In an apparent bid to head off any rigging of the vote count, Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) proclaimed that its presidential candidate had a huge early lead after the national election Saturday. With ballots from 35 percent of polling stations counted, the MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai had 67 percent of the vote, his spokesman said. The claim came despite a warning by incumbent Robert Mugabe's government that any such declaration would regarded as a coup attempt. Elections commission officials said they'd release the results "as soon as we can." But visitors to the commission offices Sunday observed only a skeleton staff at work, and the election was closed to almost all Western monitors. Above, people in a suburb of Harare, the capital, check the results posted to date.Skip to next paragraph
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Communist North Korea threatened Sunday that "everything [in rival South Korea] will be in ashes," after the latter's military chief said he'd retaliate for an attempted nuclear attack. In a third straight day of harsh rhetoric, the North's official news agency also said it would suspend all scheduled dialogue aimed at reunification unless Gen. Kim Tae Young retracts and apologizes for his remark.
Anti-Koran firm producer Geert Wilders was finding almost no support for his work over the weekend as business groups in the Netherlands threatened to sue if it led to a boycott of their products. The 15-minute film also has been rejected by the Dutch government, has brought condemnation from many Muslim nations as well as the European Union, Australia, Singapore, and UN Secretary-General Ban Kai Moon, and was pulled from the Live Leak website after being posted for less than a day.
At least 17 people and perhaps as many as 28 were killed and 50 others were hurt in the main marketplace in Mogadishu, Somalia, Saturday, apparently in an exchange of fire between Islamist militants and guards at the presidential palace. Witnesses said shells fired by Ethiopian troops protecting the palace landed on the market, which was crowded with shoppers at the time. Somalia's interim government often has called the market, which is famous for its open-air weapons bazaar, a center of militant activity.
Barricades were back in place across rural roads in Argentina Sunday after negotiations between the government and striking farmers "consisted of talking in vague generalities," a spokesman for the latter complained. He said organizers won't decide until Wednesday whether to call off the resumed strike. The farmers are angry over a new set of taxes on their produce that President Cristina Fernandez says will help to curb rising inflation. A brief truce allowed some farmers to haul their produce to market, but much of it already had rotted. Below, people in Buenos Aires scavenge for vegetables that haven't spoiled.
As many as 75 men may have drowned in a gemstone mine in northern Tanzania following torrential rains in the area, reports said Sunday. The government was sending pumps to drain the shafts where the miners were working. But before the pumps could be used, emergency crews were having to re-raise the stanchions that hold up overhead power lines, since flooding had toppled them. Ten years ago, 100 miners died in the area under almost identical circumstances.
For the first time, Cubans will be allowed unrestricted access to cellphones, the government announced. In new leader Raul Castro's latest loosening of restrictions, the state telecommunications monopoly was to offer prepaid service agreements to subscribers under their own names. Until now, Cubans with cellphones have had to acquire them through foreign acquaintances or a place of employment. Critics noted, however, that only the more affluent are likely to benefit from the new reform since the service must be paid for in foreign currency.