Russians opened the door to Vladimir Putin staying in power until 2036 by voting overwhelmingly for constitutional changes that will allow him to run again for president twice, but critics said the outcome was falsified on an industrial scale. The Central Election Commission said 78% of votes counted across the world’s largest country had supported changing the constitution. Just over 21% had voted against, it said.
California is directing bars and restaurants to close once again across the state as case counts continue to climb, Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a Wednesday press conference. Effective immediately, the order affects 19 counties, including Los Angeles and Santa Clara. Restaurants can continue with outdoor dining, but all bars and pubs must stop indoor and outdoor service, including curbside.
At least 50 people were killed in Ethiopia’s Oromiya region in protests following the fatal shooting of a popular singer, a regional spokesman said on Wednesday, laying bare splits in the prime minister’s political heartland ahead of next year’s polls. Musician Haacaaluu Hundeessaa was shot dead on Monday night in what police said was a targeted killing.
More than 350 elephants have died in northern Botswana in a mysterious mass die-off described by scientists as a “conservation disaster”. A cluster of elephant deaths was first reported in the Okavango Delta in early May, with 169 individuals dead by the end of the month. By mid June, the number had more than doubled, with 70% of the deaths clustered around waterholes.
Rescue workers say at least 113 people have been killed in a landslide at a jade mining site in northern Myanmar. The victims are normally freelance miners who settle near giant mounds of discarded earth that has been mined in bulk by heavy machinery. The freelance miners who scavenge for bits of jade usually work and live at the base of the mounds of earth, which become particularly unstable during the rainy season.