Thousands march for lower gas prices, new president

At least 6,000 protesters marched through Haiti’s capital Saturday to demand lower gas prices and the ouster of President Michel Martelly.

The protest remained peaceful overall although police briefly threw tear gas and dispersed a crowd that had thrown trash and tires in the street to block traffic.

The protest, which diminished in strength as the afternoon wore on, was the latest in a series of demonstrations over recent weeks fueled by anger over gas prices.

The government recently lowered the price by about 25 cents to $4.50 a gallon and diesel prices dropped by about 20 cents to $3.55, but protesters say the reductions don’t fully reflect the global drop in oil prices.

Bus drivers struck for two days earlier in the week, stranding hundreds of thousands of workers and students.

Protesters also remain angry that President Michel Martelly began ruling by decree last month after parliament was dissolved. Long-delayed elections have not been held.

YAOUNDE, Cameroon

African nations detail plans for fight against Boko Haram

Nigeria and its four bordering countries announced plans Saturday to deploy an 8,750-strong force by next month to combat the growing regional threat posed by Boko Haram.

Details of the proposed deployment were revealed at the end of a three-day meeting in Cameroon in a statement read out by officials, including Issaka Souare, African Union adviser for Mali and the Sahel.

The plans call for Chad and Nigeria to contribute 3,500 troops each, while Cameroon and Niger would contribute 750 each and Benin would contribute 250. The force would be headquartered in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena.


Gauguin painting sells for record-breaking $300 million

A painting by French post-impressionist Paul Gauguin has reportedly sold for a record-breaking sum, but its erstwhile owner won’t reveal the price or buyer.

The oil painting, called “Nafea faa ipoipo?” – Tahitian for “When will you marry?” – and showing two Tahitian women, had belonged to the Swiss family Staehelin for almost 100 years. Earlier this week, Swiss media citing unidentified art world insiders reported that the 1892 painting was bought by Qatari royalty for $300 million, making it the most expensive painting ever.

– From news service reports