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Morales RESIGNS amid pressure from military to step down to restore Bolivia to ‘peace, stability’

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Bolivia’s embattled President Evo Morales has resigned.

Morales announced his resignation shortly after the military called on him to step down amid continued protests following the South American nation’s disputed elections.

General WIlliams Kaliman said on national television that the military’s chiefs wanted Morales gone to restore ‘peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia’.

Bolivia's now former President Evo Morales announced Sunday he was resigning amid pressure from the military just hours before to step down. Morales (pictured earlier in the day announcing there would be a new presidential election) faced electoral fraud allegations

Bolivia's now former President Evo Morales announced Sunday he was resigning amid pressure from the military just hours before to step down. Morales (pictured earlier in the day announcing there would be a new presidential election) faced electoral fraud allegations

Bolivia’s now former President Evo Morales announced Sunday he was resigning amid pressure from the military just hours before to step down. Morales (pictured earlier in the day announcing there would be a new presidential election) faced electoral fraud allegations

General WIlliams Kaliman said on national television that the military's chiefs wanted Morales gone to restore 'peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia'.

General WIlliams Kaliman said on national television that the military's chiefs wanted Morales gone to restore 'peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia'.

General WIlliams Kaliman said on national television that the military’s chiefs wanted Morales gone to restore ‘peace and stability and for the good of our Bolivia’.

‘Likewise, we ask the Bolivian people and mobilized sectors to shed attitudes of violence and disorder among brothers so as not to stain our families with blood, pain and mourning’, the general said, Reuters reports.

Kaliman stepped in after Morales agreed earlier in the day to hold a new election.

Morales’ claim to have won a fourth term last month had triggered fraud allegations, deadly protests and a split among security forces, The Associated Press reports.

Earlier on Sunday, a report from the Organization of American States (OAS), which conducted an audit of the October vote, revealed serious irregularities in the election won by Morales, which sparked widespread division in the country.

The dispute over the October 20 election triggered nationwide protests, resulting in three deaths and more than 300 injuries. 

Police guards outside the presidential palace left their posts Saturday, allowing anti-government protesters to walk up to the doors of the building.

Morales was not in the building when police retreated, with some of them standing on the roof of a near by police station in a sign of growing discontent among security forces and that his presidency was in trouble.

Officials in the palace in La Paz were evacuated, leaving only a military presidential guard. 

Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales are pictured on the rooftop of a police station waving national flags near a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: "The police is with the people"

Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales are pictured on the rooftop of a police station waving national flags near a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: "The police is with the people"

Police against the reelection of President Evo Morales are pictured on the rooftop of a police station waving national flags near a sign with a message that reads in Spanish: ‘The police is with the people’

A demonstrator reacts during a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia, on Sunday

A demonstrator reacts during a protest against Bolivia's President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia, on Sunday

A demonstrator reacts during a protest against Bolivia’s President Evo Morales in La Paz, Bolivia, on Sunday

Bolivian police had became openly defiant a day earlier after protests appeared to be spreading.

On Thursday a Bolivian mayor was doused in red paint and had her hair hacked off by protesters who blamed her for the deaths of two opposition protesters.

Patricia Arce, of the governing Mas party, was dragged out of Vinto town hall on and subjected to four hours of degradation in which she was made to kneel and sign her resignation.

Young men carrying batons and wearing masks chanted, ‘Murderess, murderess,’ as they marched Arce to a platform where they cut her hair before the baying mob.

Morales, first elected president in 2006, was seeking to remain in power until 2025 after he took legal action to get around constitutional term limits.

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Queensland bushfires: Couple ‘numb’ after losing property in Cooroibah blaze

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Sunshine Coast man David Kemp knows how lucky he is to have his young family.

But it doesn’t make it any easier telling two-year-old daughter Ruby they can’t go home.

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“The worst thing is when our little girl says, ‘I want to go home to our house’,” Kemp told 7NEWS.

