Category: International news

Ten killed in Nicaragua protests

Ten people have been killed in Nicaragua in three days of clashes between police and opponents of changes to the pension system. Vice-President Rosario Murillo blamed the violence on “vampires”, but said the government was open to dialogue. It is the deadliest wave of unrest in Nicaragua since President Daniel Ortega came to office in 2007. It follows legislation that increased pension contributions for workers and employers and reduced overall benefits. The violence began on Wednesday, when pensioners took to the streets in the capital Managua. They were joined the next day by thousands of students and workers. At...

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Syria returns Assad award to France

Syria has returned to France the prestigious Legion d’honneur presented to President Bashar al-Assad, saying he would not wear the award of a country that was a “slave” to America. The move comes days after France said a “disciplinary procedure” for withdrawing the award was underway. France recently joined the US and Britain in bombing Syrian targets over an alleged chemical weapons attack. The award was returned to France via the Romanian embassy in Damascus. President Assad was decorated with the highest class of the award, the Grand Croix, in 2001 after he took power following the death of...

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C’wealth meeting: Spotlight on Queen’s successor

Reports say Commonwealth leaders will meet behind closed doors later to discuss whether the Prince of Wales should succeed his mother as head of the 53-nation body. On Thursday, the Queen endorsed Prince Charles as future leader at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Buckingham Palace. She said it was her “sincere wish” that he takes over “one day”. But the role is not hereditary and will not pass automatically to the Prince of Wales on the Queen’s death. The leaders are expected to approve the move when they meet at Windsor Castle, but there has been no confirmation...

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SA protests: Ramaphosa leaves C’wealth early

Reports say South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has cut short his attendance at the Commonwealth summit in London to deal with violent protests at home. Clashes have taken place in North West province where protesters are demanding jobs, housing and an end to corruption. Shops have been looted, roads barricaded and vehicles set alight. President Ramaphosa, who took office in February, has sought to encourage investment in South Africa during his visit to the UK. Protests in South Africa’s North West province erupted on Wednesday as demonstrators demanded the resignation of provincial Premier Supra Mahumapelo – a member of...

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Cuba has new leader

The Cuban government has selected First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the candidate to succeed President Raul Castro. President Castro will, however, remain head of the Communist Party. Diaz-Canel gained prominence in central Villa Clara province as the top Communist Party official, a post equivalent to governor. During his tenure, people described him as a hard-working, modest-living technocrat dedicated to improving public services. He became Higher Education Minister in 2009 before moving into the vice presidency. The first president outside the Castro family in nearly 60 years will be tasked with ensuring that the country’s system outlasts the aging...

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