BOLIVIA faces its worst unrest in decades amid a political vacuum as Evo Morales (main image), who transformed the Andean nation as its first indigenous president, fled the country after weeks of protests.

He flew out on a Mexican government plane hours after being granted asylum, as his supporters and opponents fought on the streets of the capital while an opposition leader tearfully laid out a possible path towards new elections.

Morales stepped down on Sunday after widespread protests fed by allegations of electoral fraud in the October 20 presidential election. Resignations by every other constitutionally designated successor left who would take his position unclear.

He helped lift millions out of poverty, increased social rights and presided over nearly 14 years of stability and economic growth.

MEANWHILE, Moldova’s government coalition between a pro-European group and a Russian-backed party has collapsed after losing a no-confidence vote in parliament.

Prime minister Maia Sandu’s (left) government lost the vote as 63 of 101 legislators supported the no-confidence motion.

The parties in parliament now have three months to form a new government majority or an early election will be held.

Bordered by Romania and Ukraine, Moldova is one of the poorest countries in Europe, plagued by corruption and political turmoil. The country of 2.7 million has been a politically strategic area for the West and Russia.

ELSEWHERE, ferocious wildfires were burning at emergency-level intensity across Australia’s most populous state yesterday as authorities warned most populations in their paths that there was no longer time to flee.

New South Wales is under a week-long state of emergency, a declaration that gives the Rural Fire Service sweeping powers to control resources and direct other government agencies in its efforts to battle fires.

FINALLY, the European Union’s top court has ruled that EU countries must oblige retailers to identify products made in Israeli settlements with special labels, in a ruling likely to spark anger in Israel.

The European Court of Justice said in a statement that “foodstuffs originating in the territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin”.

The Luxembourg-based court said that when products come from an Israeli settlement, their labelling must provide an “indication of that provenance”.

The EU has consistently spoken out against settlement expansion, saying it undermines the hopes for a two-state solution by gobbling up lands claimed by the Palestinians.

Israel says the labelling is unfair.