CAIRO — Egyptian anti-government activists pelted police with firebombs and rocks in a second day of clashes Wednesday that left two dead. Beefed up police forces on the streets quickly moved in and used tear gas, beatings and live ammunition fired in the air to disperse any demonstrations.
There were signs that the crackdown on protesters was taking a toll on Egypt’s international standing. In Washington, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs would not say whether President Hosni Mubarak, the target of demonstrators’ anger and a close U.S. ally, still has the Obama administration’s support. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the government should allow peaceful protests instead of cracking down.
The latest deaths brought to six the number of people killed in two days of protests.
Haiti party says candidate out of race
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti’s ruling party announced Wednesday that President Rene Preval’s chosen successor is withdrawing from the disputed race for president under pressure from the U.S., the Organization of American States and local protests.
But it was not immediately clear if the Unity party’s statement was enough to end the candidacy of government construction official Jude Celestin, who had been heading to a runoff vote against former first lady Mirlande Manigat. Rival candidates and some foreign governments have questioned the results of the first round of voting that put in Celestin in second place.
Electoral council spokesman Pierre Thibault Junior told The Associated Press that the council ‘‘has not received anything formally’’ from the Celestin campaign.
Tunisia issues warrant for ex-president
TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia’s government issued an international arrest warrant Wednesday for ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and six relatives, accusing him of taking money out of the North African nation illegally.
Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia after being driven from power this month by violent protests, was also being charged with illegally acquiring real estate and other assets abroad, Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said.