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Police round up Putin protesters

Police rounded up scores of people demonstrating against President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, dragging protesters toward buses and beating some who tried to escape.

Hundreds of police armed with shields, body armor and truncheons bore down on demonstrators chanting “Russia without Putin!” in St. Petersburg. Among those detained was a likely contender in next March’s presidential election, Boris Nemtsov.

“So many police proves they are afraid of us,” Nemtsov told reporters before being taken away. Police said he was released soon after.

It was the second time in two days police have broken up an opposition demonstration in the run-up to Dec. 2 parliamentary elections.

The vote has turned into a plebiscite whether Putin should retain power after stepping down as president next year after two consecutive terms.

SUCRE, Bolivia

Deadly rioting shakes Bolivia

Riots convulsed Bolivia’s colonial capital Sunday after allies of President Evo Morales approved the framework for a new constitution that would permit his indefinite re-election and could radically alter Bolivian politics.

At least two people, including a police officer, were killed.

A full article-by-article version of the constitution, which would establish a multiethnic state with 36 self-governing regions for indigenous groups, has yet to be approved.

But Morales on Sunday declared that the new charter’s essence has now been determined. Voters will determine its fate, he said, without giving a date.

ZAGREB, Croatia

No clear winner in parliament vote

Croatia’s ruling conservatives and opposition center-left Social Democrats were virtually tied in parliamentary elections on Sunday, leaving the makeup of the future government unclear, exit polls and preliminary results showed.

The two key rivals both appeared short of ensuring the 77 deputies required, and the winner would depend on postelection dealmaking.

President Stipe Mesic said he would give a mandate to form a government to the coalition or party “that would present convincing evidence that it has a majority in parliament.”


Soccer stands collapse; 8 killed

A section of stands at a soccer stadium in northeastern Brazil gave way Sunday as fans cheered at the end of a game, killing eight people, police said.

At least nine people fell through a section of the highest bleachers at the Fonte Nova stadium in the coastal city of Salvador, and eight of them died, said Maj. Edmilson Tavares of the city’s federal police.

From wire reports


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