“It’s hard saying we don’t have a house any more to go home to.”

David and Holly Kemp are “numb”, having lost their beloved property at Cooroibah, near Noosa, in a bushfire on Friday.

David (left) and Holly Kemp survey the damage of their home in a bushfire on the Sunshine Coast.

What Ms Kemp described as their “gorgeous” home is now black from top to bottom, inside and out.

“Everything’s gone,” she said through tears.

Mr Kemp said: “Amazing house. Amazing home. We got it to the way we wanted it.”

But it could have been much worse.

Damage caused by bushfire at a property at Lake Cooroibah Road in Noosa Shire.

With Mr Kemp in hospital due to a bike accident that morning, Ms Kemp was forced to flee with Ruby as the unthinkable happened.

“It was terrifying”, she said.

“It happened so quick. embers everywhere. It became so dark and black.


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‘Everything’s gone’.

“You can’t explain how quick it was here.”

Fundraising efforts have started for the couple, with more than $9000 raised since a friend set up a GoFundMe page on Monday.

Dangerous conditions return

On Tuesday, more than 50 blazes continue to burn across Queensland.

The southeast coast, including Brisbane and the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, face severe fire danger on Tuesday and Wednesday.

That’s also true for the drought-stricken Darling Downs and Granite Belt region west of Brisbane, which lost houses to bushfires earlier this fire season.

More on 7NEWS.com.au

Some of the fires of major concern include the Cobraball, southwest of Yeppoon in central Queensland, where homes have been lost in recent days.

Poor weather conditions could change the status of those contained fires, while those on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast hinterlands, and the Scenic Rim west of Brisbane remain under close watch.

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Port Macquarie residents prepare for worst

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Bushfire smoke in Port Macquarie is so thick, Patrick Rudd can taste it.

The 15-year-old’s high school – Hastings Secondary College – was the last in the NSW mid-north coast town to close on Monday, reduced to minimal supervision as the state’s bushfire crisis continued.

With the mercury expected to hit 32 degrees in Port Macquarie on Tuesday, along with an extreme fire danger rating, Patrick told AAP his family had prepared for the worst.

“Smoke has pretty much blanketed the town,” he said.

“It’s very thick and you can easily taste it … you probably can’t see very well 100 metres in front of you.

“It’s definitely very scary. And to see it affecting my town and me personally, it feels very threatening.”

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian declared an official state of emergency on Monday in anticipation of “catastrophic” fire danger conditions expected in the Greater Sydney, Greater Hunter and Illawarra-Shoalhaven.

The declaration transfers a range of powers from the state government to the NSW Rural Fire Service commissioner, including evacuating people from dangerous areas and taking possession of property in the course of an emergency response.

Ms Berejiklian has refused to engage in discussions connecting the bushfires to anthropogenic climate change.

But Patrick, who was a Port Macquarie Schools Strike 4 Climate organiser in September, said now is the right time to address the issue.

“This is really scary – it feels almost like our first look at what might lie ahead,” the grade nine student said.

“If now is not the time to talk about climate change, then when is?

“It’s not the ‘greenies’ who are politicising (the bushfires), it’s actually the firefighters and emergency services.”

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SA parents tell son’s bikie killer of pain

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The parents of a man bashed to death outside his Adelaide home have sobbed as they told his killer, a Hells Angels bikie, of their anger and grief.

Mark Boyce, 36, suffered a fatal brain injury when he was beaten outside his home at Elizabeth, north of Adelaide, in January 2017.

Joshua Roy Grant, 27, was found guilty of his murder following a trial earlier this year, while two co-offenders are yet to be charged.

In the Supreme Court on Tuesday, the victim’s father, Malcolm Boyce, said he thinks constantly of his son.

“I feel angry and have no sympathy towards you, Josh,” he said.

“There is so much anger and I hope like hell nothing like this happens to a member of your family.”

Justice Tim Stanley remanded Grant in custody ahead of sentencing in November.

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