Tag Archives: election

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders questioned by investigators probing Russian election meddling

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders questioned by investigators probing Russian election meddlingRobert Mueller‘s team has questioned Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary has confirmed. In a statement to CNN, Ms Sanders, 36, said she had been questioned last year by the special counsel probing Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. “The president urged me, like he has everyone in the administration, to fully cooperate with the special counsel,” she said.



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Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave election

Parkland shooting: How the NRA is more vulnerable than ever after a year of protests and a wave electionOne year after gunfire began in the freshman building of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the movement those bullets sparked has swept through the US and opened a new chapter on guns in America. Guns have come to dominate political debate this past year in way unseen previously in the US, with massive protests from March for Our Lives attracting headlines and major news coverage — and virtually all Democrat presidential candidates supporting stricter gun control. Meanwhile, dozens of states have moved to pass new gun control laws in an historic effort, as communities across America continue to be scarred by gun violence.



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Thai Election Talk Turns to Economy After Princess Shock

Thai Election Talk Turns to Economy After Princess ShockKittiratt Na Ranong, a former finance minister and deputy leader of Pheu Thai — one of several parties backed by Thaksin along with Thai Raksa Chart — said his colleagues are “going forward in full gear” ahead of the March 24 vote. “People across Thailand have been feeling the effect of a bad economy,” he added. Thaksin’s camp is seeking to rally poorer voters who have helped his allies win every election in Thailand since 2001, drawn by policies such as cheap health care and crop price support.



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UK recognises Guaido as 'interim president' of Venezuela after Maduro rejects European demand for fresh election

UK recognises Guaido as 'interim president' of Venezuela after Maduro rejects European demand for fresh electionThe British government has recognised Juan Guaido as the interim president of Venezuela after Nicolas Maduro rejected an an ultimatum by European countries to call snap elections. Foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the United Kingdom considers the 35-year-old opposition leader "constitutional interim president" until "credible elections can be held." "The oppression of the illegitimate, kleptocratic Maduro regime must end," read a statement issued by the Foreign Office.  Earlier this morning Spain also recognised Mr Guaido as "caretaker president" and further European nations are expected to follow suit.  A defiant Mr Maduro refused the demand of seven EU states to call fresh elections by Sunday, saying in an interview with Spanish television station Sexta  that he would not “cave in to pressure” from those calling for his departure. “Why does the European Union have to tell a country in the world that has already had elections that it has to repeat its presidential elections, because they were not won by their right-wing allies,” said Mr Maduro, interviewed in Caracas. “They are trying to corner us with ultimatums to force us into an extreme situation of confrontation,” Mr Maduro said. Mr Maduro warned that the White House would be "stained with blood" and he could not rule out civil war if the US and its allies intervened militarily.  However, he supported plans for a meeting of Latin American and EU states in a “Contact Group” meeting in Montevideo next Thursday as it could lead to a “dialogue among Venezuelans to resolve our issues.” And he called on Mr Guaido for “face to face” talks, which the younger man has already rejected. The Austrian chancellor, Sebastian Kurz, said on Sunday that his government would join the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium in recognising Mr Guaidó as leader.  In a tweet, Mr Kurz said he had spoken to "President Guaidó" by telephone, and that he had Austria's "full support to restore democracy in Venezuela". "Venezuelans have suffered too long from the mismanagement and disregard of the rule of law by the Maduro regime." Washington also turned up the heat on an increasingly isolated Mr Maduro, as Donald Trump, the US president, again warned that military intervention in the oil-rich South American nation was "an option".  The US swiftly recognised Mr Guaidó as interim president after the parliamentary speaker swore himself in in front of a Caracas rally on Jan 23. Canada and a host of Latin American countries including Brazil, Colombia and Chile quickly followed suit, while longtime allies of Mr Maduro such as Russia and Cuba blasted what they described as imperialist interference. Mr Guaidó and his supporters say that the Venezuelan constitution provides for the head of the parliament to take office in order to hold elections in the event that the presidency is vacant. They argue that the May elections were fraudulent and that as Mr Maduro was sworn in by the Supreme Court and not the parliament, his leadership is illegitimate.  Mr Maduro has not recognised the Venezuelan parliament's authority since the opposition took control of it in 2016. On Saturday, as thousands of Mr Guaido's and Mr Maduro's supporters took to the streets of Caracas for rival demonstrations, the Leftist leader dismissed demands for a fresh presidential vote and instead said he would bring forward parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of 2020. "They want to bring forward elections, let's have elections," Mr Maduro said at a rally to mark 20 years since his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, rose to power.   In a bid to ease Venezuela's acute humanitarian crisis, Mr Guaidó was on Sunday night expected to announce dates for the delivery of international aid at three entry points along its borders with Brazil and Colombia. He said earlier in the day that he would call on the country's armed forces to allow in the aid shipments. Russia's foreign ministry said on Sunday that the international community must help Venezuela solve its problems "without destructive meddling from beyond its borders", the Interfax news agency reported.



