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Polish president concedes election in shock defeat

Andrzej Duda of the Law and Justice Party Credit: REUTERS/Kacper Pempel

The president of Poland, Bronislaw Komorowski, has stepped down after an exit poll showed him losing to his conservative rival, Andrzej Duda by six points in Sunday's election.

Komorowski had originally been favourite to retain the position, but his defeat has reflected a desire among voters for new faces, and a sense that Poland's new-found prosperity was not being shared out equally.

43-year-old Duda's win is the first in nearly a decade for the Law and Justice party, which is socially conservative and close to the Catholic Church, but less friendly to business than the incumbent Civic Platform Party.

"I respect your choice," Komorowski told a gathering of supporters. "I wish my challenger a successful presidency."


Poland: Russia's actions in Ukraine an 'aggression'

Poland's Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski has called Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine an "aggression" that has created the most serious security crisis in Europe in decades.

"This for sure is an aggression," Sikorski told state radio. "Poland's position will be worked out in the next couple of hours."

He said the need for "strong words" had passed and called for "actions of the whole international community".

Poland broke EU human rights laws with CIA rendition

The European Court of Human Rights has found that Poland violated the EU Convention on Human Rights by allowing the CIA to detain two al-Qaeda suspects on Polish territory.

The case was brought by two Saudi-born men who said they were flown in secret to a CIA-run jail in a Polish forest and subjected to treatment that amounted to torture.

Polish officials have denied the existence of the CIA jail. The US has acknowledged that it kept al-Qaeda suspects in facilities outside the US, but has not said where.

The EU court ruled that Poland violated articles around the prohibition of torture, the right to liberty and the right to an effective investigation of their allegations.

Poland has been ordered to pay the men 230,000 euros.

Crashed plane operated by Poland parachute school

A plane which crashed in Poland had been operated by a private parachuting school, took off from the Rudniki airfield just outside Czestochowa, a fire spokesman said.

A policeman inspects the site of the crash of the Piper PA-31 Navajo plane in Topolow near Czestochowa Credit: REUTERS/Maciej Kuron/Agencja Gazeta

"From what we know 11 people were killed," said Justyna Sochacka, spokeswoman for the Air Rescue said

"There were 12 people onboard the plane."

A spokesman for the headquarters of fire services, Pawel Fratczak, said the crashed plane was a Piper PA-31 Navajo.

"The plane caught fire after it hit the ground," Fratczak said. The Piper PA-31 Navajo plane is produced by US firm Piper Aircraft.

Eleven feared dead in Poland parachute plane crash

An emergency medical services and fire services spokesman said eleven people were feared dead after a plane taking them on a parachute jump crashed in southern Poland shortly after take off.

Eleven feared dead in Poland parachute plane crash Credit: PA

One man in his forties survived and was taken to hospital in the city of Czestochowa in serious condition, 207 kilometres (129 miles) south-west of Warsaw.

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