World briefs 6/12/05

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Month-long blockade comes to an end in Bolivia

EL ALTO, Bolivia -- Bulldozers cleared the last barricades on the main road into La Paz and trucks rolled in Saturday loaded with gasoline and produce, signaling the end of a monthlong blockade that paralyzed Bolivia and brought down its president. El Alto, a slum city overlooking La Paz, was the epicenter of a nationwide opposition movement demanding the ruling elite grant more power to a poor majority and back away from free-market policies many blame for their troubles. Their leaders called off the blockades after the new caretaker president, Eduardo Rodriguez, met one of their key demands to call early elections.

Thousands demand ouster of Philippine president

MANILA, Philippines -- An estimated 5,000 protesters demanded Saturday that Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo step down, marking the biggest anti-government rally since allegations surfaced that she fixed last year's election and her family received gambling kickbacks. The government has denied the allegations, saying they were part of a plot to unseat Arroyo. Arroyo's popularity has taken more hits since the release of an alleged wiretapped conversation between Arroyo and an election official to fix the 2004 vote.

-- From wire reports

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