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Venezuela braced for rival protests as European deadline for Maduro to call election looms

Venezuela braced for rival protests as European deadline for Maduro to call election loomsTens of thousands of protesters were set to pour onto the streets of Caracas on Saturday to back opposition leader Juan Guaido's calls for early elections as international pressure increased on President Nicolas Maduro to step down. The demonstration comes as a general from the Venezuelan air force announced he no longer recognises Maduro as the country's president, in what appears to be the highest ranking military defection to hit the regime.  Major European countries have set a Sunday deadline for Mr Maduro to call snap presidential elections. Failing that, they will join the United States in recognising National Assembly speaker Mr Guaido as Venezuela's interim president. "Maduro's tyranny must end and must end now," US Vice President Mike Pence told a rally of exiled Venezuelans in Miami on the eve of the protest. Mr Guaido's call for a massive show of popular support coincides with a huge pro-Maduro demonstration. The ruling Socialist party celebrates the 20th anniversary of the rise to power of Hugo Chavez, Mr Maduro's deceased predecessor, on Saturday. The "clear goal" of the march was "to accompany the ultimatum given by members of the European Union," Mr Guaido said ahead of the march, which will begin outside the EU offices in eastern Caracas. "We are going to stage the biggest march in the history of Venezuela and our continent," he added. The rival marches will take place in different districts of a tense Venezuelan capital. Mr Maduro's supporters will concentrate in Plaza Bolivar in the heart of Caracas, 10 kilometers (six miles) from the EU offices. Clashes last week around the country left some 40 people dead, according to the United Nations. Chavez, the army officer whose oil-fueled spending raised millions of Venezuelans out of poverty, assumed office as Venezuela's president February 2, 1999 at the head of a socialist movement. Government supporters are celebrating the 20th anniversary of Hugo Chavez's rise to power Credit: Ariana Cubillos/AP His hand-picked successor, Mr Maduro, has presided over the oil-rich country's economic collapse and is widely denounced as a dictator for ruthlessly cracking down on dissent amid chronic shortages of food and medicines. Mr Guaido, 35, is trying to force the socialist leader from power so he can set up a transitional government and hold new presidential elections. The United States and a dozen Latin American countries rapidly recognised Mr Guaido after he declared himself acting president in a January 23 speech, posing a direct challenge to Mr Maduro's authority. European Parliament lawmakers recognised Mr Guaido on Thursday as the acting head of state. And four major European powers – Britain, France, Germany and Spain – have said they will do so if Mr Maduro fails to call presidential elections by midnight on Sunday. The international heave against Mr Maduro's leftist regime came after weeks of behind-the-scenes diplomacy including secret talks in Washington between Mr Guaido and US officials. "Nicolas Maduro will do well not to test the resolve of the United States of America," Pence warned on Friday. "Let me be very clear: this is no time for dialogue. This is time for action," the vice president said. "The time has come to end Maduro's dictatorship once and for all." In a letter to the presidents of Mexico and Uruguay published Friday, Mr Guaido ruled out any negotiations with Maduro unless they "start the transition process, culminating in the holding of free elections." Mexico's Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and Uruguay's Tabare Vazquez have jointly called a conference in Montevideo next Thursday for "neutral" countries to discuss the crisis. Previous negotiations all had the same "unsatisfactory result," Mr Guaido wrote. "The dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has not changed its position. They have mocked the Venezuelan people to their face." The last 10 days of political upheaval have exacerbated economic meltdown in Venezuela, which has the world's largest proven oil reserves but has suffered hyperinflation and shortages of basic necessities. The UN says 2.3 million people have fled the country, unleashing a migration crisis in South America. Mr Guaido has acknowledged "clandestine meetings" with members of the armed forces and security forces, who he is trying to woo with an amnesty offer. So far, the military high command has remained loyal to Mr Maduro.



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Venezuela crisis: UK, France, Germany and Spain demand president Maduro calls election within eight days

Venezuela crisis: UK, France, Germany and Spain demand president Maduro calls election within eight daysThe UK has joined together with France, Germany and Spain in a bid to force new elections in Venezuala, where president Nicolas Maduro is clinging on to power. Britain backed the European demand with foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt saying it is now clear that Maduro is “not the legitimate leader” of the South American country. The UK has already thrown its wieght behind opposition leader Juan Guaido, who Downing Street recognised earlier this week as the leader of the country’s “democratically elected” assembly.



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Trump Says Stone Didn’t Work for Him ‘Anywhere Near Election’

Trump Says Stone Didn’t Work for Him ‘Anywhere Near Election’Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged longtime Trump adviser Stone with attempting to undermine government investigations by lying about his links between Trump’s campaign and WikiLeaks. Stone’s arrest could carry serious implications for Trump, with the prosecutor describing how his campaign pursued information about hacked emails concerning Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.



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Venezuela's Maduro rejects election deadline, Israel backs opponent

Venezuela's Maduro rejects election deadline, Israel backs opponentIsrael on Sunday joined a growing list of countries led by the United States that back Guaido’s claim to the presidency on the basis that Maduro’s second-term election victory was fraudulent. Maduro, in an interview with CNN Turk aired on Sunday, also said he was open to dialogue and that meeting U.S. President Donald Trump was improbable but not impossible. Washington on Saturday urged the world to “pick a side” on Venezuela and financially disconnect from Maduro’s government.



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Venezuelan FM rejects EU ultimatum for new election

Venezuelan FM rejects EU ultimatum for new electionVenezuela’s foreign minister rejected a European ultimatum Saturday to hold elections within eight days, insisting that Nicolas Maduro remained the legitimate president despite US-led pressure. “Nobody is going to give us deadlines or tell us if there are elections or not,” Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza told a special session of the United Nations Security Council.



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The Latest: UK joins demand for new Venezuela election

The Latest: UK joins demand for new Venezuela electionUNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Latest on the political crisis in Venezuela (all times local):



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