Latvians vote to dissolve Parliament
Latvians voted to sack their Parliament in a historic referendum Saturday as the recession-weary country attempts to dismantle a culture of graft existing between politics and business. With more than 57 percent of ballots counted, 94.8 percent of voters supported the legislature's dissolution, according to Central Election Commission data, setting the stage for a snap parliamentary election in September. Only a simple majority was needed to sack Parliament, regardless of voter turnout. Commission data showed that less than 45 percent of registered voters participated. It was the first such referendum since the Baltic country broke away from the Soviet Union 20 years ago.
Protesters blocked from military offices
Groups of men armed with knives and sticks attacked thousands of protesters trying to march to the headquarters of Egypt's military rulers on Saturday, setting off fierce street clashes and leaving more than 100 injured, most lightly. Security fired tear gas to disperse the crowd. The clashes come as tensions mount between the military council that took control of the country after a popular uprising ousted President Hosni Mubarak and activists who want the council to move faster in bringing former regime officials to justice and setting a date for the transition to civilian rule.
Opposition says president must go
Senegal's opposition went ahead with a protest Saturday and thousands poured into a square to call for the resignation of the country's octogenarian president, skirting a ban on demonstrations. They amassed just outside Dakar's downtown to demand the departure of 85-year-old President Abdoulaye Wade, who is attempting to run for a third term.
Fugitive returned from Canada after decade
In a closely watched case that could affect Chinese citizens in other Western countries, state security officials arrested China's most-wanted fugitive Saturday after Canadian authorities deported him, ending more than a decade of attempts to escape imprisonment in China. The former fugitive, Lai Changxing, 53, is accused of overseeing a smuggling ring from Xiamen, a coastal city opposite Taiwan, that netted as much as $10 billion before he fled China in August 1999. Lai's 11-year legal battle to remain in Canada has long soured the two nations' diplomatic relations. But on Thursday, a Canadian federal court ruled against Lai.
Protest marchers converge on Madrid
Several hundred Spaniards angry about their country's economic crisis protested on the outskirts of Madrid on Saturday after spending about a month marching to the capital from their hometowns. The marchers set off from Barcelona and Bilbao in the north, Valencia in the east and Cadiz in the southwest on June 25. En route, they were joined by others angry about Spain's economic woes, including high unemployment, and what they see as their government's inept handling of the crisis. Marchers are due to converge for a rally today.
Former Vietnamese leader dies at 80
Nguyen Cao Ky, the flamboyant former South Vietnamese air force commander who served for two years as his country's wartime leader, then fled to the United States when Saigon fell to the Communists, died on Saturday (July 23, 2011) at 80. He died at a hospital in Kuala Lumpur, where he was being treated for a respiratory infection, a nephew said. In 2004 he became the highest-ranking former South Vietnamese official to return to Vietnam, at the invitation of the government.