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BANGLADESH: Politicians' trials protested

Security forces fired rubber bullets and tear gas Monday to disperse stone-throwing anti-government protesters in Dhaka denouncing trials of several opposition politicians accused of crimes stemming from the country's 1971 independence war. Dozens of homemade bombs went off and protesters started throwing stones at security forces, said police official Mehdi Hasan. Several people were injured. More than 30 opposition members were detained, including a leader of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, Mirza Fakhrul Islam. The protest was called by an alliance of 18 parties to denounce the trials of several opposition politicians accused of mass killings and atrocities during Bangladesh's 1971 independence war against Pakistan.


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VENEZUELA: Crowds cheer Chávez's choice

Thousands of cheering admirers accompanied acting President Nicolas Maduro, Hugo Chávez's hand-picked successor, as he registered Monday to be a candidate to replace the dead leader, while forcing the main opposition candidate to delay his entry in the race. The massive crowd blocked Henrique Capriles from registering for the April 14 vote by the 2 p.m. deadline. The Capriles campaign told The Associated Press that an aide registered for the candidate later in the afternoon. In Cuba, revolutionary icon Fidel Castro broke his silence over the death of his protege, saying in an editorial published by Communist Party newspaper Granma that the island had lost its "best friend."


SOUTH AFRICA: Pistorius not suicidal, family says

Olympian athlete Oscar Pistorius, charged with the Valentine's Day murder of his girlfriend, is not suicidal, his family announced Monday. The disabled runner "is in deep mourning but despite the tragic circumstances he is certainly not suicidal," said a statement issued by his uncle, Arnold Pistorius. "From the moment we were first informed about the dreadful event . . . we have worked hard to come to terms with the sad news of Reeva Steenkamp's death and Oscar's role in it," said the uncle. The family's denial comes after reports that Pistorius was distraught and contemplating taking his life. Reports said he is facing financial ruin over the upcoming murder trial.

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