IRAQ: PM won't seek third term
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki will not run for a third term in 2014, an adviser said Saturday, limiting himself in the name of democracy while keeping a wary eye on the popular anger at governments across the Middle East. Al-Maliki, a Shia, narrowly held onto a second four-year term despite falling short in national elections last year. His successor will be the first to lead without U.S. military help since the fall of Saddam Hussein after American troops fully withdraw as planned by the end of this year.
SERBIA: Huge anti-government protest
Tens of thousands of nationalist supporters rallied against Serbia's pro-Western government Saturday, demanding early elections amid the Balkan country's deepening economic crisis. About 10,000 police officers gathered near the rally in front of the state parliament in Belgrade to prevent it from turning violent. The former allies of the late autocratic leader Slobodan Milosevic want Serbia's government to schedule early elections because of the country's rising poverty and unemployment and falling living standards.
MEXICO: Americans warned of violence
Officials are warning U.S. citizens not to drive at night in parts of the western Mexican city of Guadalajara after suspected drug-gang members burned vehicles and blocked streets. A separate U.S. alert Friday said the city of Monterrey has seen a significant increase in armed robberies at restaurants and convenience stores. Some of the blockades in Guadalajara took place on a highway leading to the city's airport and to Lake Chapala, a popular retirement and vacation spot for U.S. and Canadian citizens.
Zoo animals freeze to death
Thirty-five animals at a zoo in the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua have frozen to death during the region's coldest weather in six decades. Serengeti Zoo owner Alberto Hernandez says 14 parrots, 13 serpents, five iguanas, two crocodiles and a capuchin monkey died. He said Saturday that power failures cut off electrical heating at the zoo. Temperatures have dropped to 9 degrees Fahrenheit.
TUNISIA: Police fire into crowd, killing 2
Police fired at an angry crowd of 1,000 attacking the police station in the town of Klef Saturday, killing two people and injuring 17 others, the Interior Ministry said. A local journalist said the police chief slapped a woman during a demonstration, triggering the violence between police and citizens.