Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko ignored an opposition ultimatum to quit Monday as local media showed factory workers and students protesting as part of an intended general strike. The streets of the capital Minsk were largely deserted on Monday morning, reported the news agency AFP. Lukashenko’s refusal to resign over claims his August 9 reelection was rigged followed renewed mass protests Sunday.
France has appealed for foreign governments to stamp out calls by what it calls a “radical minority” for a boycott of French products after Emmanuel Macron’s public backing of the Muhammad caricatures. The appeal came as anger escalated across the Islamic world over the president’s remarks at a national tribute to the murdered high-school teacher Samuel Paty last week.
Pope Francis has named 13 new cardinals, including Washington DC Archbishop Wilton Gregory. The 73-year-old will become the first African-American prelate to wear the coveted red hat. The selection of Mr Gregory won praise from LGBTQ advocates in the US, days after the pontiff voiced support for civil unions for gay couples. The pope said the 13 will officially be elevated to their new status in a ceremony on 28 November.
Australia on Monday condemned Qatar authorities’ treatment of female passengers on a flight to Sydney who were subjected to internal examinations after a newborn baby was found abandoned at a Doha airport. The women, including 13 Australians, were examined at Hamad International Airport on Oct. 2 after Qatar Airways Flight 908 to Sydney was delayed. Australia’s foreign affairs department described the treatment of the women as inappropriate.
There have been jubilant scenes in Chile after an overwhelming majority voted in support of rewriting Chile’s constitution, which dates to the military rule of Gen Augusto Pinochet. With almost all the ballots counted, 78% had voted “yes” in a referendum that was called after mass protests against inequality. President Sebastián Piñera said it was “the beginning of a path that we must all walk together”.