(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 18, 2018 Todd D.Robinson, Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Venezuela speaks during a press conference in Caracas. On May 22, 2018 President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of the chief US diplomatic representative in Venezuela, rejecting economic sanctions imposed by Washington over his re-relection. / AFP / Juan BARRETO / ALTERNATIVE CROP
Todd D.Robinson, Charge d'Affaires of the US Embassy in Venezuela speaks during a press conference in Caracas. President Nicolas Maduro ordered the expulsion of the chief US diplomatic representative Show more

Venezuela's Maduro expels US diplomats, rejects sanctions



Venezuela ordered the expulsion of the top two US diplomats in the country on Tuesday, charging it was the victim of a "political and financial lynching" after Washington tightened sanctions over President Nicolas Maduro's re-election.

Mr Maduro announced the expulsions in a televised speech after being officially proclaimed the winner of Sunday's election in the South American nation mired in an acute economic crisis and facing growing international isolation.

The vote was boycotted by the main opposition parties and widely condemned by the international community, including the United States, which denounced it as a "sham."

The Venezuelan president declared US charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and deputy head of mission Brian Naranjo "personae non gratae."

"They must leave the country in 48 hours in protest and in defense of the dignity of the Venezuelan homeland... Enough of conspiracies!" he said.

The United States immediately threatened to retaliate.

A State Department official told Agence France-Presse that Washington had "not received notification from the Venezuelan government through diplomatic channels," but that if the expulsions are confirmed, "the United States may take appropriate reciprocal action."

In anticipation that Venezuela's charge d'affaires in Washington, Carlos Ron, would be expulsed, he was appointed vice minister of foreign affairs for North America.

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On Monday, President Donald Trump tightened sanctions against Caracas, making it harder for the Maduro regime to sell off state assets.

"I repudiate all the sanctions that are sought against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, because they harm it, they generate suffering for the people of Venezuela," Mr Maduro said in the speech.

He promised to present "evidence" that both diplomats were engaged in a political, military and economic "conspiracy."

Mr Robinson denied the allegations.

"We strongly reject the accusations against me and against" Mr Naranjo, he told journalists in the western city of Merida, promising to return there despite the expulsion.

Washington and Caracas have not exchanged ambassadors since 2010, and relations between the two countries have been tense since the late leftist President Hugo Chavez, Mr Maduro's mentor, assumed power in 1999.

The deeply unpopular President Maduro was declared the winner with 68 per cent of the vote, but with a record abstention rate.

Days before the elections, 11 soldiers were arrested for planning destabilising actions against Mr Maduro, and they were ordered to prison on Tuesday, the Foro Penal group said.

Venezuelans are reeling under an deepening crisis, with hyperinflation projected by the IMF to reach 13,800 per cent this year and dire shortages of food and medicine.

Hundreds of thousands of people have fled the country to escape the growing deprivation.

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Read more:

Maduro raises minimum wage again as Venezuela battles hyperinflation

Venezuela's woes may give way to future Opec headache

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The foreign ministry earlier lashed out at the US sanctions, accusing Washington of intensifying a "criminal financial and economic blockade," which it called a crime against humanity for impeding "access to essential goods."

"We alert the international community to the threat to world peace represented by the supremacist, racist and interventionist regime that governs Washington today, inspired by the nefarious postulates of the Ku Klux Klan," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

It said US policy "promotes hatred, intolerance and political and financial lynching" of Venezuela.

Washington has previously slapped sanctions on the president and his senior aides, and banned US entities from buying any more debt from Caracas or state oil company PDVSA.

The European Union said it was also weighing new sanctions after the election was marred by "irregularities" and failed to meet international standards.

Caracas is facing increasing international isolation, with the United States, the European Union and the 14 countries of the Lima Group - which includes Argentina, Brazil and Canada - refusing to recognise the election result.

"Venezuela is beginning to suffer an economic boycott by the United States and its allies, and this is going to be fatal to the regime," political analyst Carlos Romero said.

President Maduro, a former bus driver, union leader and foreign minister, has insisted Venezuela is the victim of an "economic war" waged by the conservative opposition and external powers including the United States aimed at toppling him.

Most economists attribute the oil-rich country's economic collapse to years of mismanagement, corruption and a period of sharply lower oil prices.

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In numbers

1,000 tonnes of waste collected daily:

  • 800 tonnes converted into alternative fuel
  • 150 tonnes to landfill
  • 50 tonnes sold as scrap metal

800 tonnes of RDF replaces 500 tonnes of coal

Two conveyor lines treat more than 350,000 tonnes of waste per year

25 staff on site

 

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The years Ramadan fell in May

1987

1954

1921

1888

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Company profile

Company name: Fasset
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Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
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Initial investment: $2.45 million
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COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

A QUIET PLACE

Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Joseph Quinn, Djimon Hounsou

Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: SmartCrowd
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Favourite car: Lamborghini

Newcastle United 0 Tottenham Hotspur 2
Tottenham (Alli 61'), Davies (70')
Red card Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle)

How to watch Ireland v Pakistan in UAE

When: The one-off Test starts on Friday, May 11
What time: Each day’s play is scheduled to start at 2pm UAE time.
TV: The match will be broadcast on OSN Sports Cricket HD. Subscribers to the channel can also stream the action live on OSN Play.

EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

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Source: Emirates

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

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KEY DATES IN AMAZON'S HISTORY

July 5, 1994: Jeff Bezos founds Cadabra Inc, which would later be renamed to Amazon.com, because his lawyer misheard the name as 'cadaver'. In its earliest days, the bookstore operated out of a rented garage in Bellevue, Washington

July 16, 1995: Amazon formally opens as an online bookseller. Fluid Concepts and Creative Analogies: Computer Models of the Fundamental Mechanisms of Thought becomes the first item sold on Amazon

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1998: Amazon acquires IMDb, its first major acquisition. It also starts selling CDs and DVDs

2000: Amazon Marketplace opens, allowing people to sell items on the website

2002: Amazon forms what would become Amazon Web Services, opening the Amazon.com platform to all developers. The cloud unit would follow in 2006

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2010: The foundations for Amazon Studios were laid. Its first original streaming content debuted in 2013

2011: The Amazon Appstore for Google's Android is launched. It is still unavailable on Apple's iOS

2014: The Amazon Echo is launched, a speaker that acts as a personal digital assistant powered by Alexa

2017: Amazon acquires Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, its biggest acquisition

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Produced: Salman Khan Films and Tips Films
Director: Remo D’Souza
Cast: Salman Khan, Anil Kapoor, Jacqueline Fernandez, Bobby Deol, Daisy Shah, Saqib Salem
Rating: 2.5 stars

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE. 

Read part four: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part three: the age of the electric vehicle begins

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

 

'Morbius'

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Stars: Jared Leto, Matt Smith, Adria Arjona

Rating: 2/5

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252 projectors installed on Al Wasl dome

13.6km of steel used in the structure that makes it equal in length to 16 Burj Khalifas

550 tonnes of moulded steel were raised last year to cap the dome

724,000 cubic metres is the space it encloses

Stands taller than the leaning tower of Pisa

Steel trellis dome is one of the largest single structures on site

The size of 16 tennis courts and weighs as much as 500 elephants

Al Wasl means connection in Arabic

World’s largest 360-degree projection surface


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