Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2014 Contents A39
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Zimbabwe---Thousands of people turned
out Sunday to celebrate the birthday of
Zimbabwe's veteran president Robert
Mugabe, who threw 90 balloons into the
air to mark his 90th year and continuing
hold on power.
Fresh off the plane from Singapore,
where he had travelled for eye surgery last
week, Mugabe was in a typically defiant
mood as he launched his birthday
celebrations at Marondera stadium, east of
the capital Harare.
"I feel as youthful and energetic as a boy
of nine," Mugabe said before cutting his
Dressed in a black suit, red tie and white
shirt, he moved around the venue on the
back of a truck waving his fist to a crowd
made up largely of school children bussed
in for the occasion. Mugabe, who turned 90
on Friday while he was still in Singapore,
has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist ever
since the former rebel led the country to
independence from Britain in 1980. (AFP)
Zimbabwe's president eats a slice of
birthday cake during celebrations
marking his 90th birthday Sunday.
Zimbabwe's Mugabe launches 90 birthday balloons
Kiev---Ukraine s ousted pres-
ident is a wanted man. He s
also a missing man.
Viktor Yanukovych is not in
Kiev. The mayor of Kharkiv,
where Yanukovych was Sat-
urday, says he hasn t seen him
in a few days.
He s also apparently not hid-
ing in a bunker in a Ukrainian
Orthodox monastery, a church
spokesman said, swatting
down the latest speculation.
Ukraine s onetime---and, by
his account, current---president
is facing a warrant for the
"mass killings" of civilians.
Over the weekend, he fled
to Kharkiv, a pro-Russian
stronghold near the border.
And he tried to board a charter
plane in the eastern city of
Donetsk but was turned away
because he didn t have docu-
In his last known public act,
he delivered a televised speech
Saturday from Kharkiv in
which he rejected the parlia-
ment s ouster and vowed to
"I don t plan to leave the
country. I don t plan to resign.
I am the legitimate president,"
he said Saturday in the tele-
"It s a remarkable situation
when the most sought-after
character in the country is the
president of Ukraine, who is
hiding and doing everything
to leave the country, to avoid
leader Vitali Klitschko said
Yanukovych s ouster and
disappearance capped a week-
end of dizzying developments
after the parliament voted to
oust Yanukovych as a conces-
sion to relentless protests,
which led to the deadliest vio-
lence in the country since its
independence 22 years ago.
Some protesters gathered
yesterday outside the Ukrainian
parliament shouting "shame"
in response to what they see
as a lack of transparency on
the part of lawmakers.
Yanukovych s decision to
scrap a European Union trade
deal in favour of one with Rus-
sia prompted the protests in
Now, the country s new
leaders have made clear that
Kiev s return to European inte-
gration will be a priority. But
in doing so, they risk losing
the largess that the Kremlin
had bestowed on Yanukovych.
Taking no chances, interim
finance minister Yury Kolobov
proposed yesterday that an
international donor conference
be held in the next two weeks.
Ukraine, he said, will need $35
billion in foreign assistance by
the end of 2015. (CNN)
A woman takes a photo of a "Wanted" notice for fugitive
Ukrainian president Victor Yanukovich, plastered on the window
of a car used as a barricade near Kiev's Independence Square,
testerday. REUTERS PHOTO
Arrest warrant issued for
ousted Ukraine president
Anti-government protesters in
Venezuela have erected barricades in
the capital, Caracas. They placed
burning rubbish and furniture on
main roads in an attempt to bar
access to the city.
Opposition leader Henrique Capriles
had earlier asked his supporters not
to follow a call for a "national block-
ade" circulated on social media.
The blockades are the latest in a
series of opposition protests in which
13 people have died. There have been
reports of similar blockades in the
cities of Maracaibo and Valencia.
Protesters also banged pots and pans
in the early hours of the morning to
show their opposition to the govern-
ment of president Nicolas Maduro.
They say they will continue with
their wave of protests, which started
more than two weeks ago, until
More than 130 people have been
injured and an opposition leader,
Leopoldo Lopez, has been arrested on
charges of inciting violence.
The recent unrest started in the
western states of Tachira and Merida,
where students took to the streets
angered by Venezuela s high crime rate
and economic woes, including record
inflation and shortages of basic goods.
After the arrest of a number of stu-
dent leaders, the protests quickly
spread to the capital, Caracas.
A largely peaceful march led by
Lopez snaked through the streets of
the capital on 12 February demanding
their release. After the bulk of the
demonstrators had returned home, a
small group clashed with police. In
the melee that followed, three people
were shot dead by unidentified gun-
The opposition blamed pro-gov-
ernment motorcycle gangs for the
killings, while Maduro said the attack-
ers were "fascists".
Since then, another ten people have
also died in protest-related violence
across the country.
The government has blamed Lopez
for the unrest and accused him of try-
ing to topple the government with the
help of the US Central Intelligence
There have also been rival marches
by supporters of the government,
which have also drawn thousands of
President Maduro, meanwhile, has
called for a "national peace conference"
to be held this week. (BBC)
Demonstrators block a street with a traffic sign during a protest against the government of Venezuelan president
Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas yesterday. AP PHOTO
Motorcyclists attend a rally in support of Venezuela's president Nicolas Maduro
in Caracas, Venezuela, yesterday. AP PHOTO
Venezuelans stop traffic
in anti-govt protests
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