The Latest: No arrests after Maldives' elections-eve raid

Party officials say no arrests have been made Sunday after an elections-eve raid of the presidential opposition candidate's main campaign office in Male.

A warrant for the raid obtained by The Associated Press cited police intelligence of possible vote-buying at the campaign office. The presidential candidate, Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, was not in the office during the hours-long raid.

The raid has cast a pall over Sunday's elections, widely seen as a referendum on the island nation's young democracy.

The opposition says it bolsters fears that the vote will be rigged in favor of the Maldives' strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom.

Both Gayoom and Solih voted in Male shortly after polls opened Sunday morning.

The polls close at 4 p.m. and election officials say results are expected after 10 p.m.

Voting has started in the Maldives in a presidential election that is widely seen as a referendum on the island nation's young democracy.

President Yameen Abdul Gayoom cast his ballot in the capital, Male, about 40 minutes after polls opened. Huge crowds flocked to closely guarded polling stations.

Gayoom has been criticized for cracking down on freedoms. He used his first term to consolidate power, jailing opponents, including his half brother, a former president, and two Supreme Court Justices, or forcing them into exile and asserting control over the courts.

Police raided the opposition presidential candidate's main campaign office on Saturday evening, citing a warrant to search for evidence of vote-buying.

Members of the opposition decried the raid, saying the election could be rigged in favor of Gayoom.

 

September 23, 2018

Sources: ABC News

Related news

  • Orban launches £18 million BATTLE against EU - ‘This is a political attack’

    Orban launches £18 million BATTLE against EU - ‘This is a political attack’

    gary for alleged breaches of democratic values.</p><p>MEPs voted to start infringement after a European Parliament report concluded government clampdowns on judicial independence, freedom of expression, minority rights and NGO activities constituted a &ldquo;systematic risk&rdquo; to fundamental EU values.</p><p>But Mr Orban is countering the launch of the so-called Article 7 sanction mechanism by claiming it is an act of revenge by a liberal European elite trying to punish a eurosceptic Hungary and its hardline stance against immigration.</p><p>The prime minister&rsquo;s spokesman Zoltan Kov&aacute;cs said: &ldquo;You have to recognise what is going on. This is a political attack.</p><p>&ldquo;It is not on the government &mdash; we all know it is on the country.&rdquo;</p><p>The nationalist leader is going to launch an informal referendum by post on family policy and government efforts to raise Hungary&rsquo;s low fertility rate.</p><p>Mr Orban has held similar polls before, including one to stop civil society groups funded by billionaire George Soros.</p><p>Another example was on its hardline immigration stance which Mr Kov&aacute;cs said elicited 3.1million replies for an electorate of 8.2m people.</p><p>But critics say the consultations are propaganda tools for the government which already exercises tight control of the media.</p><p>One western diplomat said they are &ldquo;bullshit&rdquo; and full of &ldquo;rigged questions&rdquo;.</p><p>Mr Orban is using the population decline to suit his political narrative.</p><p>He told Hungarian radio: &ldquo;In the European Union they simply solve this problem by saying that demography is a science of numbers, and that there is a shortage of people. &lsquo;Let us replace them with people from elsewhere&rsquo;.</p><p>&ldquo;What we can say is that we do not want numbers: we want Hungarians. We want as many children as possible to be born, and for that we need families. And for each family, if possible, we need a mother and a father &mdash; a man and a woman.&rdquo;</p><p>But some activists suspect the proposed consultation will be used to mobilise public opinion behind curbs on abortion or same-sex marriage.</p><p>Gay marriage is already prohibited under constitutional amendments which were passed in 2011 by Mr Orban&rsquo;s government.</p><p> See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, order back issues and use the historic Daily Express newspaper archive. </p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  •  Indian minister accused of sexual harassment steps down

