Putin signs law enabling him to retain power until 2036

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday signed a law allowing him to potentially hold onto power until 2036, a move that formalizes constitutional changes endorsed in a vote last year.

The July 1 constitutional vote included a provision that reset Putin’s previous term limits, allowing him to run for president two more times. The change was rubber-stamped by the Kremlin-controlled legislature and the relevant law signed by Putin was posted Monday on an official portal of legal information.

The 68-year-old Russian president, who has been in power for more than two decades — longer than any other Kremlin leader since Soviet dictator Josef Stalin — said he would decide later whether to run again in 2024 when his current six-year term ends.

He has argued that resetting the term count was necessary to keep his lieutenants focused on their work instead of “darting their eyes in search for possible successors.”

Militants attack Nigerian prison, 1,800 inmates escape

WARRI, Nigeria — Militants armed with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades launched a series of coordinated attacks overnight in southeastern Nigeria, targeting a prison where more than 1,800 inmates then managed to escape, authorities said Monday.

The attacks began around 2 a.m. in the town of Owerri in Imo state and lasted for about two hours, according to local resident Uche Okafor. Gunmen also assaulted various other police and military buildings, authorities said.

“Efforts are in top gear to re-arrest the fleeing detainees,” said Nigeria prison spokesman Francis Enobore, adding that 35 other inmates stayed behind during the prison break.

The coordinated attacks come less than two weeks after another wave of violence in southeastern Nigeria, when at least a dozen security officers were killed during attacks on four police stations, military checkpoints and prison vehicles.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but the Nigeria inspector general of police blamed a paramilitary wing of a secessionist movement active in the region called the Eastern Security Network. The ESN has said it is fighting for the protection of the Igbo people from foreign armed invaders killing their people.“The attempt by the attackers to gain access to the police armory at the headquarters was totally and appropriately resisted,” a police statement said.

Tribal clashes leave 40 dead, 60 wounded in Sudan

CAIRO — Tribal clashes that erupted over the weekend between Arabs and non-Arabs in Sudan’s western Darfur region have killed at least 40 people and wounded around 60 others, the U.N. said Monday.

The violence was between the Arab Rizeigat and the Masalit tribes in Genena, the provincial capital of West Darfur province. It happened after unknown armed men on Saturday shot dead two people from the Masalit, according to the U.N. humanitarian affairs agency.

Two others from the Masalit were wounded in that shooting, it said. The circumstances of the shootings were not immediately clear.

Since then, the two tribes have mobilized forces and gun fire could still be heard in Genena late Monday, the U.N. said. Authorities declared a state of emergency in West Darfur.

Russia plans to slow Twitter until mid-May

MOSCOW — Russian authorities said Monday they would continue to slow down Twitter until mid-May, but wouldn’t block the social media platform for now because it has started to remove banned content faster.

The announcement marks somewhat of a reprieve in the recent standoff between the Russian government and the platform, which has played a role in amplifying dissent in Russia.

Russia’s state communications watchdog Roskomnadzor accused Twitter last month of failing to remove content encouraging suicide among children, as well as information about drugs and child pornography. The agency announced on March 10 it was slowing down the speed of uploading photos and videos to the platform, and less then a week later threatened to block it within a month if it continues to not comply.

In response, Twitter has emphasized its policy of zero tolerance for child sexual exploitation, the promotion of suicide and drug sales.

The Associated Press

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