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Pakistan holds Senate elections

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan held elections for its Senate to elect 52 members of the house for the next six years on Saturday amid strict measures to ensure transparency, the Election Commission said.

According to a statement from the Election Commission of Pakistan, at least 135 candidates, including 110 men and 25 women, are competing for the 52 Senate seats from all the four provinces of the country, northwest Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and the capital of Islamabad, Xinhua news agency reported.

As many as 20 candidates are contesting against 12 seats from eastern Punjab province, 33 against 12 seats from southern Sindh province, 27 against 11 seats from northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 25 against 11 seats from southwest Balochistan province, 24 against four seats from FATA and six against two seats from Islamabad.

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Some local media reports said that 131 candidates are competing now after four candidates have withdrawn from the elections in favor of some other runners.

The elections are being conducted to replace 52 out of the total 104 senators of the upper house of the parliament after completing their six-year term.

As the senators are not directly voted by the general public, the contestants from provinces will be elected by members of provincial assemblies while the aspirants from Islamabad and FATA will get votes from the members of the National Assembly, the lower house of the parliament.

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44 dead as ferry capsizes in Tanzania

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TANZANIA — At least 44 people were killed after a passenger ferry carrying hundreds of people capsized on Lake Victoria in Tanzania, official said late Thursday.

Thirty-seven people were rescued after the sinking Thursday afternoon, Mwanza regional commissioner John Mongella told The Associated Press.

The death toll was expected to rise when rescue efforts resumed at daybreak.

According to local media, the exact number of those on board was not known as the boat was believed to be carrying people beyond the stipulated capacity. The ferry was thought to be carrying between 400 to 500 people.

The ferry overturned between the two islands in Lake Victoria, which is the largest lake in Africa, passing through Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

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Emergency response teams pulled 37 people out of the water during rescue operations, which was stopped due to poor visibility.

Regional Commissioner John Mongella told local Tanzania television channel ITV that the rescue operations would resume in the morning.

The Tanzania Electrical, Mechanical and Electronics Services Agency, in charge of servicing the vessels, urged patience in a statement as rescue efforts began.

The ferry was traveling between Ukara and Bugolora and capsized near the area of Mwanza, the agency said.

Accidents are often reported on the large freshwater lake surrounded by Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda.

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