By Aaron Maasho ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - African Union observers said on Tuesday that Ethiopia's parliamentary election held on Sunday was credible except for a few irregularities, but the opposition dismissed the vote as marred by violations including ballot box theft. Provisional results in Africa' second most populous nation are due later this week and few expect anything but a landslide for the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition, in power since ousting dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who took over after EPRDF's long-serving leader Meles Zenawi died in 2012, has pushed on with EPRDF's highly-centralized statist economic model credited with turning around the fortunes of a country once ravaged by war and famine. But the opposition -- which has one seat in the outgoing 547-member parliament -- accuses the government of crushing dissent, limiting free speech, and muzzling the press. The EPRDF denies this, saying the political space is open for all. "The African Union Election Observation Mission (AUEOM) concludes that the parliamentary elections were calm, peaceful, and credible as it provided an opportunity for the Ethiopian people to express their choices at the polls," former Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba, the head of the AU mission, said. Pohamba said 59 members from 23 African countries visited 356 polling stations. Ethiopia did not invite Western observers to this election. About 37 million out of Ethiopia's 96 million people registered to vote. The observers said no major incidents occurred and that they could vouch for the secrecy of the vote in 95 percent of the polling stations it observed. However, the mission said that in 21 percent of all stations it visited, station officers violated rules by failing to display empty ballot boxes before the official start of the elections. It also noted that a few voting centers had opened ahead of time, though staffers claimed this was due to requests from voters. WITCH-HUNTS Merara Gudina, deputy chairperson of the opposition Medrek coalition dismissed the AU report, claiming the body had failed to report on violations in many constituencies. Merara told Reuters that security personnel had launched a "witch-hunt" on the eve of the vote by arresting his group's observers. He also said ballot boxes had been stolen in his constituency outside the western town of Ambo some 130 kilometers (81 miles) from the capital. "The whole process was a farce. In my constituency, we do not even know what happened to over 80 percent of the ballot boxes right after the polls closed, " he said. "It was organized robbery." The electoral board -- which is set to announce provisional results before the end of the week -- was not immediately available to comment on the claims. On the day of the vote Hailemariam rejected opposition claims of foul play. "They have been campaigning freely. There has not been any repression as far as this is concerned," Hailemariam told Reuters on Sunday in his constituency in Gununo, a town 330 kilometers southwest from the capital. Ethiopia's economy has been one of the fastest growing in Africa and beyond. The World Bank forecasts growth of 10.5 percent in the year starting in July. (Editing by Drazen Jorgic and Raissa Kasolowsky)
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio says he'll fight against a federal relief bill that would assist his state's recovery from Hurricane Ian if it has 'pork in it'
Rubio on Sunday told CNN he would fight against the bill if it includes spending unrelated to the hurricane damages. "That's the key," he said.
Russia's first mobilisation since World War Two, declared by President Vladimir Putin on Sept. 21, has led to widespread discontent among officials and citizens over the way the draft has been handled, including complaints about enlistment officers sending call-up papers to clearly ineligible men. "In 10 days, several thousand of our countrymen received summons and arrived at the military registration and enlistment offices," Mikhail Degtyarev, the governor of the Khabarovsk region in Russia's Far East, said in a video post on the Telegram messaging app. Degtyarev said the removal of the commissar, Yuri Laiko, would not affect the mobilisation plan set by Putin.
- Business Insider
In the span of a week, Marco Rubio voted against hurricane relief, asked for additional hurricane relief, and praised the Biden administration's hurricane relief
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- Steelers Wire
Chris Boswell gets record-breaking field goal in first half.
Rep. Matt Gaetz was one of several House Republicans who voted against a resolution to allow FEMA to use up to $15 million in the Disaster Relief Fund.
Terry Bradshaw, a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback and one of the co-hosts on Fox NFL Sunday, revealed Sunday on air that he has battled cancer twice in the last year. Bradshaw had an incident during the pregame show last week and addressed them on Sunday’s episode before the rest of the schedule kicked off. “Last week on […]
The New Official Palace Portrait Shows a Shift in Who the Royal Family Wants the Public to Consider the 'Fab Four'
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The fishing duo posed for a photo with their catch just minutes before an official discovered something inside the animals.
- The Daily Beast
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- ABC News
Florida Sen. Rick Scott, a member of Republican leadership in the upper chamber, said Sunday that he does not "condone violence" after Donald Trump lashed out at Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell and suggested McConnell had a "death wish"-- but Scott stopped short of condemning the former president. Trump, in a post on his Truth Social website last week, wrote that McConnell must have a "death wish" after supporting a continuing resolution to fund the federal government. Trump went on to criticize McConnell's wife in racist terms, writing that he should "seek help and advise [sic] from his China loving wife, Coco Chow!" Trump was referring to Elaine Chao, who is Taiwanese.
- Miami Herald
Bottles of medication designed to keep blood pressure down contained medication designed to help prevent strokes and blood clots in people with heart conditions, causing a recall of one lot of each.
- Kansas City Star
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes etched his name in the NFL record book. Again.
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- Road & Track
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- Miami Herald
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Putin allies bashed Russia's retreat from a city in Ukraine, calling military leaders 'garbage' and saying they should be sent 'barefoot with machine guns straight to the front'
After Russian troops retreated from Lyman, a Ukrainian city Putin claimed was part of Russia, powerful Putin supporters ripped military leadership.
- Country Living
Danica McKeller, the 47-year-old actress, author, and Domino Masters host, will star in Christmas at the Drive-In on Great American Family.
- The Hill
Alyssa Farah Griffin denounces Trump after Elaine Chao attack: ‘He’s not even trying to hide the racism’
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- Country Living
Singer Garth Brooks revealed the reason behind his weight loss journey in a new interview.