17 Февраль 2019
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sampleThe Netherlands' justice minister and five southern Dutch cities say they will implement new restrictions on marijuana cafes after a wave of drug-related gangland violence.

They said Friday the measures include shutting down many cafes, using tax and accounting laws to seize criminal assets, and introducing a "members only" pass system for remaining cafes.

The government has previously floated the idea of a nationwide pass system that would make it difficult for tourists to buy marijuana, despite the country's famed tolerance policy, which allows sale and possession of small amounts of weed.

Last week, a home in Eindhoven was hit with machine gun fire and the mayor of Helmond went into hiding because of death threats. Police say both matters are drug-related.

sampleIvory Coast was in lockdown Friday with all borders sealed and foreign broadcasts jammed as President Laurent Gbagbo's allies rejected election results that showed him beaten by his rival. World powers sharpened their warnings to Ivorian leaders to settle the dispute peacefully, but the chaos in the west African state deepened after days of bloodshed and fraud allegations that have disrupted the landmark vote.
On Thursday the electoral commission (CEI) announced that provisional results showed opposition leader Alassane Ouattara had beaten Gbagbo in the disputed polls by 54 percent to 46. But top Gbagbo ally Paul Yao N'Dre, the head of the country's Constitutional Council which has the final say on elections, said the results were invalid since the commission had over-run the legal deadline for releasing its results.

samplePresident Barack Obama on Friday made a surprise trip to Afghanistan to meet with troops, traveling to the war-torn country just months after the largest release of secret war documents, according to White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

The White House said rough weather forced the president to abruptly scrap his plans to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul. The White House determined the wind, dust and cloud cover made it unsafe for the president to fly by helicopter from the huge military complex here to the presidential palace.

Mr. Gibbs said in a Twitter message: "Good morning.. President Obama just landed at Bagram AFB in Afghanistan.. windy and cold here and about 9 pm here."

Under intense security, Mr. Obama landed in darkness after a clandestine departure from the White House on Thursday, where plans of his trip into the war zone were tightly guarded, the AP reported.

Mr. Obama was to personally thank U.S. troops for their service during the holidays.

Mr. Obama instead will have a secure video conference with President Karzai from Bagram Air Field and won't go to Kabul, where he was to have had a working dinner with the Afghan leader.

In total, Mr. Obama was to spend three hours on the ground in Afghanistan, about half the time he had scheduled.

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