Police in Congo seize young men

KINSHASA, Republic of Congo - Police were going door to door Saturday, taking youths out of houses in an opposition neighborhood and pushing them into unmarked vehicles a day after the incumbent was declared the winner in a disputed presidential election.

Police officers with automatic weapons drawn were also seen beating one of the young men during the roundup in the impoverished 20-Mai neighborhood.

The purpose of the roundup was not immediately clear. But it underscored the tension that persists after the official announcement Friday that President Joseph Kabila had been reelected. Human Rights Watch was also receiving reports of "other abductions" in the capital, Anneke Van Woudenberg, a senior researcher for the group, said Saturday.

The declaration of Kabila's victory has been rejected as fraudulent by the man who finished second, Etienne Tshisekedi, a veteran opposition leader. Tshisekedi's claims of fraud appeared to be gaining ground with outside electoral observers, including the Carter Center. Observers say nearly 2,000 polling stations in the capital were not counted. - N.Y. Times News Service

Women defy jeers at Cuba gathering

HAVANA - Cuba's Ladies in White dissident group paid homage to its late leader while observing International Human Rights Day at her home Saturday, surrounded by a jeering progovernment crowd for a second straight day.

Photos of Laura Pollan and messages of condolence adorned the wall of the house where she lived in central Havana and that served as a headquarters for the Ladies since the group was formed in 2003.

Next to a lighted candle, an empty chair was draped with white clothing that belonged to Pollan. A single gladiola and a tiny Cuban flag rested on it. "Laura Pollan lives!" the Ladies cried, and "Freedom for political prisoners!"

Outside, dozens of supporters of President Raul Castro's government, many of them students, massed at the front door and shouted revolutionary slogans and insults at the women inside. "Viva Fidel! Viva Raul!" they chanted, draping huge Cuban and revolutionary flags from the roof.

- AP

Peruvian cabinet leader resigns

LIMA, Peru - Peruvian cabinet chief Salomon Lerner resigned Saturday after less than five months in office and was replaced by the interior minister, who inherits an unresolved dispute over the country's biggest mining investment.

The reason for Lerner's resignation was not explained, but he was recently involved in failed attempts to negotiate an end to protests that stalled the $4.8 billion Conga gold mining project, which has been plagued by increasingly violent protests.

Lerner's replacement, Interior Minister Oscar Valdes, 62, is a former army officer who became a successful executive in various businesses in the southern coastal city of Tacna, most recently a trucking company and pasta producer.

- AP