UN: Venezuela Uses ‘excessive force to crush dissent’

UN’s rights office says Venezuela’s security forces are responsible for at least 46 deaths in connection with protests. The United Nations has criticized Venezuela’s “widespread and systematic use of excessive force and arbitrary detentions” against protesters, amid worsening tensions and fresh moves against the opposition. The UN’s human rights office based in Switzerland on Tuesday highlighted witness accounts of police and soldiers using “disproportionate force to instill fear, crush dissent, and to prevent demonstrators from assembling, rallying and reaching public institutions to present petitions”. Maduro inaugurates contentious Venezuela assembly The team’s analysis found security forces were allegedly responsible for at least 46 deaths, and pro-government armed groups were allegedly responsible for 27 among 124 deaths being investigated in connection with demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro’s government. The protests have stemmed from anger over the installation of an all-powerful Constituent Assembly that they see as a power grab by Maduro. The dire economic situation also...

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US to Deploy 1,500 Additional Troops to Iraq

White House says US troops will help train and advise government and Kurdish forces fighting ISIL fighters US President Barack Obama has authorised the deployment of up to 1,500 additional troops to Iraq in order to help train and advise government and Kurdish forces fighting the armed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group, the White House has said. “As a part of our strategy for strengthening partners on the ground, President Obama today authorised the deployment of up to 1,500 additional US military personnel in a non-combat role to train, advise, and assist Iraqi Security Forces, including Kurdish forces,” the statement said on Friday. The Obama administration will ask Congress for $5.6bn for the operations in Iraq and Syria, which includes $1.6bn for the new “Iraq Train and Equip Fund,” the White House Office of Management and Budget said. The deployment will roughly double the number of US...

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