U.S. issues warning amid looting, protests

Looters pillaged, burned and vandalized shops in Haiti’s capital Sunday after two days of violent protests over the government’s attempt to raise fuel prices.

Young men were seen stripping merchandise from shelves in some supermarkets that were charred from the protests. Several bodies lay among the debris scattered in the streets, witnesses said.

With the situation still chaotic, the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, on Sunday warned American nationals to shelter in place. It noted that many flights were canceled and said that “the airport has limited food and water available.”

“Telecommunications services, including Internet and phone lines, have been affected throughout Haiti,” the embassy added. “It may be difficult to reach people through normal communication methods.”

The flight cancellations stranded church groups and volunteers from a number of U.S. states, including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Police Director General Michel-Ange Gédéon ordered officers to crack down on what he called “bandits who disturb the peace and security of the country.”

At least three people were killed in protests Friday, and police said four bodies were found Sunday in the streets of Delmas district, though they did not say whether that discovery was related to the protests.

The government on Saturday scrapped plans to raise fuel prices by 38 percent.

— Associated Press

Train derailment kills at least 10, injures 73

At least 10 people were killed and more than 70 were injured Sunday when a passenger train derailed in northwestern Turkey, authorities said.

Five of the train’s six cars derailed in a village in Tekirdag province after “the ground between the culvert and the rail collapsed” because of heavy rains, the Transportation Ministry said.

Health Undersecretary Eyup Gumus put the number of fatalities at 10 and the number of people injured at 73 based on initial reports from the scene, according to the official Anadolu news agency.

The train was heading to Istanbul from Edirne, on the border with Greece, with 362 passengers and six crew members on board, the Transportation Ministry said.

The office of the prime minister issued a temporary media ban on reporting the aftermath of the accident, citing national security and public order.

— Associated Press

Lawmakers sentenced to prison for '11 protest

Kuwait’s highest court on Sunday ordered an opposition leader and two lawmakers imprisoned for 3½ years over the 2011 storming of parliament amid that year’s Arab Spring protests, in a case involving nearly 70 politicians, activists and others.

More than a dozen people received prison time in the ruling by the Court of Cassation, while the others were released on bail or found not guilty.

Tiny, oil-rich Kuwait has been caught up in a wider crackdown on dissent across the Persian Gulf Arab states, whose monarchical rulers were alarmed by the pro-democracy protests that swept the region seven years ago.

The defendants were initially acquitted, but a court decision in November resurrected the charges against them. They were accused of using violence against police, destroying government property and inciting violence, charges they long have denied.

Among those sentenced Sunday to 3½ years was Musallam al-Barrack, an opposition leader who left prison in April 2017 after serving a two-year sentence on separate charges. Barrack had left Kuwait before the sentencing.

Two serving lawmakers received the same sentence, along with six former legislators and five activists. Three others received two years in prison.

In a bid to insulate Kuwait from the unrest in the region in 2011, the emir ordered 1,000 dinar ($3,559) grants and free food coupons for every Kuwaiti. That came on top of Kuwait’s cradle-to-grave entitlements for it citizens.

Allegations swirled at the time that some lawmakers had been bribed by the government to sway their votes, along with rumors that they were involved in embezzling state funds.

Amid strikes and confrontations with police, protesters briefly entered parliament on Nov. 16, 2011.

— Associated Press

15 killed, 9 hurt in Mexico's Monterrey: An unusually violent night in the northern Mexican city of Monterrey left at least 15 dead and nine wounded, authorities said. The Nuevo Leon state prosecutor's office reported that 12 people died in six bar attacks in the municipalities of Monterrey, Guadalupe and Juarez. A man and a 14-year-old boy were shot dead in their car on a highway, and a man was killed in a clash between rival gangs in the city of Linares.

— From news services