    Indian minister accused of sexual harassment steps down

    signed Wednesday amid accusations by 20 women of sexual harassment during his previous career as one of the country's most prominent news editors, becoming the most powerful man to fall in India's burgeoning #MeToo movement.</p><p> Akbar said in a statement that he would "challenge false accusations" in a personal capacity, referring to a criminal case he filed Monday against the first woman to accuse him.</p><p> Akbar, 67, first served as a lawmaker for India's then-ruling India National Congress party between 1989 and 1991. He then edited The Telegraph, The Asian Age and other newspapers and wrote several books of nonfiction, becoming one of the most influential people in the Indian news media.</p><p> Akbar maintained a low profile after joining India's Ministry of External Affairs in July 2016 as its junior minister, representing India overseas at multinational conferences.</p><p> On Wednesday he thanked Modi, who had remained silent about the allegations, for the opportunity to serve in public office.</p><p> In India's deeply conservative society, the #MeToo movement began belatedly but has picked up steam in recent weeks. Since September, Indian actresses and writers have flooded social media with allegations of sexual harassment and assault by their superiors and colleagues.</p><p> Other women in media have alleged that Akbar interviewed job candidates in hotel rooms at night; groped, massaged and forcibly kissed young interns and employees; and offered young women choice out-of-town postings so that he could go visit them there.</p><p> On Sunday, returning from an official visit to West Africa, Akbar denied the allegations as "false, baseless and wild."</p><p> The following day, dozens of members of the Congress Party's youth wing clashed with police outside Akbar's New Delhi home, demanding his resignation.</p><p> Akbar then filed a criminal case against Ramani and released a statement in which he questioned his accusers' motives.</p><p> "Why has this storm risen a few months before a general election," he asked.</p><p> Modi is hoping to remain in power in elections due early next year.</p><p> On Tuesday, 20 women signed a statement asking the court hearing Akbar's case against Ramani to allow them to give their own testimonies against him.</p><p> Ramini wrote on Twitter on Wednesday: "As women we feel vindicated by MJ Akbar's resignation. I look forward to the day when I will also get justice in court #MeToo"</p><p> Arti Jerath, a journalist and political commentator who is not among Akbar's accusers, said his resignation should have come earlier.</p><p> "The fact that he chose to brazen it out, he became an embarrassment to himself and an embarrassment to the government," she said. "I am glad that he is finally gone."</p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • Cop in tense exchange with boys carrying BB gun: &apos;Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old?&apos;

    Cop in tense exchange with boys carrying BB gun: &apos;Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old?&apos;

    Ohio, police officer lectures two young boys in a roadside stop about the danger of them carrying around a realistic BB-gun, saying he could have killed them.</p><p>Officer Peter Casuccio came upon the boys on the sidewalk in Columbus on Saturday in response to a call about two young black males carrying a gun.</p><p>The boys, clearly chastened during the stern exchange, lean against a bridge guardrail while Casuccio explains how the encounter could have ended in disaster.</p><p>On the tape, released Tuesday by the Columbus police department, one of the boys says he hadn't been showing anyone the gun, he was only holding it.</p><p>"You can't do that dude, in today's world," Casuccio says. "Listen, that thing looks real."</p><p>In 2016, another Columbus police officer responding to reports of a robbery at gunpoint, killed a 13-year-old boy who drew what turned out to be a BB  gun with a laser site.</p><p>As the boys apologize, Casuccio asks their age. One boys says he is 11 and the other 13.</p><p>"Do you think I want to shoot an 11-year-old? Do you think I want to shoot a 13-year-old?" Casuccio asks them. The boys reply, "No, sir."</p><p>"Do I honestly look like the type of dude that wants to shoot anybody?" he asks. Again, the boys reply, "No, sir." </p><p>"But do I look like the type of dude that would shoot somebody?" he asks.</p><p> Casuccio, who tells them he had overseas served in the military, says he prides himself on being a "pretty bad hombre. Because I got to be." Then he warns: "Don't make me."</p><p>The video includes an exchange later between the officer and the mother of one of the boys.</p><p>Casuccio tells her that when he pulled up and saw one of them with the gun, "I'm not going to lie to you, doing cop stuff, I drew up on them."</p><p>The officer tells the mother that her son "freaks out" and starts to pull the BB gun out of his waistband.</p><p>"He could've shot you for that, you know that?" the mother is heard telling her son. Casuccio says that when the gun fell, he realized for the first time that it was just a BB gun.</p><p>"Regardless of what people say about the dudes wearing this uniform, we care, we legitimately care," Casuccio tells the boys. </p><p>"The last thing I ever want to do is shoot an 11-year-old, man. Because your life hasn't even gotten started yet. And it could've ended. Because I wouldn't have missed," Casuccio tells the boy.</p><p>"I could've killed you. I want you to think about that tonight when you go to bed. You could be gone. Everything you want to do in this life could've been over," he says.</p><p>Later, the boy, accompanied by is mother, tells CBS News that he regrets carrying the gun.</p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • &apos;Friends&apos; forever! Courteney Cox would &apos;do anything&apos; to act with the former cast

