Mon, Oct 23, 2017 - Page 5 News List

World News Quick Take

Agencies

CZECH REPUBLIC

Babis wins, faces hurdle

Billionaire Andrej Babis hit his first obstacle to forming a new Cabinet after dominating Saturday’s parliamentary elections, with potential coalition partners rejecting joining him in government as long as he is facing criminal fraud charges. Babis, who promised to run the state like a business, fight Muslim immigration and oppose deeper integration with the EU, saw his ANO party won 29.6 percent of ballots, followed by the euro-skeptic Civic Democrats with 11.3 percent, and the anti-establishment Pirates and the anti-Muslim SPD. A month before the vote, he was charged with fraud. He has rejected the allegations, but his current coalition partners, the Social Democrats and the Christian Democrats, rejected joining him in power as long as the case remains open.

PHILIPPINES

Possible final firefight

Troops were locked in an intense urban firefight yesterday with the last remnants of a militant Muslim alliance, as the army sought to declare an end to the country’s biggest internal security crisis in years. An estimated 30 people, including militants and some of their family members, were battling to hold a fortified, two-story building next to Marawi’s Lake Lanao, and appeared ready to fight to the death, according to the deputy commander of the operation. Soldiers were using loudspeakers to urge them to surrender.

ITALY

Regional referendums held

Voters in the wealthy northern regions of Lombardy and Veneto yesterday headed to the polls to decide if they want to seek greater autonomy from Rome. While the twin referendums are non-binding, a resounding “yes” vote would give the presidents of the regions more leverage in negotiations for a greater share of tax revenue and to grab responsibility from Rome. They also want more powers in areas such as security, migration, education and the environment. Lombard President Roberto Maroni said he would be happy with a 34 percent turnout among the region’s 7.5 million voters, equal to the national turnout in a 2001 constitutional referendum. The Veneto autonomy drive dies if voter turnout is below 50 percent plus one of the region’s 3.5 million voters.

RUSSIA

Navalny released from jail

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny yesterday walked free after a 20-day jail term for organizing protests against Russian President Vladimir Putin. Navalny was released in a secret location in Moscow early yesterday to evade media attention. “Hi. I’m out,” he wrote on Instagram, posting a picture of himself on a street. A photographer working for his team later posted photographs of him meeting colleagues at the office of his anti-corruption foundation.

UNITED STATES

Hot cans of Spam for sale

Cans of Spam have become a common item that are being stolen from Honolulu stores and then sold on the streets for quick cash, according to authorities. Ra Long, who owns a convenience store in the city, said shoplifters have typically targeted alcohol in the past, but recently more cans of Spam have gone missing, Hawaii News Now reported. “I mean you try to keep an eye on it, but if they run, you just can’t leave the counter and chase them,” Long said. “So you just got to take the hit.” Kimo Carvalho, a spokesman for the Institute for Human Services, said people are stealing Spam because it is easy to sell. “It’s quick cash for quick drug money.” Hawaiians eat millions of cans of Spam a year.

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