BY Wire Reports
Monday, February 04, 2013
2/04/13 at 2:50 AM
Asuncion, Paraguay: Paraguay presidential hopeful dies in crash
Paraguayan presidential candidate Lino Cesar Oviedo was killed in a helicopter crash, authorities said Sunday, ending a dramatic political career that included coups and repeated attempts to lead the nation of 6.5 million people.
Oviedo was returning with his bodyguard from a political rally in northern Paraguay on Saturday night when his pilot encountered bad weather. All three were killed in the crash, said Johnny Villalba, a spokesman for Paraguay's airport authority.
Defense Minister Maria Liz Garcia said she traveled to the scene Sunday with Oviedo's daughter, congresswoman Fabiola Oviedo, and confirmed that the helicopter "disintegrated."
Lino Oviedo, 69, was running in April's elections as leader of Paraguay's third-largest opposition party, the National Union of Ethical Citizens. A retired general and former army chief, Oviedo had tried for years to take the helm of his nation.
Madrid: Spain's opposition calls on premier to resign
MADRID - Spain's opposition leader has called on Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to resign and allow another person to lead the government in the wake of an alleged corruption scandal that has engulfed the ruling Popular Party.
Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba said Sunday that serious doubts have been cast on Rajoy's credibility following media allegations that he and other senior members of his party had received under-the-table payments.
On Saturday, Rajoy denied wrongdoing. However, public disquiet led to impromptu demonstrations in several cities with protesters calling on Rajoy to resign.
Gossi, Mali: French launch airstrikes on training camps in Mali
French troops launched airstrikes on Islamic militant training camps and arms depots around Kidal and Tessalit in Mali's far north, defense officials said Sunday, as the first supply convoy of food, fuel and parts to eastern Mali headed across the country.
French planes pounded extremist training camps as well as arms and fuel depots from Saturday night into the early hours of Sunday, according to French army Col. Thierry Burkhard.
The French intervened in Mali on Jan. 11 to stem the advance of the al-Qaida-linked fighters. Though they succeeded in ousting the rebels from the three main northern cities they occupied, including the fabled city of Timbuktu, Sunday's aerial operation highlights that the French still see militants in the extreme northern area near the border with Algeria a threat.
Havana: Cubans vote on slate of parliament candidates
Millions of Cubans voted Sunday for parliamentary candidates in elections critics say are closed and offer no real competition, but that the government defends as part of grass-roots democracy.
The elected unicameral legislature will convene Feb. 24 and pick a new parliament chief for the first time in two decades, with the body's longtime leader, Ricardo Alarcon, not on the ballot. The body is also expected to rename Raul Castro as president for another five years.
Government critics note that only the Communist Party is permitted on the island and only one approved candidate is on the ballot for each seat in parliament. Castro and his older brother Fidel, now retired, have headed up the government for five decades.
Vaduz, Liechtenstein: Independents upset country's 3-party system
Independent candidates did surprisingly well Sunday in a parliamentary election in the tiny Alpine principality of Liechtenstein.
The newly-formed group, The Independents, took 15.3 percent of the vote to come in third. The center-right Progressive Citizens' Party came in first with 40 percent, while the centrist Patriotic Union of Prime Minister Klaus Tschuetscher suffered the biggest loss of votes compared to 2009 and came in second with 33.5 percent. The left-leaning Free List gained ground with 11.1 percent of the vote.
Observers say the independent's success results from popular anger about planned austerity measures.
Brides walk in a procession Sunday as well-wishers shower flower petals on them during a mass community marriage in Bahirkhand, India, where 108 couples tied the knot. Mass marriages in India are organized by social groups primarily to help underprivileged families who cannot afford the high ceremony costs as well as the customary dowry and expensive gifts still prevalent in many communities. BIKAS DAS / Associated Press