Thousands of Poles March Against Judicial Reform
More protests against a new judiciary law are expected across Poland Wednesday as thousands march against what they say is the right-wing government's plans to take over the courts.
Thousands waving Polish and European Union flags and shouting slogans demanding free courts demonstrated in Warsaw and other Polish cities Tuesday.
Under a new law that lowers the mandatory retirement age for justices, more than a third of Supreme Court justices will be forced into retirement Wednesday. They include Supreme Court President Malgorzata Gersdorf, a strong critic of the ruling conservative Law and Justice party. She calls it a "purge conducted in the Supreme Court ... under the pretext of the retrospective change in retirement age."
Nobel Prize-winning Solidarity founder Lech Walesa said he will be among those marching Wednesday, saying he is ready to "lead a physical removal of the main perpetrator of all misfortune" -- a reference to Law and Justice party chief Jaroslaw Kaczynski. Walesa did not elaborate on what he meant by "physical removal."
The government says changes to the judiciary are necessary, saying many of the rules date back to the days of communism.
Death Toll in Indonesia Ferry Accident Rises to 31 Passengers
Indonesia disaster officials now say 31 people have been confirmed dead after a ferry ran aground off the island of Sulawesi.
The ferry was carrying about 140 people Tuesday afternoon when it was hit by rough weather and began taking on water. The captain steered the vessel onto a reef about 300 meters from shore in an effort to save lives. Television footage showed passengers desperately hanging on to the ferry as it listed in the waters, or floating in the rough seas wearing life jackets.
Nearly 70 passengers have been rescued from the wreckage, while another 41 passengers remain missing.
Tuesday's accident occurred on the same day that authorities called off the search for more than 160 passengers believed to be trapped inside the wreckage of a ferry that sunk last month in a popular lake on Sumatra island.
Ferry sinkings are a common tragedy in Indonesia, a vast archipelago of 17,000 islands in the Indian Ocean, due to weak enforcement of safety regulations.