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story.lead_photo.caption Migrants wait aboard the Asso Trenta on Sunday as the ship reaches the port in Pozzallo, Italy.

El Salvador expels Venezuelan officials

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador -- El Salvador has ordered the expulsion of Venezuelan government diplomats, joining the U.S. and more than 50 other countries that have said opposition leader Juan Guaido is Venezuela's rightful president.

The Salvadoran government said late Saturday in a statement that the diplomats, who are loyal to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, had 48 hours to leave the country. It said the decision is in line with comments by President Nayib Bukele "not recognizing Maduro's government as legitimate."

Venezuela responded in kind Sunday, ordering Salvadoran diplomats to leave Caracas within two days.

Bukele "is officially taking up the role of pawn of American foreign policy," the Venezuelan government said.

Bukele, who took office in June, responded in a mocking tweet, noting that those ordered to leave Venezuela were holdovers from the previous government, an ally of Maduro.

"I forgot to mention that our Government had not named a single official to our embassy in Venezuela," he wrote. "So the Maduro regime has just expelled officials 100% named by the Government of [ex-President Salvador] Sanchez Ceren, whom they called their friends."

In its statement, Bukele's office called for free elections in Venezuela as a way out of its long-running political and humanitarian crisis.

Protesters rally against Sudan party

CAIRO -- Hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Sudan's capital and across the country on Sunday, demanding the disbanding of the former ruling party that underpinned Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir's three decades in power.

The demonstrations were organized by local groups linked with the Sudanese Professionals' Association, which spearheaded the uprising that toppled al-Bashir in April. Protests continued throughout the summer, despite a violent clampdown by the country's security forces, forcing the ruling generals into a power-sharing agreement with civilians.

In the capital of Khartoum, the protesters also called on authorities to step up an investigation into the hundreds of people who disappeared on June 3, when security forces dispersed the main sit-in outside the military headquarters. According to the protesters, at least 128 people were killed and hundreds disappeared. Authorities put the death toll at 87, including 17 inside the sit-in area.

The protesters carried posters of the missing people, and marched to the office of the country's chief prosecutor, where they presented officials with written demands for a new investigation by an independent committee.

Protesters already rejected the results of the prosecutor's investigation in September, which said the country's ruling generals did not order the deadly break-up, and blamed the deaths on paramilitary forces who exceeded their orders.

Setting up an independent probe into the crackdown was a key point in the transition deal between the military and civilian leaders signed in August. The new government has just over three years to steer the country toward democratic elections.

151 rescued migrants taken to Sicily

ROME -- An Italian offshore supply vessel has taken 151 migrants to Sicily after rescuing them in waters off Libya a day earlier.

The Asso Trenta docked Sunday at Pozzallo with the migrants. It wasn't immediately known if they would stay in Italy or be distributed among other European Union countries.

Hours earlier, a German charity's rescue boat, Alan Kurdi, had disembarked 88 migrants at Taranto on the Italian mainland. Under an EU-brokered deal, 67 of them will go to four other countries, while the others will stay in Italy.

A Taranto official, Gabriella Ficocelli, told the Italian news agency ANSA the migrants included five unaccompanied minors who were "tired and tried by the voyage." They disembarked eight days after being rescued in the Mediterranean Sea from Libyan-based traffickers' unseaworthy vessels.

London-bound bus slides off French road

PARIS -- A bus headed from Paris to London flipped onto its side in the northern Somme region of France on Sunday, leaving 29 people injured, four of them seriously, authorities said.

The FlixBus that crashed on Sunday on a wet highway was carrying passengers from Australia, Britain, France, Netherlands, Romania, Russia, Spain and the U.S. The bus was carrying 32 passengers, a statement from the prefecture of the Somme said.

The injured were taken to Amiens Hospital and several other regional facilities, the statement said. A press official, Herve Fosse, said later that most of the injuries weren't serious and about half weren't expected to remain hospitalized.

The local gendarmerie on the scene tweeted a photo of the bus on its side, its front window smashed. The prefecture, which represents the state, said the bus left the road near an exit, but provided no further details.

The low-cost FlixBus is headquartered in Germany.

-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports

Photo by AP
The bus that crashed Sunday is shown in this photo provided by the gendarmerie in France’s northern Somme region.

A Section on 11/04/2019

Print Headline: El Salvador expels Venezuelan officials Protesters rally against Sudan party 151 rescued migrants taken to Sicily London-bound bus slides off French road

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