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Venezuela Protesters Clash With Riot Police In Caracas

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Riot police have fired tear gas at stone-throwing protesters in Venezuela’s capital amid opposition demonstrations to pressure electoral authorities into allowing a recall referendum against President Nicolas Maduro. Protesters and National Guard members clashed on a highway in Caracas on Wednesday where thousands of demonstrators chanted “freedom” and waved copies of the constitution.

A video showed an officer appearing to use pepper spray against Henrique Capriles, the two-time presidential candidate, during the protest.  Capriles later said on Twitter that he was fine. In the western opposition stronghold of Tachira, protesters brandished signs reading “We don’t want to do die of hunger”, while some masked youths blocked streets with rubbish and prepared Molotov cocktails. The Democratic Unity coalition has stepped up its campaign to topple Maduro amid a worsening economic crisis, but says the government-leaning electoral body is intentionally delaying the verification of signatures in favour of the referendum.

The opposition submitted roughly 1.85 million signatures on May 2 in favour of the referendum. If they are validated, the opposition must then request another petition drive and gather around four million signatures to trigger a referendum. If the opposition succeeds this year in winning a recall referendum to oust Maduro, whose term ends in 2019, new elections would be held.

But if a successful recall referendum is held next year, the presidency would fall to the vice president, a post currently held by Aristobulo Isturiz, a loyalist of the governing United Socialist Party. The opposition says Maduro, elected in 2013, is pushing the oil-producing country towards economic catastrophe. One recent opinion poll showed that almost 70 percent of Venezuelans want Maduro stripped of presidency this year.

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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