BY Wire Reports
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 2:41 AM
Accra, Ghana: Ghana's president declared election winner
President John Dramani Mahama on Sunday was declared the winner of Ghana's presidential election, despite widespread technical glitches with the machines used to identify voters and protests by the country's opposition, which claims the vote was rigged.
Armored tanks surrounded Ghana's electoral commission and police barricaded the road around the electoral offices as the election body's chairman, Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, announced that Mahama had polled 5.5 million votes, or 50.7 percent.
Opposition leader Nana Akufo-Addo, who lost the 2008 election by less than 1 percent, came in second with 5.2 million votes, or 47.7 percent, Afari-Gyan said. About 80 percent of the 14 million registered voters cast ballots in Friday's presidential and parliamentary elections.
Bucharest, Romania: Romanian exit polls: center-left regime wins
Romania's center-left government won a clear victory in Sunday's parliamentary elections, according to exit polls. The result could inflame the personal rivalry between the nation's top two officials and bring yet more political upheaval.
Prime Minister Victor Ponta's governing alliance had about 57 percent of seats in the 452-seat legislature, according to a poll published after elections on national television TVR.
Coming in second was a center-right group allied to President Traian Basescu, which polled over 18 percent. A populist party headed by a media tycoon won about 13 percent, according to the poll. First results are expected Monday.
Basescu and Ponta are bitter rivals after the government tried to remove Basescu from office in an impeachment vote in July, a bid that failed as too few people voted to make the election valid.
Kingston, Jamaica: Antigua to seek sanctions against the United States
The tiny Caribbean nation of Antigua & Barbuda intends to pursue retaliatory sanctions against U.S. commercial services and intellectual property as part of its "David vs. Goliath" trade battle with the United States, the islands' finance minister announced Sunday.
Antigua Finance Minister Harold Lovell told The Associated Press that the country of less than 90,000 people has tried unsuccessfully for years to negotiate a "fair settlement" with the U.S. It accuses its neighbor to the north of hobbling its fragile economy by banning Americans from placing online bets with gambling operators, including licensed online casinos based in the twin-island nation.
Save a last minute settlement, Antigua intends to formally announce its intentions to pursue punitive action at a Dec. 17 meeting of the Geneva-based World Trade Organization. It will then announce specifics of which U.S. industries it intends to target.
Belgrade, Serbia: Blizzard snarls traffic in Balkans; many stranded
Freezing temperatures and heavy snowfall have killed at least six people and caused travel chaos across the Balkans, with rescue teams struggling to reach passengers stranded in buses and cars in Serbia on Sunday.
Officials said four people died in Croatia and two in Serbia as a result of blizzards in the region of southwestern Europe over the weekend, closing airports and roads and blocking public transportation in big cities.
People traveling in vehicles waited for hours on several roads in Serbia's northern province of Vojvodina, including the main highway leading from Belgrade to the Hungarian border, before rescue teams could free them from 20 inches of snow that had fallen in just a few hours.
Lagos, Nigeria: Nigerian finance minister's mother kidnap victim
Kidnappers have abducted the Nigerian finance minister's mother from her home in the West African nation, police said Sunday.
National police spokesman Frank Mba said that Kamene Okonjo, mother of Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was kidnapped in Delta state, an oil-rich region where kidnappings that once affected mainly expatriate workers have increasingly targeted middle-class and elite Nigerian families.
Finance Ministry spokesman Paul Nwabuikwu said the minister had received threats in the past.
New Bataan, Philippines: 900 may be missing in Philippine storm
The number of people missing after a typhoon devastated the Philippines jumped to nearly 900 after families and fishing companies reported losing contact with more than 300 fishermen at sea, officials said Sunday.
The fishermen from southern General Santos city and nearby Sarangani province left a few days before Typhoon Bopha hit the main southern island of Mindanao on Tuesday, Civil Defense chief Benito Ramos said.
Ramos said the fishermen were headed to the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea and to the Pacific Ocean. Coast guard, navy and fishing vessels are searching for them, and some may have sought shelter on the many small islands in the area.
Hundreds of people dressed as Santa Claus start to run at the annual St. Nicholas Run on Sunday in Michendorf, Germany, about 28 miles west of Berlin. MARKUS SCHREIBER / Associated Press