Monday, December 18, 2017
News Roundup

Bangladesh's ruling party leads after violent vote

Bangladesh

Ruling party leads after violent vote

Bangladesh's ruling Awami League party was leading today with 232 seats in a national election marred by violence and boycotted by the opposition amid concerns by the international community that the process was deeply flawed.

The Election Commission had not provided official results, but preliminary results reaching the commission showed that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's party won 105 seats among 147 constituencies in voting on Sunday, when at least 18 people were killed in election-related violence.

Hasina's refusal to heed opposition demands to step down and appoint a neutral caretaker to oversee the election led to the boycott, undermining the legitimacy of the vote. Opposition activists have staged attacks, strikes and transportation blockades in unrest that has left at least 293 people dead since last year.

The opposition boycott means that elections for 153 other seats went uncontested, with Awami League taking 127 seats.

The results mean Hasina will face no problem to forming the next government as only 151 seats are needed for a majority to form a new government.

China

14 killed in stampede at religious ceremony

Fourteen people were trampled to death in northwest China on Sunday as a crowd rushed to take offerings of traditional fried flat bread, the official news agency Xinhua reported today.

The stampede occurred outside the Beida Mosque in Xiji county, a part of China dominated by members of the Hui ethnic group, a Muslim people who share some traits and cultural links with the country's Han Chinese majority. Residents were commemorating a religious figure associated with the mosque, Xinhua said.

Washington

MSNBC host's apology accepted by Romney

Mitt Romney said Sunday that he has accepted an apology from an MSNBC host who joked about a Christmas picture that included the 2012 Republican presidential nominee's adopted, African-American grandson.

Romney told Fox News Sunday that he sees Melissa Harris-Perry's apology as sincere and is ready to move on. He said everyone makes mistakes and the Romney family has forgiven MSNBC.

Harris-Perry said her intention was to celebrate diversity, but the segment took an offensive turn.

Honolulu

Michelle Obama extends her vacation

When President Barack Obama departed Hawaii on Saturday evening he left behind one notable thing — his wife, Michelle.

Michelle Obama will be staying on Oahu for several days to spend time with friends in advance of her forthcoming 50th birthday. The extended visit to the Obamas' annual tropical getaway is part of the president's birthday gift to his wife, who turns 50 on Jan. 17.

The Obamas' daughters, Sasha and Malia, joined Barack Obama on the Air Force One flight back to Washington.

Elsewhere

Ethiopia: Two warring factions from South Sudan held direct peace talks in Ethiopia on Sunday for the first time since conflict began roiling the country last month, sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing for safety.

Israel: About 10,000 African migrants marched in Israel's financial center of Tel Aviv on Sunday and gathered in front of City Hall in their largest demonstration yet to demand work rights and better treatment from the Israeli government.

Times wires

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