A new outbreak of political violence in western Kenya resulted in at least 69 more deaths over the weekend despite the mediation efforts of ex-UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Annan was meeting Sunday with opposition leader Raila Odinga to try to set up a new round of talks with President Mwai Kibaki to end the crisis that arose after the disputed Dec. 27 election. Results of a new opinion poll showed that only 51 percent of Kenyans believed Annan would be able to resolve the crisis. Above, a soldier kicks at a roadblock in the town of Naivasha.
Vocal Kremlin critic Mikhail Kasyanov was barred from running for president of Russia by the Central Election Commission Sunday. A spokesman repeated the assertion that tens of thousands of signatures on his nominating petitions were forged. Kasyanov was considered to have little hope ofupsetting incumbent Vladimir Putin's handpicked successor, Dmitry Medvedev. But analysts said the ruling likely will fuel criticism that the March 2 election is undemocratic.
Opinion polls in Italy showed that a sizable majority of voters want a new election after the collapse of Prime Minister Romano Prodi's government and that the rightist opposition would win back control of the upper house of parliament. Prodi resigned Thursday night after losing a vote of confidence in the Senate. President Giorgio Napolitano began meetings with key political leaders over the weekendon how to fend off pressure for a new election until parliament acts on a package of reforms.
Opposition leaders reacted angrily to the announcement that Zimbabwe's presidential and parliamentary elections will be held March 29. The Movement for Democratic Change called the announcement by President Robert Mugabe "an act of arrogance." The MDC has been in talks, mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, to identify a mutually agreeable date while Mugabe's government was conducting a massive redistricting effort that has added 90 seats to parliament.
Millions of would-be travelers may be affected Monday by the heaviest winter storms in 50 years in parts of China, reports said. Snow and ice were blamed for dozens of deaths, loss of electricity in central and southern cities, cancellation of hundreds of train trips, and the closure of highways and some airports as people prepared to return home for the Lunar New Year. Below, police struggle to push snow off a highway in the eastern city of Nanjing.
Gunmen who may have been sent by a criminal gang leader were blamed for an assault on a coastal town in Guyana that killed at least 11 people Saturday.The casualty count is believed to be the highest in the impoverished South American country since the mass suicide at Jonestown in 1978. Gang leader Rondell Rawlins accused police of kidnapping his girlfriend and reportedly threatened a campaign of violence until she is returned.
Two extra years of school will be mandated for struggling students in Jamaica under a new strategy to improve their employment prospects, the government said.While applauding it, the national teachers federation also cautioned that "adequate facilities and resources" need to be put in place first. Data for 2003, the latest year available, showed that only 20 percent of high school students graduated with the qualifications to enter the job market or continue their studies in college.
Radical Palestinian leader George Habash, who died Saturday, will be buried in Jordan, where he'd lived since 1992. He was considered the founder of Arab nationalism and the architect of violent airline hijackings in the 1960s and '70s. But his Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine could not surpass Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement in size or influence, a situation that he reportedly believed was due to the fact that he wasn't Muslim.