Moscow, June 10 (AP/UNB) — Police detained hundreds of people in Kazakhstan amid unauthorized protests of a presidential election Sunday that opponents alleged was a fake exercise in democracy.
Officers, some in riot gear with shields and helmets, broke up the demonstrations in the capital, Nur-Sultan, and in Almaty, the Central Asian country’s main commercial city. Some 500 protesters were taken to police stations, a government official said.
Three police officers were injured in the clashes, Deputy Interior Minister Marat Kozhayev said. There were no immediate reports of charges following the arrests.
The snap election was called after the unexpected March resignation of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, 78, who had led the country since its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Many people assumed Nazarbayev would run for re-election during a regularly scheduled presidential vote next year.
The protesters alleged the election to choose his successor would not be free or fair, and had called for a voter boycott.
Nazarbayev loyalist Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the upper house speaker who became acting president when Nazarbayev stepped down, was expected to win easily.
Seven candidates were on the ballot, including a genuine opposition figure for the first time since 2005.
The opposition candidate, Amirzhan Kossanov, said he had no complaints about possible campaign violations before Sunday’s contest.
“But the most important result, the peak of the election political process, is counting of the votes,” Kossanov said.
The national elections commission reported that about 77% of the electorate turned out to vote. Previous presidential elections had reported turnouts of more than 90%.
Kazakhstan recently has experienced rising opposition sentiment. Previous anti-government rallies took place in the spring to protest the early election, which opponents saw as an orchestrated handover of power.
One of the most prosperous former Soviet republics, large Kazakhstan stands at a crossroads between neighbors China and Russia.
Haiti, June 10 (AP/UNB) — Protesters denouncing corruption blocked roads and paralyzed much of Haiti’s capital Sunday as they demanded the removal of President Jovenel Moise, while police reported two people killed and five injured.
Demonstrators burned tires and threw stones during the march in Port-au-Prince, where the scent of burning rubber filled the air. Many stores and gas stations were closed and travel between some cities was impeded as protesters blocked roads with cars, stones and other large objects.
Police erected barricades near the presidential palace and fired tear gas to drive away demonstrators who tried to breach them.
Police spokesman Michael-Ange Jeunes said gunshots caused the two deaths and wounded four people. He said a police officer was injured by a thrown rock.
There was no information on who fired the shots.
Louis-Jeunes said protesters set fire to two police cars and two buildings. He said 12 people had been arrested.
Similar protests were held in the Haitian cities of Jacmel, Cap-Haitien, Saint-Marc and Gonaives. Demonstrators came from a wide cross section of society, including political parties, religious groups and community organizations.
Protesters were demanding further investigation into the fate of funds that resulted from subsidized oil shipments from Venezuela under the Petrocaribe program. A Senate investigation recently determined at least 14 former government officials allegedly misused $3.8 billion under the administration of former President Michel Martelly.
Venezuela’s collapsing economy has forced the South American nation to halt or drastically curtail Petrocaribe shipments, leading to problems for power generation. Many Haitians now receive electricity for only a few hours a day.
Kathmandu, June 7 (Xinhua/UNB) - At least one person was killed and 37 others were injured when a strong storm hit several villages of Nepal's Kailali and Kanchanpur districts on Thursday evening, authorities said here.
Secretary at the Central Ministry of Home Affairs Prem Kumar Rai told Xinhua that at least one person was killed and 37 were injured when the storm struck several villages of Kailali and Kanchanpur districts at around 8 pm (local time) in the far-western region of the country.
"The local administration has been carrying out rescue operations as soon as the storm hit the villages," Rai said, adding that the storm has also caused damage to the houses and public and private vehicles.
He said that the death toll is expected to rise as the local authorities are collecting information from several villages.
Fallen trees and electrical poles have blocked roads hindering rescue efforts, according to officials. The injured were rushed to local hospitals for treatment.
Thirty people were killed and hundreds injured when the massive storm hit Bara and Parsa districts of southern Nepal in April this year.
Dubai, June 7(AP/UNB) — Police in Dubai say 17 people were killed when bus from Oman crashed in the United Arab Emirates.
Dubai police announced the death toll in tweets published early Friday.
Police say the bus crashed into a sign on Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Road. They did not elaborate on what caused the bus driver to hit the sign, though police warn that "sometimes a minor error or negligence" can be fatal.
It said the dead included different nationalities, without elaborating. At least three others were injured in the crash.
Mwasalat, a government-owned bus company in Oman, said the crash involving its Muscat-to-Dubai route happened at 6 p.m. Thursday. It said it would suspend the service for the immediate future.
Washington, June 7 (AP/UNB) — President Donald Trump has signed a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill aimed at helping communities across the country bounce back from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and fires.
Trump tweeted a photo of himself holding the signed bill in what appeared to his office aboard Air Force One. The tweet came shortly after Trump landed in Ireland following a ceremony in France commemorating the D-Day invasion.
Trump says the aid, which will benefit states including Georgia and Florida, is: "So important for our GREAT American farmers and ranchers."
The bill languished for months amid disputes over Trump's demand for border funding, as well as additional aid for Puerto Rico, which Trump opposed.
Trump nonetheless tweeted the U.S. territory "should love President Trump," claiming that, "Without me, they would have been shut out!"