Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma said yesterday that the Supreme Court's ruling calling for a repeat presidential runoff must be fulfilled, and said he was ready to form a new government after lawmakers pass changes in Ukraine's Constitution, his spokeswoman said. \nKuchma has been pushing for changes to the Constitution that would weaken the presidency and strengthen parliament, a move that observers see as an effort to hang onto power in case opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko wins the presidency. \nParliament on Saturday broke off a session and adjourned for 10 days after opposition lawmakers refused to link electoral reform -- designed to combat fraud -- with changes to the constitution. \nUkraine's Supreme Court on Friday invalidated the result of the Nov. 21 presidential runoff election and ordered a repeat vote on Dec. 26. Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych had been declared the official winner, but Yushchenko complained he was robbed of victory and many Western nations refused to recognize the results. \nKuchma also said he was prepared to compromise in reforming the 15-member Central Election Commission, said his spokeswoman, Olena Hromnytska. \nYanukovych remained out of sight. An ally of Yanukovych said on Monday that the prime minister had the flu and was taking a day or two to recover. Yanukovych was also helping prepare for the campaign, the politician said on condition of anonymity. \nYushchenko has pushed for quick passage of the election legislation and called on supporters to continue their siege of official buildings until parliament passes the reforms. \nHe has called for amendments to election law that ban voting by absentee ballots and voting in people's homes, which he said was used by Yanukovych supporters to rig the Nov. 21 vote. The changes must also ensure opposition supporters are represented on election commissions across the nation, he said on Sunday. \nOrange-clad, pro-Yushchenko protesters who have been blocking entrances to the Cabinet offices for more than a week braced themselves for a counter-picket of government employees announced earlier by Deputy Prime Minister Andriy Klyuev. \n"They can picket as long as they want. We will never let them through until we win," said Yuriy Bohuslavsky, a protester from the western city of Rivne. \nYushchenko told throngs of chanting supporters who gathered at Kiev's main square Sunday evening that "the entire world is proud of Ukraine." \n"We are witnessing a struggle between forces of good and forces of evil," he said. \nYushchenko said little about his campaign proposals, but repeated accusations that Kuchma had blocked key electoral changes through his loyalists in parliament. \nHe demanded a parliamentary session that would resolve issues key for "a fair, transparent and democratic vote on Dec. 26." \nMeanwhile, his fiery ally, Yuliya Tymoshenko, said on Sunday that she wants to be prime minister in a new Yushchenko government. \n"I know that if this power will be in my hands, then the people will know that they can expect results from me," she said.
RALLYING A DEFENSE: Former envoys wrote an op-ed piece defending Anna Lindstedt, who was removed for attempting to free Swedish book publisher Gui Minhai in China Sweden’s former ambassador to Beijing goes on trial in Stockholm on Friday for allegedly overstepping her mandate by trying to negotiate the release of a Chinese-Swedish dissident held in China. Anna Lindstedt is accused of brokering an unauthorized meeting during her time as ambassador to free publisher Gui Minhai (桂民海). Lindstedt — a veteran envoy who had previously represented Sweden in both Vietnam and Mexico, and acted as Sweden’s chief negotiator at the 2015 climate summit in Paris — has denied the charges. Gui, a Chinese-born Swedish citizen known for publishing gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders out of a Hong Kong book
‘SACRIFICED’: Hu Weifeng became the sixth doctor to die from COVID-19 at Wuhan Central Hospital, where calls to raise the alarm over the virus were suppressed The death of a Chinese doctor at Wuhan’s “whistle-blower hospital” has prompted a wave of anger at hospital authorities for not protecting front-line health workers in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak. Hu Weifeng (胡衛鋒), 42, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital where the whistle-blower ophthalmologist Li Wenliang (李文亮) worked, died of the virus on Tuesday after a four-month battle. Hu is the sixth doctor from his hospital killed by the virus. Another doctor who spoke out, Ai Fen (艾芬), said that authorities told hospital staff not to wear protective gear so as not to cause panic and reprimanded her for “harming
‘LEAST WE CAN DO’: The gesture was made famous by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who was protesting police brutality that targeted minorities They are images that surprised and moved Americans: police officers taking a knee alongside protesters in the most widespread civil unrest to rock the US in decades — and in doing so embracing an anti-racism gesture denounced by US President Donald Trump. As Trump pushes for a crackdown on often-violent protests over the death of George Floyd, police officers from New York to Los Angeles to Houston, Texas, are making gestures of solidarity with demonstrators incensed at the latest case of an unarmed black man dying while in police custody. “I took off the helmet and laid the batons down. Where do
From boiled catfish soup to spicy fried frog, an eight-year-old in pyjamas and a chef’s hat is delighting Myanmar with her culinary prowess in a nation still being told to stay at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Moe Myint May Thu’s mother posted a video online at the end of April showing off her daughter’s skills as the youngster threw together some spicy fried prawns. With her wide, gap-toothed grin, the video has bounced across social media and brought stardom to the child along with an online moniker: “Little Chef.” She now sells dishes to order and is counting the dividends. “I just