SPOTLIGHT: VENEZUELAN POLITICAL CRISIS INTENSIFIES
Stories about Venezuela's toilet paper shortage are no laughing matter, especially when people are also struggling to access basic food supplies and medicine, and face soaring crime rates and rolling blackouts.
But rather than work together to help alleviate the crisis, President Nicolas Maduro and the political opposition, which controls the legislature, are at each other's throats. Opponents are pushing for a referendum to oust the president. Maduro is using his influence over the Supreme Court to fight back. The high court annulled several parliamentary rulings in recent months. It also denied the opposition the two-thirds "supermajority" it won in December's elections by blocking three lawmakers from taking their seats.
On Friday, the legislature took matters into its own hands and reinstated the missing lawmakers, bypassing the Supreme Court. Furious, Maduro accused his adversaries Monday of carrying out "a parliamentary coup" against the judiciary. He upped the ante Tuesday by threatening to block funding to the legislature. "We can't use public monies on institutions that disregard the law," Maduro said.
The tit-for-tat is doing nothing, sadly, to improve the plight of everyday citizens. Conditions are so dire that an increasing number of young women are opting for sterilization, according to news reports. Desperate times indeed.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR TODAY
- Hurricane Earl is expected to churn toward northern Guatemala or southeastern Mexico later today after making landfall in Belize this morning.
- U.S. President Barack Obama turns 55.
LONDON KNIFE ATTACK
Police are trying to determine what motivated a 19-year-old man to carry out a knife attack yesterday that killed one woman and injured five other people in London's Russell Square.
INDIA OVERHAULS TAX SYSTEM
India passed a bill to revamp its tax system — one of the world's most complex. The Goods and Services Tax would streamline a patchwork of central and state taxes into one unified economic zone, making it one of the most important economic measures the country has taken since it opened its markets in 1991, The Indian Expressreports.
— ON THIS DAY
How about a bit of Satchmo today? Check out your 57-second shot of History here.
TURKEY DETAINS 20 ISIS MEMBERS
Turkish news agency Dogan reports that police took into custody 20 suspected members of the Islamic State terror group while conducting simultaneous raids on 22 addresses this morning in the southern city of Adana.
— MY GRAND-PERE'S WORLD
The End Of The End Of The World — La Rabida, 1968
POKEMON GOES TO LATIN AMERICA
"When Voluspa Jarpa got her hands on piles of court papers and declassified CIA documents linked to Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s, she saw an opportunity to make art," Ivanna Soto writes for Argentine daily Clarin. Take a tour of her cryptic exhibition in Buenos Aires by reading the full article, Artist Turns CIA Papers Into "Mosaic" Of U.S. Role In Latin America.
AIRSTRIKES HIT ALEPPO HOSPITALS
Six hospitals in and around the Syrian city of Aleppo were hit by airstrikes in just a single week (July 23 to 29), reports NBC News citing Physicians for Human Rights, a U.S.-based rights group.
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The International Olympic Committee approved the addition of five sports to the program of the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo: baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing and surfing.