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Congo opposition leader declares himself president as court upholds election result

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 08:54

Congo's political standoff deepend on Sunday after the top court backed the contested presidential election victory of Felix Tshisekedi, then his main rival rejected the ruling, called for protests and declared himself leader. As Mr Tshisekedi's supporters celebrated the ruling in the streets of Democratic Republic of Congo's capital, runner-up Martin Fayulu said the decision had opened the way to a “constitutional coup d'etat”, raising fears of more violence. Rwandan President Paul Kagame - the chair of the African Union which has said it has “serious concerns” about the vote and called for the results to be delayed - was due to arrive in Kinshasa with an AU delegation to discuss the crisis on Monday. Last month's delayed election was meant to mark the first democratic transfer of power in the vast central African country, where conflicts have regularly destabilised the region. Felix Tshisekedi, leader of Congolese main opposition party, the UDPS Credit:  BAZ RATNER But monitors pointed to major flaws in the poll. Unrest over the vote has already killed 34 people, wounded 59 and led to 241 “arbitrary arrests” in the past week, according to the U.N. human rights office. In the early hours of Sunday, the Constitutional Court ruled that a legal challenge to the result filed by Fayulu was inadmissible. “Felix Tshisekedi will become the fifth president of the republic,” government spokesman Lambert Mende said as he welcomed the judgement. Mr Fayulu issued statements dismissing the ruling. “The constitutional court has just confirmed that it serves a dictatorial regime ... by validating false results, (and enabling) a constitutional coup d'etat,” he said in one. “I am now considering myself as the sole legitimate President of the Democratic Republic of Congo,” he added in another statement. He called for people to mount peaceful demonstrations - though the streets of the capital were calm on Sunday afternoon. Mr Fayulu says Mr Tshisekedi and outgoing President Joseph Kabila made a deal to cheat him out of a more than 60-percent win - an accusation they both dismiss. The provisional results, announced on Jan. 10, showed Mr Tshisekedi winning with a slim margin over Fayulu. In a speech, Mr Tshisekedi welcomed the victory and said he would seek to mend divisions in the country. “This is the end of one fight and the start of another in which I will enlist all the Congolese people: a fight for well-being, for a Congo that wins,” he said. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), a bloc which includes South Africa and Angola, congratulated Tshisekedi and called for a peaceful transfer of power. “SADC calls upon all Congolese to accept the outcome, and consolidate democracy and maintain a peaceful and stable environment following the landmark elections,” it said. On Thursday, SADC eased pressure on Congolese authorities by backing off earlier calls for a recount. Independent monitors flagged major problems with the election, including faulty voting machines and polling stations where many were unable to vote. The Catholic Church, which had a 40,000-strong team of observers, denounced the provisional result. A tally from the church reviewed by Reuters from about 70 percent of polling stations suggested a victory of 62 percent for Mr Fayulu, a former Exxon Mobil country manager.  MrTshisekedi and Mr Ramazani were virtually neck-and-neck second place with 16.93 percent and 16.88 percent, respectively. Congo - which was ruled by kleptocratic dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for 32 years before tumbling into chaos and war in the late 1990s - is a vital source of copper and other metals, including cobalt.


Trump confuses weather with climate change again: 'Wouldn’t be bad to have a little good old fashioned Global Warming right now!'

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 08:46

Donald Trump has again confused weather with climate change, suggesting the US would benefit from “a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now” amid forecasts of snow and cold conditions. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. In November, Mr Trump conflated seasonal weather with climate change, suggesting chilly conditions meant global warming wasn’t real.


CBP says wall is key part of border security, but migrants say it wouldn't stop them

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 08:43

Martha Raddatz reports from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border on "This Week."


Syria says repels Israeli air attack, Israel says downs Golan rocket

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 08:43

BEIRUT/MOSCOW (Reuters) - Syrian military air defenses thwarted an Israeli attack on Sunday, shooting down seven missiles targeting an airport in southeastern Damascus, Russia's National Defense Control Center was cited by RIA news agency as saying. Syrian state media also reported the attack. "Our air defense systems thwarted ... an Israeli air aggression ... and prevented it from achieving any of its goals," a military source told state news agency SANA.


Why the stock market is headed for a swift recovery

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 07:01

Everywhere I look, people seek negatives and ignore positives. When that happens, better times lie ahead for the stock market.


Christian Schools Like Karen Pence's Are The Real Threat To Academic Freedom

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 07:00

Last week, the "second lady" of the United States, Karen Pence, went to work


May to Brief Cabinet on Where She Goes Next: Brexit Update

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 06:54

(Bloomberg) -- Theresa May is preparing to set out where Brexit goes next after the overwhelming rejection of her deal a week ago. She’s due to present a plan to Parliament on Monday, where members are already working on plans to take control of the process.


Coming Soon: Is Boeing's 'New' F-15X Fighter Really Joining the Air Force?

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 05:13

Brace yourselves: the Department of Defense is eyeing a brand new variant of the storied F-15 Eagle to rule the skies, the U.S. military’s first purchase of the storied aircraft in more than 15 years.


