World briefs – November 29

Nearly all the major candidates in Haiti’s presidential election have backed a statement calling for the cancellation of Sunday’s election.

Major candidates allege fraud in Haiti election

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Nearly all the major candidates in Haiti’s presidential election have backed a statement calling for the cancellation of Sunday’s election.

The statement read to a cheering crowd also calls for people to take to the streets to protest allegations of fraud.

Candidate Anne Marie Josette Bijou read the statement on behalf of 12 of the 19 candidates.

They accuse current President Rene Preval of favouring candidate Jude Celestin of his Unity party.

There are widespread reports of people unable to vote. Many have been told their names are not on voter lists.

It is not yet clear the problems are due to fraud or merely a result of disorganization following the January earthquake.

Hundreds protest, claiming fraud in Egypt election

CAIRO, Egypt — Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters are massed outside vote counting stations, scuffling with police and protesting alleged fraud in Egypt’s parliament elections.

The protests have arisen at several locations in the Mediterranean coastal city of Alexandria and Cairo after polls closed in Sunday’s voting.

In Alexandria, around 800 people chanted, “No to fraud,” outside a police station where ballots were brought, facing several hundred riot police as well as truckloads of civilians armed with long sticks. Brief scuffles broke out, though some Brotherhood supporters tried to pull their colleagues out of any fighting.

In another protest, several hundred Brotherhood supporters marched toward a Cairo counting centre.

Swiss approve plan to deport criminal foreigners

GENEVA — Swiss voters have approved a plan to automatically deport foreigners found guilty of committing serious crimes or benefit fraud.

Swiss national broadcaster SF1 says 52.9 per cent of voters backed the proposal put forward by the nationalist Swiss People’s Party, or SVP.

SF1 reports that 47.1 per cent voted against the plan.

The deportation proposal drew fire ahead of Sunday vote from legal experts who said it could breach offenders’ human rights.

Anti-racism groups also bemoaned that the SVP’s posters showing white sheep kicking black sheep off a Swiss flag played on stereotypical images of foreigners as criminals.

A government-backed counterproposal would have required case-by-case review by a judge before an individual is deported.

Rio police, troops claim victory after invading drug gang stronghold

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Rio police say they have taken control of a shantytown complex long held by traffickers after invading it backed by helicopters and armoured vehicles.

The head of Rio state’s military police says they encountered less resistance than expected and claimed victory over the hundreds of heavily armed gang members who were trapped inside the Alemao slum complex.

Mario Sergio Duarte said Sunday “we won. We brought freedom to the residents of Alemao.”

Officers on the ground were saying they had not completely taken over the complex, however, and that gunmen were still fighting back. The officers did not want to identify themselves because there are not authorize to speak to the media.

China calls for emergency meeting to discuss Korean situation

BEIJING — China’s nuclear envoy is calling for an emergency meeting of North Korean disarmament talks to discuss the tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Wu Dawei says chief negotiators at the six-nation nuclear talks are being asked to come to Beijing in early December for the emergency session.

He said in a statement Sunday that the international community, particularly members of the six-party talks, are deeply concerned about recent developments on the peninsula.

China was slow at first to react after ally North Korea pummeled a South Korean island with an artillery barrage on Tuesday, but has quickened its diplomatic intervention in recent days.

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