Long-serving Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko has won a sixth term, the central electoral commission said, after elections marred by violence as police cracked down on opposition protesters. A former Soviet collective farm manager, Lukashenko has ruled the country since 1994, but faces the biggest challenge in years to keep his grip on power with some voters believing strongly that it is time he stood down.
Lebanon’s protesters stormed several government ministries as violent protests gripped Beirut on Saturday night. The foreign ministry, the environment ministry and the economy ministry were occupied by angry demonstrators who called for the downfall of Lebanon’s ruling elite five days after a blast ripped through the Lebanese capital causing widespread destruction. Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab has vowed to hold early elections as his beleaguered government faces calls to resign.
Chinese air force jets briefly crossed the mid-line of the Taiwan Strait on Monday and were tracked by Taiwanese missiles, Taiwan’s government said, as U.S. health chief Alex Azar visited the island to offer President Donald Trump’s support. Azar arrived in Taiwan on Sunday, the highest-level U.S. official to visit in four decades. China, which claims the island as its own, condemned the visit.
One of Hong Kong’s most strident pro-democracy figures has been arrested and the newspaper he runs searched by police in a stark escalation by authorities enforcing new national security laws brought in by Beijing. The raid on Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy daily paper, and arrest of Jimmy Lai and senior executives, were condemned by activists and journalists, who said they marked “the day press freedom officially died”.
Afghanistan agreed on Sunday to release 400 Taliban prisoners, raising hopes that peace talks between the government and the Taliban can finally begin, following a peace deal the insurgents signed with the U.S. earlier this year. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said he would sign the decree after a meeting of the council of elders, known as Loya Jirga, approved the Taliban’s demand to release the 400 prisoners.