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international relations

Egypt IS leader vows to escalate attacks on Christians

CAIRO (AP) — The leader of the Islamic State affiliate in Egypt has vowed to escalate attacks against Christians, urging Muslims to steer clear of Christian gatherings and western embassies as they are targets of their group’s militants. “Targeting the churches is part of our war on infidels,” the unidentified …

US warns on sanctions over Venezuela’s move on constitution

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Trump administration is warning that it might impose more sanctions on Venezuelan officials over President Nicolas Maduro’s push to rewrite the constitution amid an escalating political crisis with near-daily demonstrations calling for his ouster. A U.S. State Department official expressed “deep concerns” Tuesday about the …

Venezuela formally notifies OAS it will leave amid protests

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela formally notified the Organization of American States on Friday of its intention to leave the regional body amid sometimes violent protests at home and international calls for its embattled government to hold delayed elections and release prisoners. Venezuelan interim ambassador Carmen Velasquez submitted a letter …

Venezuela threatens to exit OAS as pressure on Maduro mounts

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela is threatening to pull out of the Organization of American States as the socialist government’s response to political unrest that has been blamed for 27 deaths in recent weeks draws rebuke from the hemisphere’s major powers. Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez said on state TV late …

Cuba weathers storm in Venezuela but future looks uncertain

HAVANA (AP) — Refineries have gone dark. Gas rations have been slashed for hundreds of thousands of state workers. Construction materials are nearly impossible to find. But Cuba’s hotels and restaurants are packed, major U.S. airlines are adding flights and government stores are full of frozen American chicken and U.S.-made …

AP Exclusive: The sad saga of North Korea’s ATMs

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — No modern airport terminal is complete without an ATM, and Pyongyang’s now has two. But they don’t work — because of new Chinese sanctions, according to bank employees — and it’s not clear when they will. ATMs are an alien enough concept in North Korea …

Regional group rebukes Venezuelan government

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The Organization of American States on Monday took its strongest measure yet rebuking Venezuela’s slide toward authoritarianism. Member countries of the regional body said that last week’s Supreme Court ruling nullifying the opposition-controlled Congress was “incompatible with democratic practice.” That Venezuelan court ruling was overturned after …

Despite some tensions, evangelical churches booming in Cuba

HAVANA (AP) — Fidel Castro’s government sent the Rev. Juan Francisco Naranjo to two years of work camp in the 1960s for preaching the Gospel in a Cuba where atheism was law and the faithful were viewed as suspect. For years, Naranjo’s church was almost abandoned, with just a handful …