Several countries hosted elections over the weekend, many of them quite important!  Here are some of the highlights:

-Haitians began voting Sunday for a new president — with a choice of 54 candidates — as the poorest country in the Americas seeks to shed chronic political instability and get back on its feet. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1OPCtx8)

-A former TV comedian with no experience in government was poised to win Guatemala’s presidential election on Sunday, after a corruption scandal toppled the country’s last leader and fueled voter outrage with the political establishment. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1Mds2wx)

-Argentina voted for its next president Sunday after 12 years under power couple Nestor and Cristina Kirchner, whose heir apparent is poised to win but may undo parts of their controversial legacy. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MdrjeU)

-Tanzanians voted in presidential and general elections Sunday, in what is expected to be the tightest race in the history of east Africa’s most populous country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MdryGT)

-Voters in Republic of Congo cast their ballots Sunday on a constitutional referendum that if approved will allow the country’s longtime president to seek yet another term in office. (AP http://yhoo.it/1kFCLdh)

Ivory Coast voted Sunday in a presidential election seen as a key test of stability after years of violence and upheaval in the west African country. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MdrB5o)

They Call this “South-South Cooperation”…The Third India Africa Summit takes place in New Delhi between Oct.26-30. Over 50 African countries are expected to take part with most of them represented by their heads of state or government. This will be India’s most important and extensive outreach and will set the stage for even more economic and political interaction between India and Africa.” (Quartz http://bit.ly/1R6Xp0c)

Quote of the day: “I do believe this is my struggle. Really, in the end, the real reason that 100,000 lives have been lost in Syria is not because people don’t care, or don’t have sympathy or compassion. But rather it’s because people are under the illusion that this is not their struggle, it is not their people and it’s not their concern,” slain hostage and aid worker Kayla Mueller, in a letter to her parents. http://yhoo.it/1kFD3AQ)

Africa

Five Ethiopian dissident groups in exile said they have formed an alliance to bring a change of government back home, describing Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s government as oppressive. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LPz8bm)

A senior U.S. diplomat wrapping up a weeklong visit to the Democratic Republic of the Congo urged the government Saturday to take concrete steps to prepare for future elections and to cooperate fully with the U.N. mission working to resolve conflicts in the DRC. (VOA http://bit.ly/1kFC1oy)

MENA

The bodies of at least 43 people thought to be migrants washed up on Libyan beaches east of the capital Tripoli at the weekend, the Red Crescent said on Sunday. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1S4A1Bj)

Human Rights Watch on Sunday called for a thorough and impartial investigation into the death of two Tunisian detainees in suspicious circumstances in separate cases. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1N1adGj)

Islamic militants stormed a supermarket in Yemen’s southern city of Aden on Sunday, firing into the air and briefly taking hostages, security officials and witnesses said. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Mdr8An)

Thousands of Israelis rallied Saturday for fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the killing of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1MdrwyB)

Violence between Israelis and Palestinians showed no signs of abating Sunday despite a plan brokered a day earlier by Secretary of State John F. Kerry to bring quiet to the region, which has endured weeks of tit-for-tat killings. (WaPo http://wapo.st/1R6XxN4)

Asia

The medical charity Doctors Without Borders has raised the death toll to 30 in the October 3 U.S. bombing of a trauma hospital in northern Afghanistan. (VOA http://bit.ly/1LPzD59)

Indonesian President Joko Widodo will visit the White House today for talks with President Barack Obama that the Jakarta government says are likely to focus on investment, trade and the development of digital technology in Southeast Asia’s largest economy. (VOA http://bit.ly/1LPzoHo)

A tremendous international aid effort has helped save thousands of lives in earthquake-struck Nepal. But six months on, as the rubble is cleared and the debris settles, longer term impacts are starting to emerge – not least for Nepal’s women, who are facing significant challenges. (Guardian http://bit.ly/1N1a8SR)

The Americas

Patricia slams Texas…Torrential rains pounded southeastern Texas on Sunday as the remnants of Hurricane Patricia converged with a second storm system, but the area that is home to more than six million people and the center of the U.S. refinery industry sustained little damage. (Reuters http://reut.rs/1R6XC3q)

A Venezuelan prosecutor says he has fled the country with his family, accusing the leftist government of using “false evidence” to convict jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1k3g8yG)

 

…and the rest

Projectiles including smoke bombs were thrown at police on Saturday outside a London train station where a protest to highlight the plight of migrants seeking refuge in Britain was taking place, transport police said. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1LPzGy1)

If European leaders fail to agree a plan to counter the sudden inflows of refugees, it could mean the end of the European Union, Slovenia’s premier said on Sunday as he arrived for an emergency meeting on the western Balkans. (Reuters http://yhoo.it/1N19c0X)

Montenegrin police on Saturday fired tear gas at opposition supporters who hurled fire bombs and torches to demand the resignation Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic’s government which hopes to steer the Balkan country toward NATO membership later this year. (AP http://yhoo.it/1LPztL5)

European leaders lashed out Sunday at each other’s handling of the continent’s greatest immigration crisis since World War II, even as they came together to seek ways to ease the plight of the tens of thousands marching across the Balkans toward the European Union’s heartland. (AP http://yhoo.it/1Mdr83f)

The Czech president Sunday accused economic migrants of using children as “human shields” in their bid to reach Europe, as the continent grapples with its biggest migration crisis since World War II. (AFP http://yhoo.it/1N19aWC)

Opinion/Blogs

Six reasons why Syrians are fleeing to Europe in increasing numbers (Guardian http://bit.ly/1OPBD3t)

Why is progress on poverty reduction in Pakistan so contested? (Development Progress http://bit.ly/1OPCkJY)

The SDGs as a systems approach: a voice from the bumblebees (Dev Policy http://bit.ly/1OPDFAs)

Women Refugees in Europe Are Told Rape “Is Definitely Not the Problem” (Jina Moore http://bit.ly/1LPBKG4)

The vanishingly small African middle class (Africanist Perspective http://bit.ly/1LPC2gc)

The Need to Promote Diversified Urbanization (Africa Can End Poverty http://bit.ly/1N1bQDU)

Why is Egypt Shutting Down VOIP Services Like Skype and WhatsApp?(UN Dispatch http://bit.ly/1OPE1XG)

Does this Gates-commissioned cartoon criticize the foundation? (A View From the Cave http://bit.ly/1k3iBtc)

 

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