Congo Elections

Opposition presidential candidate Felix Tshisekedi casts his ballot in Kinshasa, Sunday Dec. 30, 2018. oSome frty million voters are registered for a presidential race plagued by years of delay and persistent rumours of lack of preparation. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

Opposition leader Tshisekedi wins Congo presidential vote

KINSHASA, Congo | Congo opposition leader Felix Tshisekedi has won the presidential election, the electoral commission announced early today, as the vast country braced for possible protests over alleged rigging.

Tshisekedi, who received more than 7 million votes or 38 percent, had not been widely considered the leading candidate. Some observers have suggested that President Joseph Kabila’s government sought to make a deal as hopes faded for a win for ruling party candidate Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary. Shadary received more than 4 million votes or 23 percent.

It is not immediately clear whether opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who led in polling and warned against manipulation, will contest the results. The constitutional court has 14 days to validate them. Fayulu received more than 6 million votes or 38 percent.

House passes bill to fund agencies amid shutdown

WASHINGTON | The House has approved a bill to fund the Treasury Department, the IRS and other agencies for the next year as part of a Democratic strategy to reopen the government on a piecemeal basis.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 240-188 on Wednesday to approve the funding bill, which also would reopen the Federal Communications Commission, the Small Business Administration and the federal judiciary, among other agencies.

Eight Republicans joined 232 Democrats to support the bill.

The bill is unlikely to move forward in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell dismissed it as political theater.

Investigation begins after woman in vegetative state gives birth at care facility

PHOENIX | Police served a search warrant Tuesday to get DNA from all male employees at a long-term care facility in Phoenix where a patient who had been in a vegetative state for years gave birth, triggering reviews by state agencies and putting a spotlight on safety concerns for patients who are severely disabled or incapacitated.

Hacienda HealthCare said it welcomed the DNA testing of employees.

“We will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and all other investigative agencies to uncover the facts in this deeply disturbing, but unprecedented situation,” the company said in a statement.

Local news website first reported the woman, who had been in a vegetative state for more than 10 years after a near-drowning, delivered a baby on Dec. 29.

Pizza Hut expands beer delivery to 1,000 locations

Just in time for next month’s Super Bowl, Pizza Hut announced this week that it will expand beer delivery to more locations throughout the United States.

Owned by Yum! Brands, which also includes Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken, Pizza Hut says its beer delivery will now be available at 300 locations.

The chain rolled out its beer delivery option — the only one to do so — in late 2017. It plans to offer beer delivery at more than 1,000 locations by summer.

Last May, the pizza chain started beer delivery at about 100 locations in Arizona and California. Now it’s also available in Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina and Ohio.

Customers need to show a valid ID when the order is delivered.

— From wire reports