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Washington DC (CNN Business) – Facebook, the world’s largest social network, relied on Twitter on Wednesday to explain that its apps were experiencing outages around the world.
Some users of Facebook (FB) and other platforms owned by the tech giant, including Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp, experienced problems accessing the services. Many people went on Twitter to vent their frustration.
The outages began Wednesday afternoon and appeared to affect people in multiple areas, including the US, Central and South America, and Europe, according to tweets and the outage-tracking site DownDetector.com.
We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We’re working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.42.9K5:49 PM – Mar 13, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy29.4K people are talking about this. Despite some early online rumors that the outages were the result of a distributed denial-of-service (DDos) attack — a type of hack in which attackers flood a company’s network — Facebook said in another tweet that “the issue is not related to a DDoS attack.”
Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido said in an interview that the expulsion of the German ambassador by Caracas was a threat against Germany, Der Spiegel magazine reported on Thursday.
“This action represents a threat against Germany,” Guaido was quoted as saying on Thursday.
German ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home Guaido at Caracas airport.
Wednesday, March 6
US to revoke more visas of Venezuelans
Vice President Mike Pence said the US will revoke more visas from prominent Venezuelans as it seeks to increase pressure on President Nicolas Maduro to give up power.
Pence told the Latino Coalition that the US will revoke 77 visas held by officials in the Maduro government or their relatives.
He said, “The time has come to liberate Venezuela from Cuba.”
Venezuela expels German ambassador for meddling, detains American journalist
Venezuela’s government expelled the German ambassador while press advocacy groups said an American journalist had been detained.
Ambassador Daniel Kriener was expelled two days after he and diplomats from other embassies welcomed home opposition leader Juan Guaido at the Caracas airport.
The government declared Kriener persona non grata and gave him 48 hours to leave the country, accusing him of meddling in internal affairs, although it did not give specific details.
Addressing the National Assembly, Guaido said Maduro’s government is the “persona non grata” in Venezuela.
Separately, Venezuela’s National Press Workers Union said on Twitter that American journalist Cody Weddle was arrested at his home on Wednesday by military counterintelligence agents. Espacio Publico, a free speech group, said he had been accused of treachery and that the agents took his computer and equipment.
US to punish foreign entities funding Maduro
The United States will impose sanctions on foreign institutions helping to finance President Maduro, the White House said on Wednesday.
The measure was announced by President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton.
“The United States is putting foreign financial institutions on notice that they will face sanctions for being involved in facilitating illegitimate transactions that benefit Nicolas Maduro and his corrupt network,” Bolton said in a statement.
Venezuela crisis worsened by sanctions, UN says Sanctions have worsened Venezuela’s crippling economic and political crisis, the UN human rights chief said.
UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said sanctions had exacerbated the crisis but also slammed Maduro’s “violations of civil and political rights” in her annual report to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
“Venezuela clearly illustrates the way violations of civil and political rights – including failure to uphold fundamental freedoms, and the independence of key institutions – can accentuate a decline of economic and social rights,” said former Chile president Bachelet.
Tuesday, March 5
Maduro says he will defeat opposition
Maduro said he would defeat a “crazed minority” determined to destabilise the country in his first public comments since opposition leader Guaido defied him by returning home on Monday.
Maduro, during a ceremony to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the death of his predecessor Hugo Chavez, called on supporters to attend “anti-imperialist” demonstrations on March 9, coinciding with an opposition march announced by Guaido.
Guaido vows to paralyse public sector to squeeze Maduro
Guaido held talks with Venezuela’s public sector unions on Tuesday about staging strikes to help bring down the government.
The strikes would ratchet up pressure on a weakened Maduro by giving several million state employees, a traditional bastion of government support, a chance to demonstrate their frustration with an administration that has overseen Venezuela’s deepest ever economic crisis.
The opposition is also seeking to capitalise on momentum spurred by Guaido’s triumphant return to Venezuela on Monday to press for an end to Maduro’s rule.
Monday, March 4
Guaido returns home, calls for fresh protests
Guaido defied the threat of arrest to return home on Monday, arriving at Caracas international airport where he was met by cheering supporters, television footage showed.