Families in Afghanistan's north seek shelter as Taliban ups pressure

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 04:01

By Abdul Matin Sahak MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan (Reuters) - Dozens of families displaced from their homes in the northern province of Sar-e Pul by Taliban pressure have arrived in the provincial capital, as the insurgents have tightened their grip around the city, residents and officials said.     Taliban fighters have been threatening oil fields around the city of Sar-e Pul as they have stepped up operations with the apparent aim of strengthening their position during peace talks with U.S. officials. ...


Saudi Crown Prince Shows a ‘Chilling’ Instability, Graham Says

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 03:10

The heir to Saudi Arabia’s monarchy, widely known as MBS, has so far largely dodged any reprisals against himself, with President Donald Trump opting in November to impose sanctions against 17 lower-level Saudis implicated in the murder following global outrage. “We have to deal with bad people, but we don’t have to have special relationships with bad people,” Graham told Bloomberg News.


One-pot pumpkin and chickpea stew

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 03:00

This works well with butternut squash, or parsnip – any of the hearty, fleshy winter gourds and root veg in season at the moment. It couldn't be easier to make – just throw everything in and leave it to cook. SERVES Four INGREDIENTS 400g pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced 1 red onion, finely sliced 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained 1 punnet of cherry tomatoes 1 garlic clove, crushed and chopped 1 tsp grated fresh ginger Juice and zest of 1 orange Pinch each of ground cumin, ground coriander and chilli flakes 200ml plain yogurt, seasoned Chopped coriander, to serve Toasted pitta bread, to serve METHOD Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6. Add all the ingredients, except the yogurt, coriander and pitta, to a large ovenproof dish. Season and mix well. Place in the hot oven and cook for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Check halfway through cooking that it is not drying out – add a dash of water if so. Remove from the oven and scatter over the chopped coriander. Serve with the seasoned yogurt and toasted pitta bread. Angela Hartnett's one-pot wonders


Two dead from heart attacks as strong quake jolts Chile

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 01:36

A strong 6.7-magnitude earthquake hit north-central Chile on Saturday, the US Geological Survey said, with police reporting the deaths of two people from heart attacks. The quake struck at a depth of 53 kilometers (33 miles) with an epicenter some 15 km southwest of Coquimbo, USGS said. An elderly man and an elderly woman from Coquimbo suffered cardiac arrests as a result of the quake, police said, while there were several landslides reported on national highways.


Australian rallies demand safe streets for women after Israeli student murder

Top Stories - Sun, 01/20/2019 - 00:52

Several thousand people marched through major Australia cities on Sunday calling for safety for women after an Israeli exchange student was murdered in Melbourne. The marches, part of the Women's March rallies held around the world in support of women's rights, gathered some 3,000 people in Sydney, who in their chants demanded safe streets for women in Australian cities. Aiia Maasarwe, 21, was killed when walking home after a night out with friends in Melbourne, Australia's second-largest city, earlier this week.


The Latest: Slick road leads to 15-vehicle Missouri pileup

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:59

DETROIT (AP) — The Latest on a winter storm in the Midwest and New England (all times local):


In Jerusalem's Old City, conflict means buyer and seller beware

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:50

In an alley in Jerusalem's Old City, a three-storey building has become a symbol of Palestinian fears they are losing precious ground in the historic area. Adeeb Joudeh al-Husseini says he did nothing wrong, but even his status as a member of one of Jerusalem's most prominent Palestinian families did not shield him from the blowback. The 55-year-old was accused of being behind the sale of the Mamluk-style building in the Old City's Muslim quarter to Israeli settlers -- something most Palestinians consider treason.


Coffee clash brewing in China: startup Luckin takes on Starbucks

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:40

When Starbucks came to China two decades ago it promised to open a new store every 15 hours. Now a homegrown rival, Luckin Coffee, plans to build a high tech-driven shop every three and a half hours to dethrone the US giant. The Chinese upstart is burning through millions of dollars to lure customers with steep discounts, challenging Starbucks' dominance by targeting office workers and students who prefer to have their java on-the-go or delivered to their doorstep.


Woman fabricates attempted kidnapping story to Long Island police to cover up how baby was injured

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:35

Police on Long Island said a woman fabricated a story about an attempted kidnapping in order to cover up how her 1-year-old son was injured.


Winter storm to hit U.S. northeast with up to two feet of snow

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 22:35

The Weather Service issued winter storm warnings or advisories for a swath of the eastern United States that is home to 100 million people, said meteorologist Rich Otto of the U.S. Weather Prediction Center. The storm system, which was moving from west to east and was strengthened by arctic air from Canada, hit many parts of the Midwest on Friday, according to the National Weather Service. In Chicago, where some neighborhoods received 8 inches (20 cm) of snow, a third of flights were canceled at the city's two main airports, said Mark Duell, vice president of operations for tracking firm FlightAware.


Trump offers a deal on immigration and shutdown, and it hits a wall

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 21:46

On Day 29 of the government shutdown, President Trump promised he would “break the logjam and provide Congress with a path forward," but based on the reaction from Democrats, his proposal fell on deaf ears.


2 dead after 6.7 magnitude earthquake hits Chile's coast

Top Stories - Sat, 01/19/2019 - 21:36

Damage has been reported after a strong magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck near Coquimbo in central Chile, prompting a tsunami warning that was canceled a short time later, officials say.


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