten the grip on the territory.
Protesters have frequently targeted Chinese banks and businesses linked to or that support China. In July, demonstrators threw eggs at China's liaison office in Hong Kong and defaced the Chinese national emblem in a move slammed by Beijing as a direct challenge to its authority.
Protesters accuse China's central government of infringing on the freedoms guaranteed to Hong Kong when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.
Earlier Saturday, some protesters unearthed a goal post from a soccer field and metal railings to block the entrance to Victoria Park.
Pro-democracy candidates running in this month's district council elections — who can meet with groups of 50 or fewer people without a police permit — held meetings with voters at the park to try get around the rally ban. One candidate was pepper-sprayed in the face and detained after he argued with police.
Pockets of hardcore protesters in full gear quickly regrouped, setting street barriers and thrashing shuttered subway station exits. Protests also spread to the Kowloon district late Saturday.
In multiple places around the city, protesters hurled gasoline bombs at police, who responded by firing tear gas and water cannons. A number of protesters were detained.
Police said in a statement that some masked rioters had damaged shops, committed arson and placed nails on roads. They also said they halted two approved pro-democracy rallies due to the mayhem.
In one of those rallies, thousands gathered at a public square overlooking the city's harbor to press for the passage of a U.S. bill that could place diplomatic action and economic sanctions on Hong Kong over human rights violations. U.S. lawmakers have passed the bill, which still needs Senate backing.
The chaos Saturday underlined the depth of anger in protests that began in early June over a now-shelved plan to allow extraditions to mainland China but have since swelled into a movement seeking other demands, including direct elections for the city's leaders.
A move last month by Hong Kong's leader, Carrie Lam, to invoke emergency powers to impose a face mask ban was slammed by protesters as crimping their right to assemble.
The increasingly violent unrest, with more than 3,000 people detained since the protests began, has hurt the reputation of one of the world's top financial hubs. The city has slipped into recession for the first time in a decade as it grapples with the turmoil and the impact from the U.S.-China trade war.
The civil disobedience has posed a big challenge for Beijing, which vowed Friday to prevent foreign powers from sowing acts of "separatism, subversion, infiltration and sabotage" in Hong Kong.
In a Communist Party document released after its Central Committee meeting this past week, Beijing said it would "establish and strengthen a legal system and enforcement mechanism" to safeguard national security in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong, which has a separate legal system from mainland China, has tried to enact anti-subversion legislation before, only to have the measure shelved amid formidable public opposition. Beijing may be indicating it is preparing to take matters into its own hands by having the National People's Congress issue a legal interpretation forcing the enactment of such legislation.
Actress and activist Jane Fonda spent a night in a local jail after her fourth arrest in as many weeks while participating in a climate change demonstration on Capitol Hill.
The 81-year-old Oscar winner was among more than 40 people arrested Friday while sitting in the atrium of the Hart Senate Office Building. A spokesman for Fire Drill Fridays, Ira Arlook, says Fonda was the only one who spent the night in jail, her first as part of the ongoing demonstration.
Arlook says Fonda appeared in Superior Court about 1 p.m. Saturday and was released.
Fonda has said she plans to get arrested every Friday as she advocates for reducing the use of fossil fuels. A rally with speakers on various climate-related topics precedes the civil disobedience.