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Government and politics

Jailed Venezuela activist dispels rumors of health emergency

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — The wife of jailed opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez rushed to Caracas’ military hospital late Wednesday seeking information on her husband after a report on social media said he had been taken there with a medical emergency — a scare that proved to be wrong. “Please, can …

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 …

Robotic fruit pickers may help orchards with worker shortage

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Harvesting Washington state’s vast fruit orchards each year requires thousands of farmworkers, and many of them work illegally in the United States. That system eventually could change dramatically as at least two companies are rushing to get robotic fruit-picking machines to market. The robotic pickers don’t …

Thai prime minister accepts Trump’s invitation to visit US

BANGKOK (AP) — Thailand’s prime minister has accepted President Donald Trump’s invitation to visit the United States as the U.S. leader made an unexpected diplomatic initiative toward his Southeast Asian counterparts. Trump telephoned Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Sunday to reaffirm traditional …

Venezuela’s Maduro hikes minimum wage amid rising protests

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro hiked wages and handed out hundreds of free homes Sunday amid his efforts to counter a strengthening protest movement seeking his removal. On his regular television show, “Sundays with Maduro,” the president ordered a 60 percent increase in the country’s minimum wage …

AP Explains: What is May Day?

CHICAGO (AP) — Tens of thousands of immigrants and their supporters in U.S. cities are set to protest Monday against immigration policies to mark May Day. It is an event that will also generate heated protests around the world as unions push for better rights for workers. The roots of …

Nepal’s top judge suspended after impeachment motion filed

KATHMANDU, Nepal (AP) — Nepal’s first female Supreme Court chief justice was suspended after an impeachment motion was filed in Parliament accusing her of bias and interfering with executive powers. Sushila Karki, who held one of the highest positions ever held by a woman in Nepal, was suspended automatically after …

Who speaks for Islam and reform? Debate heats up in Egypt

CAIRO (AP) — It was a startling collision of religion and politics. Egypt’s president proposed a new law that would prevent Muslim men from ending their marriages simply by saying “divorce” three times. The country’s top institution of Islamic clerics, Al-Azhar, bluntly rejected the idea, saying Islam gives men that …