Tag Archives: protests

Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protests

Amazon cancels plans to build second headquarters in New York after local protestsAmazon has announced it has cancelled plans to build its second headquarter campus in New York City following protests. “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens,” Amazon spokesperson Jodi Seth said in a statement on Thursday. Incentivised by a $ 3bn subsidy deal with New York City, Amazon had originally planned to build a massive complex in Long Island City, Queens.



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Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protests

Amazon drops New York headquarters plan amid protestsAmazon abandoned plans for a new headquarters in New York City on Thursday, blaming opposition from community leaders angry at the huge subsidies being offered to one of the world’s most successful companies. The online retail giant had promised the sprawling complex in the borough of Queens would create 25,000 jobs in exchange for nearly $ 3 billion in state and city incentives — which had riled some New Yorkers. “While polls show that 70 percent of New Yorkers support our plans and investment, a number of state and local politicians have made it clear that they oppose our presence and will not work with us to build the type of relationships that are required to go forward with the project,” Amazon said in a statement.



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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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Israeli gunfire kills Gaza teens during border protests

Israeli gunfire kills Gaza teens during border protestsIsraeli troops shot dead two Palestinian teenagers including a 14-year-old boy during Gaza border protests on Friday, Palestinian health officials said. Israel’s military said it had opened fire in response to explosives and rocks hurled at the border fence. Palestinians have been staging weekly protests since last March at the border of Gaza, an enclave controlled by the Islamist militant group Hamas.



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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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Pressure on Maduro intensifies amid new protests

Pressure on Maduro intensifies amid new protestsVenezuela's political crisis intensifies, as opposition leader Juan Guaido and his supporters rally against President Nicolas Maduro amid growing international pressure on the socialist leader to call snap elections. Jillian Kitchener reports.



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Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh elections

Venezuela set for another round of protests as Maduro rules out fresh electionsVenezuela's President Nicolas Maduro said he was prepared to hold negotiations with the US-backed opposition but ruled out early presidential elections as Caracas braced itself for fresh street protests. "I am ready to sit down at the negotiating table with the opposition so that we could talk for the good of Venezuela," Maduro told the Russian state news agency in an interview in Caracas. Last week the oil-rich but economically devastated Latin American country was plunged into uncertainty when the US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido proclaimed himself "acting president". The United States, a dozen Latin American countries and Canada have recognised Guaido as interim president, while China and Russia - Venezuela's two main creditors – have urged non-interference. Support for Venezuela leadership In the interview with RIA Novosti, Maduro also said he would support early parliamentary elections. "It would be very good to conduct parliamentary elections at an earlier stage, it would be a good form of political discussion," Maduro said. At the same time he dismissed the possibility of holding a new presidential poll any time soon. "Presidential elections in Venezuela have taken place, and if imperialists want new elections let them wait until 2025," he said in an apparent reference to Washington. Guaido called for more protests on Wednesday and a mass march on the weekend, in a bid to keep up pressure on Maduro in the streets. Wednesday's action would not be a major march, but a series of small concentrations, Guaido said. The UN human rights office said the protests had so far led to the deaths of more than 40 people. Maduro has been in charge since 2013 but his re-election in May was branded illegitimate by the European Union, United States and Organization of American States. Students walk past a painting of US President Donald Trump on a wall in Caracas Credit:  JUAN BARRETO/AFP The embattled leader also implied he was firmly in charge of the army whose support is crucial. "I am carrying out my duties as commander-in-chief according to the Constitution consolidating the national Bolivarian armed forces," he said. "And the Bolivarian armed forces are demonstrating a lesson in ethics, loyalty and discipline." Maduro also claimed that US President Donald Trump had ordered the government of Colombia to assassinate him. "If something happens to me one day then Donald Trump and Colombian President Ivan Duque will be responsible for everything that is happening to me," he said, adding however that he was in good hands. "At the same time, I am protected. We have a good system of defence in place and moreover, we have more significant protection – this is protection from God who will give me a long life," Maduro added. Russia has denounced the opposition's "usurpation of power", calling Maduro the crisis-hit country's legitimate leader. Russia and Venezuela have a long history of ties and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez, known for his tirades against the United States, was a welcome guest at the Kremlin.



