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international relations

Venezuela court says it can take over Congress’ powers

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuela’s Supreme Court ruled it can take over the responsibilities of congress in what opponents of socialist President Nicolas Maduro as well as foreign governments denounced as the latest step toward installing a dictatorship in this South American nation. In a decision late Wednesday, the magistrates …

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 …

Will Cabinet follow Tillerson’s lead in media access?

NEW YORK (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has famously declared himself “not a big media press access person,” isn’t alone in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet. But it’s too early to call him a trendsetter, either. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Transportation Secretary Elaine Cho, both with extensive …

AP Exclusive: Manafort had plan to benefit Putin government

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, secretly worked for a Russian billionaire to advance the interests of Russian President Vladimir Putin a decade ago and proposed an ambitious political strategy to undermine anti-Russian opposition across former Soviet republics, The Associated Press has learned. The work …

China’s trading partners alarmed by food import controls

BEIJING (AP) — China’s trading partners are bringing the top U.N. food standards official to Beijing in a last-ditch attempt to persuade regulators to scale back plans to require intensive inspections of food imports — including such low-risk items as wine and chocolate — that Washington and Europe say could …

New Zealand says US invokes immunity for embassy staffer

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand authorities say they’re unable to investigate an incident involving a U.S. Embassy staffer based in Wellington after the U.S. government elected to shield him by invoking diplomatic immunity. Police said Saturday they responded to an incident in Lower Hutt near Wellington early on …

Groups urge Thai action against torture, disappearances

BANGKOK (AP) — Rights groups are urging Thailand’s government to enact legislation banning torture and forced disappearances as its human rights record comes under United Nations review. Tuesday’s review in Geneva by the U.N. Human Rights Committee comes shortly after Thailand’s legislature unanimously ratified a U.N. treaty against forced disappearances. …

Japan emperor to meet abandoned Vietnam families of soldiers

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Japan’s emperor and empress, on a landmark visit to Vietnam, are expected to express their sympathies when they meet Thursday with Vietnamese women abandoned by their Japanese soldier husbands after World War II. Sixteen surviving wives and their children have been invited to meet with Emperor …