MALDIVES

Opposition candidate

gets presidential victory  

Opposition presidential candidate Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, a longtime but little-known lawmaker in the Maldives, declared victory early Monday in a contentious election widely seen as a referendum on the island nation's young democracy.

Solih's win, announced at his party's campaign headquarters in the capital city of Male, was unexpected. The opposition had feared the election would be rigged in favor of strongman President Yameen Abdul Gayoom, whose first term was marked by a crackdown on political rivals, courts and the media.

 

SPAIN

More than 400 people

rescued from small boats

Spain's maritime rescue service said Sunday it rescued more than 400 people from 15 small boats, most of them off the country's southern coast, while humanitarian groups lamented that the sole private rescue boat operating near the deadly central Mediterranean human trafficking route risked being put out of action by Italy's anti-migrant leaders.

While the Spaniards pulled 447 people to safety on Saturday in the western part of the sea, two humanitarian groups that operate the last private rescue vessel in the central Mediterranean, considered the deadliest route for trafficked migrants, said Panama had yanked the ship's registration following Italian complaints.

 

LITHUANIA

Pope warns against

rebirth of anti-Semitism

Pope Francis warned against historic revisionism and any rebirth of anti-Semitism that fueled the Holocaust as he marked the annual remembrance Sunday for Lithuania's centuries-old Jewish community that was nearly wiped out during World War II.

Francis began his second day in the Baltics in Lithuania's second city, Kaunas, where an estimated 3,000 Jews survived out of a community of 37,000 during the 1941-1944 Nazi occupation. He ended it back in the capital, Vilnius, to pay his respects to Lithuanians who were deported to Siberian gulags or were tortured and killed at home during five decades of Soviet occupation.

 

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com wires