CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Drones armed with explosives detonated near Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Saturday in an apparent assassination attempt that took place while he was delivering a speech to hundreds of soldiers being broadcast live on television, officials said.
Activists hurled rocks and bottles during a rally in the US city of Portland, Oregon organized by two far-right groups that drew a counter protests, said police, which ordered demonstrators to leave not long after the marches got under way. Police in the western state of Oregon's largest city had maintained a heavy presence during the dueling demonstrations, which had raised fears of a replay of last year's "Unite the Right" protests in Charlottesville, Virginia that ended in bloodshed. Patriot Prayer and the Proud Boys, right-wing groups linked to violence at a previous Portland rally, were marching in the city's Tom McCall Waterfront Park in support of Patriot Prayer founder Joey Gibson, who is running as a Republican for the US Senate.
Nicolas Maduro, the Leftist leader of Venezuela, blamed far Right opponents, neighbouring Colombia and financiers based in Florida for what he said was an assassination attempt with a drone in Caracas on Saturday night. He appeared on TV hours after cutting short a speech to the country's military amid scenes of panic to point the finger at a familiar list of enemies. Officials said two drones loaded with explosives went off during the president's speech. However, firefighters disputed that version of events, saying a gas tank had exploded in an apartment. In an address to the nation, Mr Maduro said: "That drone was coming for me but there was a shield of love. I am sure I will live for many more years." He said initial investigations pointed to the far Right and to Colombia. Security agents surround Nicolas Maduro after explosion heard Credit: Xinhua via AP "I have no doubt that the name Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack," he added, referring to the president of Colombia, who has suggested that Mr Maduro would soon be forced from power. Mr Maduro, who faces criticism from home and abroad for his handling of a battered economy, said he hoped Donald Trump would help with the investigation, as he claimed that financiers and planners of the attack were located in Florida. Security forces check a building after an explosion was heard during a ceremony attended by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Credit: AFP A mysterious rebel group made up of Venezuelan civilians and military claimed responsibility for the attack. "It is contrary to military honour to keep in government those who not only have forgotten the Constitution, but who have also made public office an obscene way to get rich," the group - known as Soldiers in T-shirts - said in a message posted on social media. Earlier, state television showed Mr Maduro addressing a ceremony marking the 81st anniversary of the National Guard. "To the conscious Venezuela, we are going to bet for the good of our country, the hour of the economic recovery has come and we need...," Mr Maduro was heard saying before he halted, looking startled, and the cameras cut away. Mr Maduro was standing next to his wife Cilia Flores and several high-ranking military officials for the event broadcast on radio and television. Nicolas Maduro during the event Credit: Reuters A video shows Ms Flores wince, and both she and Mr Maduro look up after an unidentified sound. The soldiers lined up in ranks then began running. The transmission was cut without explanation. Residents of Caracas took to Twitter to report hearing an explosion. [#VIDEO] En cadena nacional, se observó el momento en que el Jefe de Estado y la primera Dama, Cilia Flores, reaccionan a la explosión y luego aparecen las imágenes de todos los militares en formación que corren ante el hecho irregular. #4Agohttps://t.co/C3rMw9ujshpic.twitter.com/gxHiCPqWHt— NTN24 Venezuela (@NTN24ve) August 4, 2018 The country's information minister said the president was the target of drones loaded with explosives. "At exactly 5:41 pm in the afternoon several explosions were heard," said Jorge Rodriguez. "The investigation clearly reveals they came from drone-like devices that carried explosives." He added that seven soldiers were wounded. However, firefighters at the scene disputed the government's account. Three officers told the Associated Press that the actual cause was a gas tank exploding inside an apartment. National Guard personnel run for cover Credit: Reuters Smoke could be seen coming out of a building window at the site of the incident. The Venezuelan TV channel NTN 24 posted video of what appeared to be the moment the drones exploded. No group has yet claimed responsibility. It comes months after Mr Maduro won re-election amid controversial circumstances. The opposition boycotted the ballot and many voters stayed at home. Venezuelans turn to herbal remedies as HIV drugs run low The president faces condemnation at home and abroad for his stewardship of Venezuela's economic collapse that has left most of the country living in poverty. Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled the country, where food and medicine are in very short supply, and where inflation this year could reach as high as one million percent according to the International Monetary Fund.
When Branka Stamenkovic gave birth to her first child in Serbia, the experience was traumatic. When they returned, the nurses gave Stamenkovic a cursory lesson in breastfeeding and sent the pair on their way. Upset, overwhelmed and in pain, Stamenkovic detailed her experience in a blog in 2008 that triggered an outpouring of similar stories from women across Serbia.
Six "terrorists and hired killers" have been arrested in Venezuela accused of trying to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro in an alleged drone attack, the government said on Sunday. Three soldiers were in critical condition and four more were injured in the alleged attack that involved two remote-controlled drones, Reverol said. Venezuela's opposition braced itself for "persecution and repression" as the armed forces vowed "unconditional" loyalty to radical socialist leader Maduro who, standing with his wife on a reviewing stand, was unharmed in the incident.
Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday it had made Steven Seagal, the American actor, its special representative for Russian-US humanitarian ties, a role it said was meant to deepen cultural, art and youth ties between the two countries. President Vladimir Putin presented a Russian passport to Seagal in 2016, saying he hoped it would serve as a symbol of how fractious ties between Moscow and Washington were starting to improve. Since then, US-Russia relations have only got worse however with American intelligence agencies accusing Moscow of interfering in Donald Trump's White House run, an allegation Russia denies. The two countries are also at odds over Syria and Ukraine. The Russian Foreign Ministry likened Seagal's new role to that of a UN goodwill ambassador and said that the actor, who is known for his martial arts prowess, would receive no salary. "It's a case of people's diplomacy intersecting with traditional diplomacy," the ministry said. Seagal attending a football match during the Russia 2018 World Cup Credit: AFP Seagal, who sometimes appears on Russian state TV to talk about his views and career, was cited by Kremlin-backed TV station RT as welcoming the appointment. "I've always had a very strong desire to do all I can to help improve Russian-American relations," RT quoted Seagal as saying. "I have worked tirelessly in this direction for many years unofficially and I am now very grateful for the opportunity to do the same thing officially." For more than a decade Seagal, who according to his own website is 66, has been a regular visitor to Russia. His movies, including such titles as Under Siege and Sniper: Special Ops, are popular with Russian audiences. President Putin is also a fan of the kind of martial arts that Seagal often practised in his Hollywood action movies.
In Venezuela's inflation-hit economy, a single US dollar can buy 3.5 million liters of gasoline -- an absurdity that the government says it will tackle with a hike in the cost of state-subsidized fuel. Maduro announced on July 29 plans to adjust the price of gasoline and regulate sales based on the so-called "fatherland card," an electronic card that provides access to subsidies. As a first step the government began a census of motor vehicles, set to end on Sunday.
In the summer of 2008, Russia's army intervened militarily in an independent state for the first time since the Soviet Union's disastrous campaign in Afghanistan. Ten years later, Moscow has still not softened its position towards its neighbours and its rift with the West has only deepened. Russia launched armed action against Georgia to come to the rescue of South Ossetia, a small pro-Russian separatist region where Tbilisi had begun a military operation.