Venezuela signs agreements
The country signed several agreements with Venezuela on Sunday during a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro that is meant to strengthen economic ties between the South American nation and its leading creditor. Maduro told President Xi Jinping (習近平) that the main goal of his trip was to further consolidate and expand the strategic partnership between the two countries that late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez began with Chinese leaders. Chavez died in March after 14 years in power. The two leaders signed 12 agreements on Sunday, including ones related to a finance fund deal, education and a joint development between state-owned oil producer Sinopec and Venezuela’s national oil company. They also signed a cooperation and exchange agreement between the country’s space flight administration and Venezuela’s science and innovation ministry relating to remote satellites. No details were given on any of the agreements. Maduro told Xi that Venezuela was in an important phase of economic transformation and wanted to diversify its economic structure. Xi called Maduro “China’s good friend” and said his visit would propel bilateral relations “to new heights.”
Author Alvaro Mutis dies
The cultural arts commission says that famed Colombian poet and author Alvaro Mutis has died in the country. He was 90 years old. Mutis was considered one of the most important Latin American writers of his time, with his work earning major international honors such as the Xavier Villaurrutia, Prince of Asturias and Cervantes prizes. The National Commission for Culture and the Arts is lamenting the death of the acclaimed literary giant via its Twitter account. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos also sent his condolences after Mutis’ death was announced on Sunday night.
Suicide bomber kills officials
Two officials were killed and six more people were wounded when a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb yesterday in the volatile Caucasus region of Dagestan, police said. A Lada car was driven near a police station in the Dagestani village of Khuchni before dawn yesterday morning and was detonated as it came to a sudden halt, regional police said in a statement. “A suicide bomber was in the car,” the statement said. An employee of the federal migration service and a policeman died, while six people received injuries. One of the wounded was in a “grave state.” Police did not provide further details, saying only it was searching for those behind the attack. The majority-Muslim region of Dagestan experiences almost daily shootings and bombings that officials blame on local criminals and Islamists with links to Chechnya, where the Kremlin has fought two wars over the past 20 years.
US helicopter crashes
The US Navy says search teams are looking for two missing airmen after a helicopter crash in the Red Sea. Three crew members were rescued late on Sunday after the MH-60S Knighthawk went down in the central Red Sea while operating with the destroyer USS William P. Lawrence. A statement yesterday from the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet says aircraft and vessels are taking part in the search for the two others. The US Navy says an investigation is underway, but there was no hostile activity involved.