    &apos;Friends&apos; forever! Courteney Cox would &apos;do anything&apos; to act with the former cast

    r neck fantastic"?</p><p>Courteney Cox, who embodied the neat freak, yet "breezy" Monica Geller for ten seasons on "Friends," says she would love to reunite with her co-stars, but predicts it'll never happen.</p><p>“People ask us all the time, ‘Will we ever do a remake?’ " Cox, 54, told People Magazine at an event in New York Monday. "That was a story about these group of people that are friends in their 30s who are finding themselves. I don’t know if there’s a way to redo it.”</p><p>“I just don’t see it happening," Cox reiterated to the outlet. "Even though I would do anything to be in a room with all of those people acting and having a great time. But I don’t see it happening.”</p><p>The former "Cougar Town" star isn't the only "Friends" cast member to address the topic of reboots. </p><p>For InStyle's September issue, Jennifer Aniston shared that she and Cox, along with their former co-star Lisa Kudrow "talk about" a reboot.</p><p>"I fantasize about it," she admitted. "It really was the greatest job I ever had ... I know Matt LeBlanc doesn’t want to be asked that question anymore. But maybe we could talk him into it. Or we just give it some time and then Lisa, Courteney, and I could reboot 'The Golden Girls' and spend our last years together on wicker furniture."</p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • Russia says more than a dozen killed by bomb at Crimean school

    Russia says more than a dozen killed by bomb at Crimean school

    sion.</p><p>MOSCOW — Russian officials said an explosive device killed at least 13 people and injured at least 50 others Wednesday at a vocational college in Crimea and called it a possible terrorist attack.</p><p>Yet Russian news media reported that at least some of the victims died in an attack by an unidentified gunman or gunmen. Russian officials wouldn’t confirm those reports.</p><p>Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism Committee said the blast at the college in the city of Kerch in eastern Crimea was caused by an unidentified explosive device. Emergency officials initially had said the blast was caused by a gas explosion.</p><p>Sergei Melikov, a deputy chief of the Russian National Guard, said the explosive device was homemade. Russia’s Investigative Committee, the nation’s top investigative agency, said the device that went off at the college’s canteen was rigged with shrapnel.</p><p>The committee’s spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, said 13 people were killed and about 50 were injured. Most of the victims were students.</p><p>Explosives experts were inspecting the college building for other possible bombs, according to Anti-Terrorism Committee spokesman Andrei Przhezdomsky.</p><p>Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters that officials are looking into a possible terrorist attack. He did not elaborate. Peskov said Putin has instructed investigators and intelligence agencies to conduct a thorough probe and offered condolences to the families of the victims.</p><p>Olga Grebennikova, director of the vocational college in Kerch, told KerchNet TV that men armed with automatic rifles burst into the college and “killed everyone they saw.” She said students and staff were among victims.</p><p>The Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper quoted student Semyon Gavrilov, who said he fell asleep during a lecture and woke up to the sound of shooting. He said he looked out and saw a young man with a rifle shooting at people.</p><p>“I locked the door, hoping he wouldn’t hear me,” the paper quoted Gavrilov as saying.</p><p>He said police arrived about 10 minutes later to evacuate people from the college and he saw dead bodies on the floor and charred walls.</p><p>The head of Crimea, Sergei Aksyonov, and Russia’s Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova headed to the area to coordinate assistance to the injured. Military units were deployed around the college.</p><p>Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, a move that triggered Western sanctions. Russia has also supported separatists fighting the Ukrainian government in eastern Ukraine, a conflict that has left at least 10,000 people dead since 2014.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • State trooper shot and killed during traffic stop

