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BLANTYRE — One person was killed and several others were injured as demonstrations against the government turned violent across Malawi on Wednesday and police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, police said.

Malawians said they were protesting against persistent fuel and foreign exchange reserve shortages and bad governance.

Demonstrations took place in the commercial center of Blantyre, in the capital and in other major towns across the southern African country.

Protesters also looted several shops belonging to ruling party officials and allies of President Bingu wa Mutharika.

As protests became violent, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators.

A north regional police spokeswoman said a man had died, but she could not confirm if he had been killed by police. She said several others, including police officers, had been injured.


Kenya torches 5 tons of ivory from poachers

MANYANI — Kenya’s president set fire to more than 5 tons of elephant ivory worth $16 million Wednesday, in an act meant to focus attention on a rising tide of poaching deaths.

The bright orange flame that raced through the fuel-laden pile jumped out and nearly bit President Mwai Kibaki as he lit the mound of 335 confiscated ivory tusks and 41,000 trinkets.

“Through the disposal of contraband ivory, we seek to formally demonstrate to the world our determination to eliminate all forms of illegal trade in ivory,” Mr. Kibaki told several hundred people at a rural Kenya Wildlife Service training facility in southeastern Kenya.

Kenyan officials first set fire to a mound of ivory in 1989, a desperate call to action to wake the world to a poaching crisis that sent Africa’s elephant populations plummeting.

Elephant numbers are much healthier today, but elephant advocates say a second elephant crisis is coming, as China’s middle class seeks to satisfy its ivory appetite.

From wire dispatches and staff reports