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Venezuela officials say at least 12 people killed overnight

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — At least 12 people were killed overnight during looting and violence in Venezuela’s capital amid a spiraling political crisis, authorities said Friday. Most of the deaths took place in El Valle, a working class neighborhood near Caracas’ biggest military base where opposition leaders say a group …

GM quits Venezuela after govt seizes factory

VALENCIA, Venezuela (AP) — General Motors announced Thursday that it was shuttering operations in Venezuela after authorities seized its only factory, a dramatic escalation of the chaos engulfing the South American nation amid days of deadly protests. The plant in the central city of Valencia was confiscated on Wednesday as …

Hanoi mayor urges villagers to release police hostages

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The mayor of Vietnam’s capital on Thursday urged villagers engaged in a land dispute with authorities to release the remaining 20 police and officials they’ve been holding since the weekend. The state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted Nguyen Duc Chung as telling local officials to persuade the …

5 dead in Venezuela protests as movement gains steam

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Thousands of Venezuelans took to the streets in wealthy eastern Caracas amid a tropical downpour Thursday to support a protest movement that is gaining steam even as it turns more deadly. Venezuela officials confirmed earlier in the day that a fifth person had died in the …

Venezuela opposition leader banned from running for office

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s government has barred opposition leader Henrique Capriles — twice a major presidential candidate — from running for office for 15 years, a surprise move sure to ratchet up tensions amid a growing street protest movement Capriles read from excerpts of the comptroller general’s order at …

Madagascar forest overwhelmed by thousands seeking sapphires

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (AP) — A sapphire rush has brought tens of thousands of people into the remote rainforests of eastern Madagascar, disfiguring a protected environmental area and prompting calls for military intervention. More high-quality sapphires have been found in the biodiverse area known as Corridor Ankeniheny-Zahamena in the past six …

Homeowners at San Francisco sinking high-rise sue developer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A homeowners association representing property owners at a downtown San Francisco high-rise sued the developers on Wednesday for failing to tell residents the condominium tower was sinking at an unexpected rate. The Millennium Tower homeowners association’s lawsuit is the latest suit filed in a high-profile dispute …

OAS pushes Venezuela to engage in dialogue as tensions flare

WASHINGTON (AP) — Members of the Organization of American States urged Venezuela’s government and opposition to settle their differences through dialogue Tuesday, backing off from threats to suspend the socialist-run country and providing President Nicolas Maduro some short-term relief as he struggles to rescue the polarized nation from crisis. The …