KINGSTON, Jamaica – Curacao’s former leader was holed up Sunday inside what used to be his official offices, accusing the acting governor of overstepping her constitutional powers by forming an interim government three weeks before general elections on the Dutch Caribbean island.
But the Dutch government said in a statement that former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte’s administration was legally replaced and urged the interim government to make sure the run up to the Oct. 19 election and the vote itself run smoothly.
Schotte dissolved parliament and called elections after his government lost its legislative majority on Aug. 3. Then Acting Governor Adeel van der Pluijm-Vrede swore in a new administration to replace Schotte’s on Saturday, something he called a bloodless “coup.” Schotte insisted there should have been no changes until the election in which he plans to run again.
Schotte is seeking support from regional governments including Venezuela, 35 miles away. Meanwhile, he’s been sending “the message to everyone to stay relaxed.”
Deep earthquake rattles Colombia
BOGOTA, Colombia – A powerful 7.1-magnitude earthquake centered nearly 100 miles beneath the earth’s surface shook southwestern Colombia on Sunday but no damage or injuries were reported.
The quake struck at 11:31 a.m. 30 miles from the regional capital of Popayan and was felt in Bogota as well as 10 of Colombia’s 32 states. The U.S. Geological Survey said its epicenter was 94 miles underground.
The quake was the most powerful to hit Colombia since a 7.2-magnitude temblor shook the same region in 2004, said Patricia Pedraza of Colombia’s geological service.
Shell shuts down Nigeria oil pipeline
LAGOS, Nigeria – Royal Dutch Shell PLC says it has shut down a pipeline in Nigeria’s oil-rich southern delta after a fire and a suspected attempt to steal crude from one of its lines.
In a statement late Sunday, Shell said its Nigerian subsidiary shut down the 28-inch Bomu-Bonn trunk line after a fire there Sunday. Shell said the shutdown of the line would cut production by about 150,000 barrels of a oil a day. Shell said a helicopter saw a burning ship nearby. It did not say how much oil spilled.