TIRANA, Albania

At least three die as police, protesters clash in capital

Thousands of people held an anti-government demonstration in Albania’s capital on Friday, and at least three people were killed and scores wounded as police using tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons clashed with the protesters.

At least 15 police vehicles were overturned and burned by the more than 20,000 people who took part in the largest and most violent protest that Tirana had seen in years.

“Get Out! Get Out!” the demonstrators shouted as they battled the riot police outside Conservative Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s office in the capital. Other protesters carried red-and-black Albanian flags.

Berisha accused the opposition Socialists, who called the protest, of trying to overthrow the government with a “Tunisian-style” demonstration – referring to the rioting that just toppled Tunisia’s government.


Cuba suspends mail to U.S., despite recent policy thaw

Cuba suspended indefinitely all mail service to the United States on Friday, extending a ban announced in November and expanding it to cover letters as well as packages.

The move is a setback for relations between the two countries, enemies for more than half a century. It came just days after the Obama administration announced it was easing travel restrictions on academics and church groups seeking to visit the island.

“Until further notice, we cannot continue to accept any type of delivery,” Cuba’s mail service, Correos de Cuba, said Friday in an announcement read over state television.

Mail service was suspended in the 1960s, shortly after Fidel Castro came to power. Limited mail service routed through third countries resumed in 2009, following talks between U.S. and Cuban officials.

But deliveries were suspended in November following a U.S. decision to increase security measures following last year’s failed terror threat involving packages mailed from Yemen.

TUNIS, Tunisia

Prime minister says he’ll leave politics after elections

Tunisia’s prime minister pledged Friday to quit politics after elections that he says will be held as soon as possible, amid protests by citizens still angry at officials linked to their deposed president’s regime.

Mohamed Ghannouchi said in an interview on Tunisian television Friday he will leave power after a transition phase leading to legislative and presidential elections “in the shortest possible timeframe.”

Protesters have been demanding for days the departure of all remnants of the old guard under ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.


U.S. puts pressure on Haiti to accept popular candidate

The U.S. State Department said Friday it revoked the visas of about a dozen Haitian officials, increasing pressure on the government to drop its favored candidate from the presidential runoff in favor of a popular contender who is warning of renewed protests if he is not on the ballot.

Revoking visas that let prominent Haitians enter the United States is the latest step in an escalating effort to persuade Haiti’s government to accept international monitors’ finding that Michel Martelly rightfully belongs on the second-round ballot

Martelly has adopted a combative stance and urged his supporters to take to the streets peacefully if the electoral council does not allow him to run against top vote-getter Mirlande Manigat in the runoff, in place of Jude Celestin. Demonstrations in December shut down all Haiti’s major cities for days, hampering earthquake reconstruction and efforts to halt a cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 4,000 people.


Junk food ads for children targeted by health agency

The U.N. health agency says world leaders will discuss efforts to clamp down on junk food marketing to children when they meet in New York on Sept. 19-20.

The World Health Organization says heads of state will use the U.N. General Assembly meeting to talk about limiting the number and type of ads that children are exposed to.

WHO says 43 million preschool children around the world are overweight or obese — part of a “fat tsunami” that is already causing millions of premature deaths each year.