    State trooper shot and killed during traffic stop

    sion.</p><p>WHITEVILLE, N.C. — A North Carolina state trooper has been shot and killed, and a suspect is in custody.</p><p>State highway patrol spokesman Michael Baker says the suspect fired several shots as the trooper approached his vehicle during a traffic stop around 12:15 a.m. Wednesday. He died at a local hospital.</p><p>Baker says the suspect fled to Fair Bluff, where he was pursued by police until his vehicle became disabled on railroad tracks. The suspect fled on foot and was taken into custody around 4 a.m.</p><p>The identities of the trooper and suspect weren&#8217;t immediately released.</p><p>The trooper was shot on U.S. 701 near Whiteville, in southeastern North Carolina. Fair Bluff is around 20 miles west of Fair Bluff, close to the South Carolina state line.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • Canada legalizes marijuana, will pardon some possession convictions

    Canada legalizes marijuana, will pardon some possession convictions

    sion.</p><p>TORONTO — Ian Power was among the first to buy legal recreational marijuana in Canada but he has no plans to smoke it. He plans to frame it.</p><p>Canada became the largest country with a legal national marijuana marketplace as sales began early Wednesday in Newfoundland. Power was first in line at a store in St. John&#8217;s, Newfoundland.</p><p>&#8220;I am going to frame it and hang it on my wall. I&#8217;m not even going to smoke it. I&#8217;m just going to save it forever,&#8221; Power said.</p><p>And there was more good news for pot aficionados: Hours before a handful of retail outlets opened in the country&#8217;s easternmost province a federal official told The Associated Press that Canada will pardon all those with convictions for possessing up to 30 grams of marijuana, the now-legal threshold.</p><p>A formal announcement was planned for later Wednesday. The official, who was not authorized to speak public ahead of the announcement, said those who want to take advantage of the pardons will have to apply.</p><p>Uruguay was first was the first country to legalize marijuana.</p><p>In St. John&#8217;s, Newfoundland, hundreds of customers were lined up around the block at the private store on Water Street, the main commercial drag in the provincial capital, by the time the clock struck midnight. A festive atmosphere broke out, with some customers lighting up on the sidewalk and motorists honking their horns in support as they drove by the crowd.</p><p>&#8220;Prohibition has ended right now. We just made history,&#8221; said the 46-year-old Power, who bought a gram. &#8220;I can&#8217;t believe we did it. All the years of activism paid off. Cannabis is legal in Canada and everyone should come to Canada and enjoy our cannabis.&#8221;</p><p>Tom Clarke, an illegal pot dealer for three decades, was among the first to make a legal sale in Canada when his store opened at midnight local time in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland. He made the first sale to his dad. A crowd of 50 to 100 people waited outside and cheered him.</p><p>&#8220;This is awesome. I&#8217;ve been waiting my whole life for this,&#8221; Clarke said. &#8220;I am so happy to be living in Canada right now instead of south of the border.&#8221;</p><p>Clarke, whose middle name is Herb, has been called THC for years by his friends. His dad, Don, said he was thrilled he was among the first customers of legal pot.</p><p>&#8220;It&#8217;s been a long time coming. We&#8217;ve only been discussing this for 50 years. It&#8217;s better late than never,&#8221; he said.</p><p>The Newfoundland stores are among at least 111 legal pot shops expected to open across the nation of 37 million people on Wednesday, with many more to come, according to an Associated Press survey of the provinces.</p><p>Canadians also can order marijuana products through websites run by provinces or private retailers and have it delivered to their homes by mail.</p><p>Alberta and Quebec have set the minimum age for purchase at 18, while others have made it 19.</p><p>No stores will open in Ontario, which includes Toronto. The most populous province is working on its regulations and doesn&#8217;t expect stores until next spring.</p><p>Ryan Bose, 48, a Lyft driver in Toronto, said it&#8217;s about time.</p><p>&#8220;Alcohol took my grandfather and it took his youngest son, and weed has taken no one from me ever,&#8221; he said.</p><p>A patchwork of regulations has spread in Canada as each province takes its own approach within the framework set out by the federal government. Some are operating government-run stores, some are allowing private retailers, some both.</p><p>Canada&#8217;s national approach has allowed for unfettered industry banking, inter-province shipments of cannabis and billions of dollars in investment — a sharp contrast with national prohibition in the United States.</p><p>Nine U.S. states have legalized recreational use of pot, and more than 30 have approved medical marijuana. California, the largest legal market in the U.S., earlier this month became the first state with a law mandating expungement of criminal convictions for marijuana-related offenses that no are longer illegal.</p><p>Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said it&#8217;s time for the U.S. government to follow Canada&#8217;s lead.</p><p>&#8220;Now that our neighbor to the north is opening its legal cannabis market, the longer we delay, the longer we miss out on potentially significant economic opportunities for Oregon and other states across the country,&#8221; he said in a statement.</p><p>U.S. Customs and Border Protection invited Canadian media to a conference call on Tuesday so officials could reiterate that marijuana remains illegal under U.S. federal law and that those who are caught at the border with pot are subject to arrest and prosecution.</p><p>As Canada welcomes legalization, supply shortages could develop, as happened in some U.S. states when legalization arrived.</p><p>Trevor Fencott, chief executive of Fire and Flower, said his company has 15 Alberta stores staffed and ready to sell marijuana, but the province has supplied only enough product to open three of them Wednesday.</p><p>&#8220;We&#8217;re aware of some of the kinks or growing pains that come with creating an industry out of whole cloth in 24 months,&#8221; Fencott said.</p><p>Brenda Tobin and her son Trevor plan to open their pot shop in Labrador City in Newfoundland and Labrador at 4:20 p.m. Wednesday — 420 is slang for the consumption of cannabis. Tobin, a longtime convenience store owner, said they will be cutting a ribbon and cake.</p><p>She doesn&#8217;t expect to make much money off the pot itself, noting Newfoundland&#8217;s 8 percent cap on retail pot profits. She hopes to make money from pipes, bongs and marijuana paraphernalia.</p><p>&#8220;There&#8217;s no money in the product itself,&#8221; she said. &#8220;You got to sell $250,000 worth of product in order to make $20,000. That&#8217;s not even paying someone&#8217;s salary.&#8221;</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • Wife kills self, kids after husband faked his death for insurance payout

