News ID: 90963
Publish Date : 06 June 2021 - 21:46

LIMA (Dispatches) – Voting started in Peru’s presidential run-off on Sunday as the country faced a polarizing choice between right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori and left-wing teachers’ union organizer Pedro Castillo. Polls in the runoff election opened at 7am (12:00 GMT) in most of the country’s 11,700 voting centers, with official results expected to begin rolling in from 11:30pm (04:30 GMT Monday). The voting took place days after Peru almost tripled its coronavirus death toll following a government review, giving it the world’s worst coronavirus death rate per capita, and amid deep political weariness and frustrations among voters. “We’re fed up with always being governed by the same people, we want Peru to change,” Martha Huaman, 27, a fruit seller in Tacabamba, in the Cajamarca region where Castillo lives, told the AFP news agency. Polls showed a statistical dead heat heading into the elections, but Fujimori, who had earlier trailed Castillo, had pulled slightly ahead. Fujimori, 46, the daughter of jailed ex-president Alberto Fujimori, is promising to maintain economic stability and pro-free market policies in the world’s second-largest copper producer, as well as to pardon her father, who was sentenced for human rights violations. Castillo, 51, an elementary school teacher and union leader, has galvanized support from Peru’s rural poor with pledges to nationalize the mining sector, a stance he later sought to take back.

NEW YORK (Al Jazeera) –The United Nations humanitarian chief has warned that famine is imminent in Ethiopia’s embattled Tigray region as well as the country’s north and there is a risk that hundreds of thousands of people or more will die. Mark Lowcock said the economy has been destroyed along with businesses, crops and farms and there are no banking or telecommunications services. “We are hearing of starvation-related deaths already,” he said in a statement. “People need to wake up. The international community needs to really step up, including through the provision of money.” Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, winner of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, ordered a ground and air military operation in Tigray in early November 2020 after accusing the northern region’s then-ruling party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), of orchestrating attacks on federal army camps. The six-month-old Tigray conflict is blamed for the deaths of thousands of people and atrocities including rape, extrajudicial killings and forced evictions, according to local authorities and aid groups. Eritrea teamed up with neighboring Ethiopia in the conflict.

Colombo (AP) – Flash floods and mudslides triggered by heavy rains in Sri Lanka have killed 14 people and left two missing, while more than 5,000 are displaced, officials said Sunday. Rains have been pounding ten districts of the Indian Ocean island nation since Thursday night, including the capital Colombo and suburbs where many houses, paddy fields and roads have been inundated, blocking traffic. Ten people have died in floods over the past two days, while another four lost their lives in mudslides, according to the government’s Disaster Management Center. The center says the extreme weather has affected over 60,000 families in several parts of the country. Figures released by the government showed that more than 5,000 people have moved to temporary shelters and more than 600 houses have been damaged.

Ouagadougou (Al Jazeera) – Gunmen have killed at least 132 people in Burkina Faso’s volatile north, the government said, as the United Nations chief condemned “the heinous attack” and called on countries to step up the fight against “violent extremism”. The assailants killed residents of the village of Solhan in Yagha province, which borders Niger. They also burned homes and the village market, according to a government statement on Saturday. The victims included seven children. Another 40 residents were also wounded, government spokesman Ousseni Tamboura told reporters. President Roch Marc Christian Kabore called the killings “barbaric” and said the Burkinabe people “must remain united and solid against these obscurantist forces”. No group has claimed responsibility so far. The overnight assault was the deadliest recorded in years in Burkina Faso. Since 2015, the West African country has struggled to fight back against increasingly frequent and deadly attacks from groups linked to al-Qaeda and more recently to Daesh. The attacks first started in the north near the Mali border, but have since spread to other regions, particularly in the east, causing one of the world’s most acute humanitarian crises.

LOS ANGELES (LA Times) – A federal judge has overturned California’s three-decades-old ban on assault weapons, ruling that it violates the constitutional right to bear arms in a blow to the state’s Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, who condemned the order. U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez of San Diego ruled that the state’s definition of illegal military-style rifles unlawfully deprives law-abiding Californians of weapons commonly allowed in most other states and by the U.S. Supreme Court. Governor Newsom called it “a direct threat to public safety and the lives of innocent Californians, period”. In his 94-page ruling, the judge spoke favorably of modern weapons, saying they were overwhelmingly used for legal reasons. The decision comes as gun violence surges across the United States – and just over a week after a disgruntled, heavily armed California public transit worker shot and killed nine people. A search this week of the shooter’s home – which was set ablaze shortly before the attack – turned up 12 guns, around 22,000 rounds of ammunition and suspected Molotov cocktails. Mass shootings have also taken place in Florida, Indiana, California, Colorado and Georgia, in a surge in violence that President Joe Biden has branded an “epidemic”.

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