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December 2018
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Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media        Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback        Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"        Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award        Supreme Court sees no wrongdoing in Rafale deal, rules out probe        India bowled a little bit short, Australia pacers could benefit: Border        ISL: FC Goa thrash NorthEast United 5-1        BWF World Tour Finals: PV Sindhu, Sameer Verma Register Easy Wins To Enter Semifinals        Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold        India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup        Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Kant        Prabhu, US Commerce Secretary to discuss trade issues on Feb 14        Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN        Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU        Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha        Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace        Rahul tweets pic with Kamal Nath, Scindia as race for CM moves to Bhopal        Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri        World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth        Govt should consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail trade: CII report        
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International News
US demands two Venezuelan diplomats leave within 48 hours: State Dept
 
Washington, May 24 (AFP) The United States ordered two top Venezuelan diplomats to leave within 48 hours in a tit for tat response to Caracas' expulsion order against the top two US diplomats there.

"This action is to reciprocate the Maduro regime's decision to declare the Charge d'Affaires and Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy in Caracas personae non grata," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement yesterday.

The Charge d'Affaires of the Venezuelan embassy and the Deputy Consul General of the Venezuelan consulate in Houston had likewise been declared personae non grata and were directed to leave within two days, she said.

Venezuela's move to expel US diplomats earlier this week followed a US tightening of sanctions over President Nicolas Maduro's controversial re-election as president over the weekend.

The Venezuelan president declared US charge d'affaires Todd Robinson and deputy head of mission Brian Naranjo "personae non gratae." Caracas has claimed it was the victim of a "political and financial lynching" -- accusations Nauert branded "unjustified." "Our Embassy officers have carried out their official duties responsibly and consistent with diplomatic practice," Nauert said.

"We reject any suggestion to the contrary."

Maduro announced the expulsions 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." 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," Maduro said in response the next day.

Maduro promised to present evidence that both diplomats were engaged in a political, military and economic "conspiracy." Robinson, the charge d'affaires, denied the allegations.

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, Maduro's mentor, assumed power in 1999.

The deeply unpopular Maduro was declared the winner of Sunday's election with 68 percent of the vote, but with a record abstention rate.

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

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

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

Washington has previously slapped sanctions on Maduro 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 recognize the election result.


Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner possible next chief of staff: US media
Sri Lanka PM Mahinda Rajapaksa to resign, says his son after court setback
Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN
Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU
Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'
May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal
Trump's potential next chief of staff pick leaving White House
UK PM faces fight for her political life in Brexit deal
Iran arrests 10 over suicide attack on police
Trump chooses new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, against Mattis wishes
Merkel gets boost with ally's party win
Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking
Trump may nominate Heather Nauert as UN Ambassador: Reports
Qatar injects more cash into Gaza for Hamas employees
Singer Mika Singh Detained in Dubai for Sending Obscene Messages to 17-year-old: Reports
Conditions Met for Assange to Leave Embassy in London, Says Ecuador President
Pakistan slashes non-salary budget by 10%
Moscow dismisses 'groundless' US claim Russia breaching arms treaty
AgustaWestland deal 'middleman' Christian Michel brought to India
Don't be like Hitler: sacked Lankan PM tells President Sirisena
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
NATIONAL NEWS
Rahul Gandhi After Rafale Verdict: "Will Prove PM Helped Anil Ambani"
 (New Delhi, Dec 14, 2018):Hours after the Supreme Court's clean chit to the government on the
Author Amitav Ghosh Honoured With 54th Jnanpith Award
Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha
Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace
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