Flag-waving Venezuelans turned out to await the return of opposition leader who embarks on a renewed push against embattled President Maduro.
“We know the risks we face, that’s never stopped us. The regime, the dictatorship must understand,” Guaido told a delirious crowd.
“We’re stronger than ever, let’s carry on in the streets, mobilised,” he said.
Guaido called on people to flood the streets of cities across the country on Saturday [March 9] to protest Maduro’s hold on power.
Earlier, in a video shared on social networks, Guaido warned that if Maduro’s government “tries to kidnap us … it will be one of the last mistakes it makes.”
The self-declared acting president added on Twitter that should he be detained, he has left “clear instructions to our international allies and parliamentary brothers.”
Also on Monday, US warned of “swift response” to any “threats” against Guaido.
Sunday, March 3
‘Mobilise all over the country’ – Guaido
Venezuela’s opposition leader called for mass protests across the country on Monday as he announced his return to the country after a week touring Latin American allies.
“I’m announcing my return to the country. I am calling on the Venezuelan people to mobilise all over the country tomorrow at 11:00 am (1500 GMT),” Guaido said on Twitter.
Guaido, who has been recognised by more than 50 countries as interim president, gave no details of when or how he would return, however.
Russia vows to prevent US military intervention
Russia will do all possible to prevent a US military intervention in Venezuela, the TASS news agency quoted the speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament as saying on Sunday.
“We are very much concerned that the USA could carry out any provocations to shed blood, to find a cause and reasons for an intervention in Venezuela,” Valentina Matvienko told Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow.
“But we will do all in order not to allow this,” said Matvienko, a close ally of President Vladimir Putin.
Saturday, March 2
Guaido to return home after Ecuador visit
Guaido said he would return to Venezuela from Ecuador, where he was meeting with President Lenin Moreno during a tour of Latin American nations to muster support.
Guaido told reporters that he was calling for new protests on Monday and Tuesday in Venezuela. He did not say when or how he planned to return.
Venezuela’s education system crumbles
Venezuela’s economic crisis has impacted the entire economy, particularly health and education.
Many schools across the country don’t have food or running water. And with low salaries, it’s becoming increasingly hard to keep teachers employed.
Nicaragua expels missions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) dedicated to investigating anti-government protests
|REUTERS|AIWA! NO!|Nicaragua on Wednesday expelled two missions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) dedicated to investigating anti-government protests that turned violent, the group said.
The government wrote in a letter to the Organisation of American States (OAS), which oversees the groups, that the missions had been suspended for failing to meet their objectives.
The government did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The IACHR said in a statement that its Mechanism of Special Monitoring for Nicaragua (MESENI) would continue to operate from Washington.
“The IACHR reiterates that the situation in Nicaragua will continue to be a priority and reaffirms its commitment to the victims of human rights violations,” the statement said.
Nicaragua is reeling from one of its worst political crises since President Daniel Ortega regained power in 2007.
Since April, thousands have taken to the streets in the Central American country to demand Ortega’s resignation. Ortega’s opponents accuse the veteran leftist of attempting to cement an authoritarian family dynasty along with his wife, Rosario Murillo, whom he chose to be his vice president.
At least 322 people have died and more than 500 have been imprisoned over eight months of anti-government protests, according to human rights organizations.
Ana Maria Tello, the coordinator of the MESENI, told reporters that the foreign ministry had instructed the groups to leave Nicaragua immediately.
The suspension of the missions was announced one day before the presentation of a final report on the violence that took place between April 18 and May 30.
In October, one of the OAS groups criticized the public prosecutor’s inability to find those responsible for the deaths of protesters.
“That’s not the law. They should be allowed to come in, seek asylum. That’s the law,” Mr. Cummings said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Asked if he would support changing the law, the Maryland Democrat said, “No.”
Mr. Trump is seeking a deal with Mexico in which the thousands of asylum-seeking migrants massing on the southern border would remain there until their applications are approved, insisting he will close the border if necessary.
