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Prime Minister Robert Fico was expected to take the lead in round one of Slovakia's presidential election on Saturday, though his path to a runoff win may be harder amid concerns that his leftist Social Democrats are monopolising power. Victory for ex-communist Fico, the frontrunner in a pack of 14 contenders, would mean the presidency, parliament and government will be controlled by the same party for the first time since Slovakia won independence in 1993. He is most likely to face millionaire-turned-philanthropist Andrej Kiska, who polls put at 24 percent, in the run-off set for March 29. The non-partisan Kiska, 51, with no communist past, is seen as an untainted political novice with a good nose for business.
By Deisy Buitrago and Andrew Cawthorne CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro warned protesters in Caracas on Saturday to clear a square they have made their stronghold, or face eviction by security forces. Plaza Altamira, in upscale east Caracas, has been a focus of anti-government protests and violence during six weeks of unrest around Venezuela that has killed 28 people. "If they don't retreat, I'm going to liberate those spaces with the security forces," Maduro added. "They have a few hours to go home ... Chuckys, get ready, we're coming for you." Students and other protesters have been using the square, in the pro-opposition Chacao district of Caracas, as a rallying point since a wave of protests started to gather steam in mid-February.
BURLINGAME, Calif. (AP) — The internal struggle over the direction of the GOP played a central role this weekend as the California Republican Party met at its convention: The party in California and elsewhere is torn between supporters who want to steadfastly hold to conservative principles and those who want to take a more moderate, pragmatic approach that could resonate with a broader cross-section of voters.