Several hundred thousand opponents of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez marched in Caracas on Saturday, in a show of strength aimed at energizing their fight for a referendum to oust the leftist leader. \nThe march, the largest by the opposition this year, followed a week of violent clashes in the capital and other cities between troops and pro-referendum protesters in which at least eight people were killed. \nUS President George W. Bush said Washington would work with the Organization of American States "to help ensure the integrity" of the referendum process. \nHis remarks to a news conference at his Texas ranch came a day after the US State Department warned Americans to avoid all demonstrations in Venezuela. \nVenezuelan opposition leaders said Saturday's big turnout gave fresh impetus to their campaign for Chavez to submit to a vote to resolve the political conflict that has roiled the world's No. 5 oil exporter for more than two years. \n"We don't want bullets, we want votes," said Eduardo Fernandez, a veteran opposition Christian-Democrat politician. \nLeaders of the broad anti-Chavez coalition, which brings together businessmen, dissident military officers, middle-class professionals and union militants, called for unity to end political infighting that has weakened the opposition. \nWaving national flags and banners reading "down with dictatorship," the marchers denounced what they said were killings and human rights abuses committed by troops in the recent protests. A minute's silence was observed for the dead. \n"Our civic resistance must continue in every corner of the country," opposition leader Enrique Mendoza said.
VULNERABLE: Many women do not report sexual harassment by their landlord over fears they could lose the roof over their head, an expert said A growing number of landlords are asking tenants for sex in exchange for housing as COVID-19 lockdowns and job cuts have left many struggling to pay their rent, housing experts said. A survey by the National Fair Housing Alliance of more than 100 fair housing groups combating discrimination across the US found that 13 percent had seen an increase in sexual harassment complaints during the pandemic. “If I did not have sex with him, he was going to put me out,” one woman facing eviction by her property manager told the alliance in an podcast on its Web site. “As a single
HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES? An institute of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security and a company are to be sanctioned over ‘human rights violations and abuses’ The US Department of Commerce on Friday said that it would sanction a Chinese government institute and eight companies over alleged human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minorities in China’s western Xinjiang region. “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region,” the department said in a statement. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security’s Institute of Forensic Science and Aksu Huafu Textiles Co are to be sanctioned “for
‘OBVIOUS DIFFERENCE’: The Wuhan Institute of Virology has been researching bat coronaviruses to trace the SARS pathogen, which is 80 percent similar to SARS-CoV-2 The Chinese virology institute in the city where COVID-19 first emerged has three live strains of bat coronavirus on-site, but none match the new contagion wreaking havoc around the world, its director has said. Scientists think COVID-19 — which first emerged in Wuhan and has killed more than 340,000 people worldwide — originated in bats and could have been transmitted to people via another mammal. However, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology told state broadcaster China Global Television Network that claims made by US President Donald Trump and others that the novel coronavirus could have escaped from the facility were
Former US vice president Joe Biden on Friday said he “should not have been so cavalier” after he told a radio host that African Americans who back US President Donald Trump “ain’t black.” In a call with the US Black Chamber of Commerce that was added to his public schedule, Biden said he would never “take the African American community for granted.” “I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” Biden said. “No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.” Biden faced criticism after his comments earlier on Friday on The Breakfast Club, a