MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Colombian author whose beguiling stories of love and longing brought Latin America to life for millions of readers and put magical realism on the literary map, died on Thursday. He was 87.
GENEVA/MOSCOW (Reuters) - The United States, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union called after crisis talks on Thursday for an immediate halt to violence in Ukraine, where Western powers believe Russia is fomenting a pro-Russian separatist movement.
Karnataka witnessed an impressive voter turnout as more than 65 per cent of its 4.62 crore electorate exercised franchise during the single-phase polling for the State's 28 Lok Sabha constituencies on Thursday.The polling is a healthy improvement when compared with 58.81 per cent registered in 2009. Chief Electoral Officer Anil Kumar Jha said the overall polling percentage is likely to go up. Voting statistics from various districts were still trickling in till late in the evening on Thursday. Around 5 pm, poll watchers were expecting the turnout to touch 68 per cent, making it an all-time record. The polling was held between 7 am and 6 pm. The Election Commission is expected to announce the final figures on Friday. The highest turnout in the State was in 1999 Lok Sabha polls when 67.58 per cent of the voters exercised their franchise. The three constituencies of Bangalore witnessed a relatively poor turnout, an average of about 54 per cent. The two national parties interpreted the increase in the turnout in their own way: While the Congress claimed that it was because of various welfare schemes being implemented by the Siddaramaiah government, the BJP said it was the reflection of angst of people who are seeking a change at the Centre. The keenly fought polls remained by and large peaceful and voters turned out at polling booths in large numbers despite minor incidents of violence, searing summer heat and rainfall in some parts of the State.Jha said repolling could be ordered in one booth each in Sringeri and Govindarajnagar due to faulty electronic voting machines (EVMs). There have been reports of voters boycotting polls from pockets of Karwar, Sirsi, Chamarajnagar and Bidar in protest against poor basic amenities in their villages, he said.The highest polling was recorded in Dakshina Kannada (75 per cent), followed by Chikkaballapur (73 per cent). The lowest was in Gulbarga (51 per cent) followed by Bangalore North (52 per cent).In Mayaganahalli in Ramanagara taluk, under Bangalore Rural constituency, three workers of the Aam Aadmi Party were thrashed allegedly by Congress supporters after they took pictures of money being distributed to voters.
A good turnout of voters marked the fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections held at 121 parliamentary constituencies across 11 states on Thursday. Polling remained peaceful, except for few disruptions, rigging attempts at some polling booths and violence, including a Maoist attack in Jharkhand that left three CRPF personnel and a driver injured. Eleven parliamentary constituencies of Uttar Pradesh witnessed 62.52 per cent turnout, seven per cent higher than the last Lok Sabha polls.About 56 per cent voters in Bihar sealed the fate of 117 candidates in seven parliamentary constituencies. West Bengal recorded a 78.89 per cent turnout. Voter turnout reached 54.41 per cent in 10 parliamentary seats of Madhya Pradesh, 63.44 per cent for three seats in Chhattisgarh, about 55 per cent of 19 constituencies in Maharashtra, with 74 per cent voting in Manipur, 70 per cent in Odisha and 62 per cent at six constituencies in Jharkhand. Udhampur (J&K) saw a turnout of 69 per cent, while Rajasthan recorded 63.43 per cent of voting.