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story.lead_photo.caption Brazilian police officers aim their weapons during an operation in a slum in Rio de Janeiro ahead of today’s general elections.

Gaza fishing zone restricted after protests

JERUSALEM -- Israel announced new restrictions on Gaza on Saturday, weeks after the territory's Hamas rulers stepped up protests along the enclave's land and sea borders with Israel.

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered the permissible zone for Gaza fishermen to be scaled down from 9 to 6 nautical miles and threatened "additional steps if the violent incidents continue," according to a statement by COGAT, the Israeli defense body that coordinates civil affairs for the Palestinian territories.

Other measures could include more restrictions at Kerem Shalom, Gaza's prime commercial crossing point and the only one with Israel.

Lieberman cited Friday's "riots" at the fence dividing Gaza and Israel as contributing to his decision, in addition to the midweek beach protests in which fishing boats and protesters gathered at the northwest end of the Gaza Strip where its sea and land barriers meet with Israel.

Hamas seized Gaza forcibly from the Palestinian Authority in 2007 after winning legislative elections a year earlier. The Islamic militant group has since March initiated protests on a weekly basis, demanding an end to an Israeli-Egyptian blockade that has made it increasingly difficult for the group to govern.

Suspected militants detained in Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Malaysian police said Saturday that eight suspected militants, including seven foreigners, have been arrested on accusations that they spread religious extremism that could threaten national security and fan terrorism in the region.

National police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the suspects are connected with an Islamic religious school in Yemen that promotes the Salafi Jihadi teachings, which denounce democracy as un-Islamic and permit the killings of non-Muslims as well as Muslims who don't follow their ways.

He said the foreigners, aged between 24 and 38, include five people from a country in Europe, one from the Americas and one from the Middle East.

Fuzi said the Sept. 24 arrests came after police received intelligence about attempts by a Yemen-based terror group to set up a school in Southeast Asia to promote the Salafi Jihadi ideology, which is shared by groups including the Islamic State.

Hundreds of people suspected of having ties to the Islamic State have been detained in Malaysia in the past few years.

Belarusian rejects domestic-violence bill

MINSK, Belarus -- The authoritarian president of Belarus has rejected a prospective law against domestic violence as Western "nonsense," saying that physical punishment could be "useful" in raising children.

President Alexander Lukashenko said a draft bill criminalizing domestic violence needs more work. He told journalists Friday that he is personally against the physical punishment of children, but added that a "good belting could sometimes be useful for a kid."

"It's just nonsense taken from the West," he said. "We will proceed exclusively from our own interests, our Belarusian Slavic traditions, and our life experience."

Lukashenko has ruled Belarus for 24 years, showing little tolerance for dissent or independent media.

The Belarusian leader has often lashed out against the West, especially for its approval of same-sex marriages. He said Friday that "they will soon have no families left, with men marrying other men."

Current Belarusian law doesn't contain specific regulations against domestic violence. Lukashenko did not mention violence against women in his remarks, but the bill would cover all forms of domestic violence.

The prospective bill was drafted by the Interior Ministry and Lukashenko's own administration, but Lukashenko said other organizations should have a say in creating the law.

Dozens of Congolese killed in tanker fire

KINSHASA, Congo -- At least 50 people were killed early Saturday and more than 100 were badly burned when a tanker truck in Congo collided with another truck and, as villagers rushed to collect the leaking fuel, burst into flames, witnesses and officials said.

"We deplore the deaths," Atu Matubuana, the interim governor of Kongo-Central province, said. Officials were identifying the charred bodies in preparation for burial, Matubuana said.

The accident occurred overnight in the village of Mbuba, not far from Kisantu city and about 124 miles southwest of the capital, Kinshasa. The city is on the main highway between the capital and the country's Matadi seaport.

The fire quickly spread to nearby homes, Congo's health ministry said in a statement. An investigation was underway into the cause of the accident.

"The driver of the tanker truck has disappeared while the driver of the tractor trailer died at the scene," the ministry said. Twenty charred bodies had been recovered, and four people died after arriving at a hospital.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

Photo by AP/JEAN-CHRISTOPHE BOTT
Volunteers build a theater out of cardboard Saturday ahead of a performance in Vevey, Switzerland.

A Section on 10/07/2018

Print Headline: Gaza fishing zone restricted after protests Suspected militants detained in Malaysia Domestic violence bill struck in Belarus Belarusian rejects domestic-violence bill Dozens of Congolese killed i...

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