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Ukraine, interim president named

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Parliament in Ukraine has named its speaker, Oleksandr Turchynov, as interim president.

Turchynov takes charge following the dismissal of President Viktor Yanukovych on Saturday (read more of this here) . Mr Turchynov told MPs they had until Tuesday to form a new unity government.

Parliament also voted to seize Mr Yanukovych’s luxury estate near Kiev, which protesters entered on Saturday.

The whereabouts of Mr Yanukovych, who described parliament’s decision to vote him out as a coup, remain unclear.

Thousands of opposition supporters remain in Independence Square, where the atmosphere is described as calm, after weeks of violent clashes ending in the death of dozens.

Venezuela expells U.S. diplomats

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Venezuela said Monday that three U.S. diplomats have 48 hours to leave the country, accusing them of conspiring against its government.

The State Department fired back, calling that claim “baseless and false” and saying the United States had not yet received any formal notification of the officials’ expulsion. Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua accused the U.S. officials of using a visa program as a cover to meet with youth organizers at private universities “for training, financing and creating youth organizations through which violence is promoted in Venezuela”.

The expulsion, which President Nicolas Maduro first announced Sunday, comes after the State Department expressed concerns about rising tensions in Venezuela.

Three anti-government protesters died in clashes last week in Caracas, and authorities have issued an arrest warrant for opposition leader Leopold Lopez on charges including conspiracy and murder in connection with the violence.

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Spanish police officers evicted the staff of a public TV station in Valencia after it was ordered to shutdown. The staff were protesting against the shutdown bycontinuing to broadcast.

Valencia’s government decided to shutdown the station RTVV (Radio Television

Staff have been protesiting all month
Staff have been protesiting all month

Valenciana) after it was declared necessary to cut staff by more than half.

Police broke into RTTV building and escorted the workers out.

Spain has been struggling to improve its economy.

In Greece, the ERT broadcaster was also shutdown in June but workers barricated themselves in and continued boradcasting. Police have taken them out. (read more about this here)

Egyptian blogger arrested

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Alaa Abdul Fattah, an Egyptian blogger, was arrested by the authorities under the accusation of calling over protests in defiance of a new law that restricts demonstrations. He took part in a rally outside the Upper House of Parliment.

Protesters were demanding the banishment of the new law that bans unauthorised demonstrations.

Abdul Fattah played a leading role in the 2011 revolt against Hosni Mubarak, a governor of Egypt.

Abdul Fattah did not deny the charge. Another 24 activists were detained at the protest and will remain four days in custody under the suspicion of various charges.

Alaa Abdul Fattah
Alaa Abdul Fattah

Madrid’s street cleaners end strike

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Street cleaners in Madrid have voted to end the strike that had been leaving Madrid accumulating garbage on the streets for two weeks (read more about this event herefor an agreement with the City Hall was reached.

Pressure has been building on Mayor Ana Botella from hotel and shop owners, who have been outspoken in saying the strike is hurting the city’s image and their businesses, and from neighborhood associations which complain that trash and broken glass are littering the streets.

Street cleaners were to return to work late Sunday, said Francisco Aguilar, a local leader of the CGT union, confirming Spanish media reports about the end of the strike. A spokesman for management could not immediately be reached.

About 6,000 street and parks cleaners went on strike on November 5, after three large private services companies that share the city concession for street cleaning announced 1,134 job cuts — an 18% reduction of the workforce — and threatened salary reductions for those remaining.

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Haiti protesters clash with police

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Thousands of Haitian protesters were demanding the resignation of President Michel Martelly when riot police fired tear gas to disperse them.

Haiti has recently seen a series of protest marches amid growing public anger over the cost of living and claims of high levels of corruption.

Meanwhile, Mr Martelly appealed for unity in the impoverished nation.

He took office two years ago promising a fresh start for Haiti, devastated by an earthquake in 2010.

But Haiti – which shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic – remains one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere.

On Monday, the protesters set up burning barricades of discarded tyres as they marched in the capital, demanding that Mr Martelly stand down immediately.

“We are moving forward to removing him from power and won’t stop until he leaves,” demonstrator Jean Daniel was quoted as saying by the Associated Press.

A number of demonstrators hurled stones at the police, who responded with tear gas.

There were also reports that gunshots were fired in Port-au-Prince, but it was not immediately known whether there were any injuries.

A rival pro-Martelly rally was also held in the capital, and two sides later confronted each other by throwing rocks.

In the northern city of Cap-Haitien, a smaller opposition demonstration was organised.

Monday’s protests were among the biggest since Mr Martelly took office two years ago.

Speaking in Cap-Haitien during a ceremony to mark Haiti’s final battle before it secured independence from France in 1804, the president made an impassionate plea for political unity.

“If we didn’t put our heads together, we wouldn’t have had the Battle of Vertieres,” he said.

“If we didn’t have our heads together, we wouldn’t have a Haitian state.”

The former pop star vowed after his election victory to bridge the gap between Haiti’s tragic past with the aspirations of a new generation.

But the opposition accuses him of wasting public money in luxury vehicles and international trips.

It also says the government has failed to hold legislative and local elections.

Mr Martelly denies the allegations, saying his government is addressing economic and political problems.

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China police station attacked

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Nine assailants attacked a police statoin in the western part of the Xinjiang province, they were all shot dead.

Xinhua news agency reports that two auxiliary police officers died in Saturday’s clashes in Bachu county’s Serikbuya, near the city of Kashgar.

Another two policemen were injured. Xinhua provided no further details.

Xinjiang – where Muslim Uighurs make up a large part of the population – has seen several clashes this year.

Last month, five people died when a car ploughed into a crowd in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square – an attack the authorities blamed on the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM).

China often blames the ETIM for incidents in Xinjiang. But a few believe that the group has any capacity to carry out any serious acts of terror in China.

Uighur groups claim China uses ETIM as an excuse to justify repressive security in Xinjiang.

There are nine million Uighurs living in the province, but they are now a minority in the region, which is now dominated politically and economically by Han Chinese.

There were violent clashes in Xinjiang in April, June and August this year

 

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