    Wife kills self, kids after husband faked his death for insurance payout

    sion.</p><p>A grief-stricken woman killed herself after her debt-ridden hubby faked his own death for the insurance windfall.</p><p>He then drove a borrowed car into a river so his family would be able to claim the insurance, authorities said.</p><p>Thinking that He was dead, his wife, Dai Guihua, 31, left a note on social media site WeChat on Wednesday and disappeared with their son and daughter, aged 4 and 2, sparking a search by police.</p><p>Their bodies were recovered the following day from a lake near their home in Langtang township. Police have ruled out murder, local officials said.</p><p>In her 1,000-word note, the homemaker wrote that after her husband went missing, she faced mounting family pressures and lost the will to live.</p><p>She also wrote that He’s family complained that she spent too much cash and suffered from mental illness.</p><p>“I wanted to leave by myself, but thinking that my children would suffer without both their parents, I decided to take them with me,” wrote Dai, who had lost her own parents when she was young.</p><p>Police said the man turned to insurance fraud because he was more than $14,000 in debt due to his daughter’s medical bills for epilepsy, as well as car loans.</p><p>In a video posted by the WeChat public account, Xinhua Focus, he was shown kneeling and wailing for his wife and kids.</p><p> News Corp. is a network of leading companies in the world of diversified media, news, and information services. </p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • Bomb at Crimea College Kills 13 and Injures 50, Russia Says

