News in the Humanosphere: Venezuelan opposition protests take deadly turn

Venezuelan protesters filled dozens of city blocks in what was dubbed the "taking of Caracas" on Sept. 1, 2016, to pressure electoral authorities to allow a recall referendum against Maduro. (Credit: AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Two Venezuelan students and a National Guard sergeant died on Wednesday after being shot during protests against unpopular leftist President Nicolas Maduro, increasing turmoil in the volatile nation amid a devastating economic crisis. Opposition supporters protested in Caracas and other cities in what they called “the mother of all marches,” denouncing Maduro for eroding democracy and plunging the oil-rich economy into chaos. Crowds swelled to hundreds of thousands, including Maduro supporters who held a counter-demonstration in the capital at the urging of the president, and clashes were reported across the country during the most sustained protests since 2014. (Reuters http://reut.rs/2qlSeG4)

The hunt for Kony is called off. Here’s what that means…The 56-year-old is believed to be moving with between 20 and 30 loyal fighters, several wives, his two sons and hundreds of followers. Many analysts believe he is hiding in the disputed, mineral-rich area of Kafia Kingi in South Darfur, Sudan, from where he and his sons can organize smuggling operations undetected. Other groups loyal to the LRA, which Kony founded nearly 30 years ago, are scattered across central Africa. Ugandan troops began leaving CAR earlier this month. The US special forces, deployed as part of a billion-dollar mission to kill or capture Kony, have also begun to withdraw. Officials and senior soldiers in both Uganda and the US say the LRA is no longer a threat. (Guardian http://bit.ly/2qmr5Ts)

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An advance party of peacekeepers with a bolstered mandate to use force has arrived in South Sudan, the United Nations said on Monday, the first blue helmets with a greater authority to protect civilians in the troubled East African nation. (VOA http://bit.ly/2p1WDdj)

Nepal’s first female Supreme Court chief justice was suspended after an impeachment motion was filed in Parliament accusing her of bias and interfering with executive powers. (AP http://apne.ws/2oQt4PM)

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has voiced concern at mass arrests and renewal of the state of emergency in Turkey. (VOA http://bit.ly/2poGi4U)

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro ordered a 60% increase in the country’s minimum wage, effective from Monday. (BBC http://bbc.in/2poJQEx)

Human Rights Watch accused Syrian government forces of using deadly nerve gas on four occasions in recent months, including the April 4 chemical attack on Khan Sheikoun that killed nearly 100 people. (VOA http://bit.ly/2oQGX0x)

The new political program of Hamas, published Monday, is meant to help the Islamic militant group break out of its international isolation. The manifesto does not formally replace the group’s fiery 1987 founding charter, but adopts more conciliatory language, even if some goals remain unchanged — such as the eventual “liberation” of all of historic Palestine, including what is now Israel. (AP http://apne.ws/2p1zIyM)

Resurging violence in the Central African Republic has left full villages emptied and destroyed. The burned out houses are charred, with their thatched roofs totally gone. Inside the homes, evidence of a left-behind life is scattered throughout in the ashes: pots, pans, and bicycle frames. Other homes are looted with the doors kicked in and papers torn up. (VOA http://bit.ly/2poCq42)

Driven from their homes in Syria, thousands of refugees in Lebanon are once again in search of shelter. An estimated 8,000 to 12,000 refugees are on the move amid what is likely to be the biggest mass eviction of its kind in Lebanon since the war began. (VOA http://bit.ly/2poEhpr)

Opinion/Blogs

Photographer Marcus Bleasdale Documents Human Rights Abuses Around the World (Global Dispatches Podcast http://bit.ly/2poKOk8)

Modi’s Fatal Weakness (Bloomberg https://bloom.bg/2pomU81)

How has the number of people living in extreme poverty changed? (World Bank http://bit.ly/2qqs55Q)

In Trump’s Plan To Gut Foreign Aid, Battle Lines Drawn Over Global Women’s Issues (Foreign Policy http://atfp.co/2pos18f)

Uncatchable: the fruitless quest for Kony – in pictures (Guardian http://bit.ly/2qqedZz)

From France to Indonesia, Marking May Day With Protests (NY Times http://nyti.ms/2p1IsEZ)

Women and girls are greatest return on foreign assistance investment (Devex http://bit.ly/2poVNtK)

The role of social media in development (World Bank http://bit.ly/2poQ7zP)

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