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Venezuela's Guaido calls for new protests as pressure on Maduro rises

Venezuela's Guaido calls for new protests as pressure on Maduro risesCountries around the world have recognized Guaido as Venezuela’s rightful leader, and the United States vowed to starve Maduro’s administration of oil revenue after he was sworn in Jan. 10 for a second term that was widely dubbed illegitimate. Maduro says the United States is promoting a coup against him and promised to stay in office, backed by Russia and China, which have bankrolled his government and fought off efforts to have his government disavowed by the United Nations. “We’re doing well, very well, Venezuela!” On Sunday, Israel and Australia joined countries backing the 35-year-old Guaido, and U.S. President Donald Trump said his government had accepted Venezuelan opposition figure Carlos Alfredo Vecchio as a diplomatic representative to the United States.



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Venezuela's Guaido calls for new anti-Maduro protests

Venezuela's Guaido calls for new anti-Maduro protestsVenezuela’s self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido called Sunday for two new protests, in an effort to push the military to turn against leader Nicolas Maduro and back a European ultimatum demanding free elections within the week. The second, on Saturday, will be a “big national and international rally to back the support of the European Union and the ultimatum” from Britain, France, Germany, Portugal, Spain and the Netherlands that they would recognize Guaido as interim president unless Maduro calls elections by February 3. The United States separately warned there would be a “significant response” if US diplomats, Guaido or the opposition-controlled National Assembly were targeted with violence and intimidation.



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Moscow warns US against intervention in Venezuela as Maduro clings on to power amid protests

Moscow warns US against intervention in Venezuela as Maduro clings on to power amid protestsRussia accused the United States of trying to usurp power in Venezuela and warned against US military intervention there, putting it at odds with Washington and the EU which backed protests against one of Moscow's closest allies. Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido declared himself interim leader on Wednesday, winning the support of Washington and parts of Latin America and prompting Socialist President Nicolas Maduro, who has led the oil-rich nation since 2013, to sever diplomatic ties with the United States. The prospect of Maduro being ousted is a geopolitical and economic headache for Moscow which, alongside China, has become a creditor of last resort for Caracas, lending it billions of dollars as its economy implodes. Moscow has also provided support for its military and oil industry. Russia on Thursday accused Washington of stoking street protests and of trying to undermine Maduro, whom it called the country's legitimate president. "We consider the attempt to usurp sovereign authority in Venezuela to contradict and violate the basis and principles of international law," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. Guaido vs Maduro | Who is backing Venezuela's two presidents He said Russia had not received a Venezuelan request for military help and declined to say how it would respond if it did. Maduro, who met President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in December, was the legitimate president, said Peskov. The Russian Foreign Ministry weighed in too, complaining that Washington was seeking to determine the fate of other nations by using a well-tried strategy of trying to depose an undesirable government. It told Washington not to intervene militarily, warning outside interference was the path to bloodshed. "We warn against such adventurism which is fraught with catastrophic consequences," it said. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan offered support for Maduro too. A demonstrator throws back a gas canister while clashing with security forces during a rally against Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Credit:  CARLOS EDUARDO RAMIREZ/ REUTERS "My brother Maduro! Stand tall, we stand by you!" presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, writing on Twitter, quoted Erdogan as saying. China, a major lender to Caracas, also voiced its support for Maduro, saying it opposed outside interference in Venezuela and supported efforts to protect its independence and stability. The European Union, which has imposed sanctions on Venezuela and boycotted Maduro's swearing-in for a second term earlier this month, took a different tack. Nicolas Maduro remained defiant, leading counter protest in Caracas Credit:  Anadolu/ Anadolu Although it stopped short of following Washington and recognising Guaido as interim president, it called on the authorities in Venezuela to respect his "civil rights, freedom and safety" and appeared to support calls for a peaceful transition of power away from Maduro. "The people of Venezuela have massively called for democracy and the possibility to freely determine their own destiny. These voices cannot be ignored," the 28-nation bloc said in a statement. French President Emmanuel Macron saluted the courage of Venezuelans marching for freedom and called Maduro's 2018 election victory illegal. housands of protesters gather at Plaza Baquedano to demonstrate their support for opposition leader Juan Guaido Credit: Getty /Agencia Makro A spokesman for British Prime Minister Theresa May said the election has been neither free nor fair and expressed support for Guaido as national assembly head. Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez planned to call Guaido after talks with Latin American leaders in Davos, a government source said on Thursday.



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