Former Milosevic allies could return to power as Serbian elections kick off
Former ultra-nationalist allies of Slobodan Milosevic may return to power in Serbia, 12 years after the late Balkan strongman was ousted by pro-Western forces seeking EU membership.
The first-round vote today for president, and votes for a 250-seat national assembly and local councils, pit pro-EU democrats against nationalists. The two leading contenders are the Democratic Party of recent president Boris Tadic and Milosevic's former ally Tomislav Nikolic, of the right-wing populist Serbian Progressive Party.
A presidential run-off is expected on May 20, as both Mr Tadic and Mr Nikolic are unlikely to get more than 50 per cent of the first-round vote that includes 12 candidates.
Thousands mark nuclear end in Japan
Thousands of Japanese marched to celebrate the switching off of the last of their nation's 50 nuclear reactors yesterday, waving banners shaped as giant fish that have become a potent anti-nuclear symbol. After last year's March 11 quake and tsunami set off meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi plant, no reactor halted for check-ups has been restarted amid public worries about the safety of nuclear technology.
Don Revie statue unveiled at Leeds
A bronze statue of former Leeds United manager Don Revie was unveiled at Elland Road yesterday on the 40th anniversary of the club's centenary FA Cup final success in which Leeds beat Arsenal 1-0. The statue was paid for by funds raised by thousands of Leeds United fans.
Spanish town says king unwelcome
A town in north-eastern Spain has declared the king of Spain an unwelcome person, dealing another blow to the 74-year-old monarch, who has been heavily criticised for going on an elephant hunting trip during the country's deep financial crisis. The town council of Berga approved a motion declaring King Juan Carlos "persona non grata", or not welcome.
14 die as fire rips through rehab clinic
AT least 14 people have died after a fire swept through a rehabilitation centre for addicts near the Peruvian capital of Lima, officials said. Local health director Pablo Cespedes said officials are not sure what caused the pre-dawn blaze at the Sacred Heart of Jesus clinic in Chosica, about 19 miles east of Lima.
Five die in Syrian car wash explosion
AN explosion in a car wash in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo killed at least five people yesterday, activists said, while another blast in the capital destroyed nine cars. Bomb attacks have grown more common in Syria's two largest cities as the uprising against President Bashar Assad grows increasingly militarised.
Blast in Bahrain kills four policemen
Bahraini officials say four policemen have been injured in a blast in the violence-wracked Gulf kingdom. A series of small-scale explosions have taken place in Bahrain in the past month targeting security forces, suggesting an escalation in the clashes that have gripped the island nation for nearly 15 months. More than 50 people have died in the unrest between the forces of the ruling Sunni monarchy and the country's majority Shi'ites, which seek a greater voice in the nation's governmental affairs. An Interior Ministry statement yesterday said the blast was caused by a remotely detonated device in a mostly Shi'ite area about 10 miles west of the capital Manama.
Cancer kills Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch
Adam Yauch, a founding member of pioneering hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, who captivated fans with their brash style in early hits like Fight for Your Right (To Party), died on Friday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. Yauch, Mike Diamond and Adam Horovitz formed the band that gained fame in the Eighties and stood out not just for their music, but for their ethnicity. In a genre dominated by African-Americans, they were three white Jewish kids from Brooklyn, New York.