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Ex-finance chief leads early vote for president in Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Ex-finance chief leads early vote for president

Former Finance Minister Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is leading his rival, former Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah, in a presidential runoff that would mark Afghanistan's first transfer of power through the ballot, according to preliminary results released Monday. The Independent Election Commission said Ahmadzai had 56 percent of the vote, while Abdullah won 43 percent. The tallies are not final, however, pending an investigation of nearly 2,000 polling stations suspected of registering fraudulent ballots, the commission said. Abdullah has said he will not recognize the results, accusing election officials of vote-rigging in favor of Ahmadzai in the June 14 runoff.

Japan

Nation braces for powerful typhoon

A powerful typhoon pounded across the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa today, as residents took refuge from destructive winds, towering waves and storm surges. Airports closed and residents were evacuated from low-lying areas and shorelines as Typhoon Neoguri passed over Okinawa, packing sustained winds of 108 mph and gusts up to 154 mph, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. It said the storm could be one of the strongest to hit Japan in decades.

Chicago

14 killed, dozens hurt in shootings

Extra police officers on Chicago's streets were not enough to quell a long weekend of violence that ended with 14 people shot to death and dozens more injured. During a Monday news conference, police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said his department's best efforts could not prevent the bloodshed that spiked dramatically on Sunday. Chicago recorded 53 shooting incidents for the holiday weekend.

Santa Clarita, Calif.

Roller coaster accident hurts 4

A roller coaster derailed Monday at the Six Flags Magic Mountain amusement park, slightly injuring four people and leaving about two dozen stranded about 20 feet in the air, authorities said. The Ninja coaster struck a tree branch about 6 p.m. and stopped, said Michael Pittman, a Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatch supervisor.

Elsewhere

Washington: Bahrain announced Monday that it was expelling a top State Department official for meddling in its affairs, sharpening tensions between the Obama administration and a strategically important Persian Gulf ally.

Nigeria: More than 60 Nigerian girls and women abducted two weeks ago by Islamic extremists have escaped, officials said Monday, though more than 200 girls kidnapped in April still remain missing.

Times wires

Ex-finance chief leads early vote for president in Afghanistan 07/07/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, July 8, 2014 12:06am]

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