RUSH LIMBAUGH: “If the Republicans do not get this vote taken and have Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye. You can kiss goodbye holding the House and you can kiss goodbye holding the Senate – why Kavanaugh case will kill Republicans in the midterms”
|Brett Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and the Romanticizing of Teenage Indiscretion|President Trump introduces the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh|Brett Kavanaugh and Donald TrumpJIM BOURG / REUTERS
Last week, we saw one of the most emotional and vexing hearings that the Senate has held in recent memory. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempting to rape her at a high school party in 1982, followed by testimony from Judge Kavanaugh himself.
An alleged witness to the rape attempt the Supreme Court nominee stands accused of has opined about rowdy-young-male behavior for years.
Kavanaugh cleared the committee by a party line vote of 11-10 on Friday. Yet, Republicans subsequently decided to halt a Senate floor vote until the FBI conducts a final investigation into these salacious and if true, disqualifying, allegations. While any conclusion to this process remains unclear, it is important to recognize that what occurred on Thursday only hurts Republicans, potentially fatally, in the coming elections.
A Politico/Morning Consult poll reported on Wednesday that 37 percent of voters oppose the Kavanaugh nomination, with 34 percent supporting it and 29 percent having no opinion. To be clear, I have no doubt about the sincerity of both Kavanaugh and Ford. Each of them made compelling presentations. Yet, the activism against Kavanaugh made clear the deep emotional animosity that some voters feel.
RUSH LIMBAUGH – ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’: Grassley has a job to do here, because, if he gives Democrats enough time, they’ll produce a woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife who Trump paid to urinate on that bed in Moscow. If Grassley waits long enough, the Democrats will come up with the woman claiming to be Kavanaugh’s secret Russian wife. — he’s a bigamist, too, don’t you know — and Trump paid Kavanaugh’s second wife to hire a bunch of prostitutes to urinate on the bed Obama slept in while in Moscow.
If Grassley doesn’t get a handle on this and just do — and I’ll tell you something else, which everybody also knows. If the Republicans do not get this vote taken and have Kavanaugh confirmed, you can kiss the midterms goodbye. You can kiss goodbye holding the House and you can kiss goodbye holding the Senate.
“Don’t look away from me,” said Maria Gallagher, the protester who confronted and eviscerated Senator Jeff Flake of Arizona before the committee vote. “Look at me and tell me that it doesn’t matter what happened to me, that you will let people like that go into the highest court of the land and tell everyone what they can do to their bodies.”
The motivation and enthusiasm from people on this issue will be front and center less than 40 days from now, when Americans turn out to vote in the midterms. According to a Pew Research poll released last week, 76 percent of registered voters say appointments to the Supreme Court will be very important to their vote this fall and, as of this moment, is ranked as more important than health care or the economy.
The Republican Party Abandons Conservatism; the conservative virtues remain real virtues, the conservative insights real insights, and the conservative temperament an indispensable internal gyro keeping a country stable and sane – Eliot A. Cohen; Professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins University
The conservative virtues remain real virtues, the conservative insights real insights, and the conservative temperament an indispensable internal gyro keeping a country stable and sane.
Republicans, no matter how sincere they may seem or how aggrieved Kavanaugh appeared to feel, have been tone deaf on key issues related to women, especially the right to choose an abortion and protection from or justice for sexual harassment. Around 81 percent of women report being sexually harassed at some point in their lives. While it is unclear to me what a week long FBI investigation will do, as it appears everyone with knowledge of the alleged behavior has submitted a statement, other witnesses could be unearthed to offer dispositive comments.
Indeed, this is really about political cover for Republicans. After the contentious hearings and polarizing dialogue, they need the rest of the week and the cover of the FBI to get Flake and his moderate Republican colleagues, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine, to confirm their votes for Kavanaugh. Collins and Murkowski have repeatedly expressed concern over the allegations. Flake, after being confronted by protesters, expressed support for an FBI investigation, saying, “We ought to do what we can to make sure we do all due diligence with a nomination this important.” He added, “This country is being ripped apart here.”
But make no mistake, even if the FBI gives Kavanaugh a clean bill of health for his nomination, this will play out to the detriment of Republicans who already are down by 7 points to 8 points in the generic ballot for Congress. Republicans may have saved themselves from committing harakiri with their last minute decision to involve the FBI, but it is unclear whether that will do more than delay a slow death for a longer period.