    Bomb at Crimea College Kills 13 and Injures 50, Russia Says

    detonated on Wednesday at a technical college in the small town of Kerch on the Crimean peninsula, killing at least 13 people and injuring 50, Russia’s National Anti-Terrorism committee reported.</p><p>“An unidentified bomb has exploded in Kerch,” said Andrei Przhezdomsky, the spokesman for the committee. Television pictures from the site of the explosion, Kerch Polytechnic College, showed it swarming with ambulances to transport the wounded to the hospital.</p><p>Dmitri S. Peskov, the spokesman for President Vladimir V. Putin, confirmed the explosion and said it was being investigated as a possible terrorist attack.</p><p>The bomb exploded in the school’s cafeteria, said the committee’s spokeswoman, Svetlana Petrenko, who added that most of the victims were students.</p><p>In the process of suppressing the critics, Russia meted out lengthy jail sentences to some arrested on terrorism charges and drove many others to seek refuge in neighboring Ukraine.</p><p>The explosion also comes at a time of heightened tension between Russia and Ukraine over Kiev’s effort to create an independent Ukrainian Orthodox Church after more than 300 years under the dominion of the Russian Orthodox Church.</p>

    1 October 17, 2018
  • China Imposes Record Fine on Vaccine Maker Over Safety Scandal

    China Imposes Record Fine on Vaccine Maker Over Safety Scandal

    billion fine on the company responsible for faulty vaccines given to hundreds of thousands of children, sending its strongest signal yet of a stricter legal environment for the scandal-prone industry.</p><p>“The government is imposing this heavy punishment to build effective order,” said Wang Yuedan, professor of immunology at Peking University. “From now on, no one will dare to touch this high-voltage wire.”</p><p>The government also barred Gao Junfang, the company’s chairwoman, and 14 other executives from working in the vaccine industry. They are still under investigation and could face criminal penalties.</p><p>Chinese officials said late Tuesday that they had levied the fine against the Changchun Changsheng, which is based in the northeastern Chinese province of Jilin and whose shares trade in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. The penalty disclosed on Tuesday related specifically to the fabrication of data related to a rabies vaccine. The government did not disclose the number of doses or the number of people affected.</p><p>But the company’s vaccine scandal was much broader than rabies. Government investigators said in August that the company had also produced nearly 500,000 substandard doses of a vaccine for diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.</p><p>According to the government, Changchun Changsheng used expired vaccine materials, changed production batch numbers, and destroyed and fabricated production records. The company also destroyed a computer hard disk to cover up its illegal acts.</p><p>The state-run news agency Xinhua called the penalty “top-level punishment” and “the most stringent” decision ever imposed on a vaccine company.</p><p>“I’ve never heard of such a big fine,” said Shi Luwen, the head of the department of pharmaceutical administration at Peking University and an adviser to the government on health care. “It will give the people peace of mind about the ecological environment.”</p><p>According to a New York Times analysis of previous vaccine scandals in China, vaccine makers paid an average of $1.4 million in previous episodes.</p><p>Separately, Changchun Changsheng will payconsumers who were injected with their rabies vaccines compensation of $29,000 to $94,000 each, according to a joint statement released by four government agencies on Tuesday. The company said that it would set up a special compensation fund, according to a Tuesday filing to the Shenzhen stock exchange.</p><p>While the fine is likely to bring the current incarnation of Changchun Changsheng to an end, the company probably will not disappear forever. China needs a robust vaccine industry and is unlikely to fully close facilities that can help the country reach its health care ambitions.</p><p>“The state will not want to shut it down or completely eliminate it because of this matter,” said Mr. Wang, of Peking University. “This is not in line with the overall plan for our nation’s vaccine production.”</p><p>Li Jiang, the legal counsel for the China Food and Drug Administration, said Changchun Changsheng had engaged in “organized, persistent and harmful illegal activities.”</p><p>“It was a shocking and an extremely rare illegal case in the field of drug safety,” he was quoted by Xinhua as saying.</p><p>The fine was imposed by the China Food and Drug Administration and the Jilin Provincial Food and Drug Administration. Trading of Changchun Changsheng has been halted since Aug. 31, after the company failed to disclose its half-year earnings report in time.</p>

    1 October 17, 2018

Comments

Earn free bitcoin