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Venezuelans face hunger and extreme looting after Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared Venezuela is in a state of emergency for 60 days. Maduro said a threat to external security exists and his administration must deal with the threat as soon as possible.

Citizens have become restless. Many are waiting in line for food in relief centres. Meanwhile, looting and social tensions have increased in the city of Guarenas.

According to citizens, some have resorted to eating domesticated animals including dogs, cats and pigeons to resolve local food shortages.

A citizen said most people have no food. Power is cut to only four hours a day and crime is soaring in the country.

Most citizens said Maduro would not take responsibility for the trouble. They said “something has to give.”

Venezuela’s economy is suffering from low oil prices. Combined with limitations to dollar purchases, the country’s import-dependent economy is seeing a shortage on food and medicine. Cases of cancer, HIV, diabetes and hypertension are increasing nationwide.

“Shortages are just going to get worse in the coming weeks and months, and the government’s bet that they can keep the protests and looting … small-scale seems risky,” said David Smilde, a senior fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America. “Venezuelans are not used to hunger and do not have a lot of respect for Maduro as their leader.”

According to Maduro:

“They don’t want a referendum, they want a coup,” Maduro said this week during meeting with foreign journalists. “We have no obligations to hold any type of referendum in this country.”

With the Syrian Regime and Rebels again at each other’s throats, peace talks in Syria remain deadlocked. The Syrian ceasefire and peace talks revolve around Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s position in Syria and his involvement in the future parliament.

Syrian analysts believe that negotiations had fallen apart as the ceasefire between rebels and the Syrian regime had proven non-existent.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he is in Geneva “intensely” working on another ceasefire for both parties.

Due to the resume of Syrian conflict, the Islamic State and other terrorist groups could inflate the situation further.

According to US Defence Secretary Ash Carter, Syrian peace is still a long way off.

“Our strategy … is that Assad leaves, the structures of the government remain in place — but without Assad — and that the moderate opposition becomes part of the government and there is a government that can give the Syrian people what they deserve, which is a country that runs and a country that’s moderate and a country that treats its people decently,” Carter told the Senate Armed Services Committee.

“We’re a long way from that now, but that’s the vision for Syria,” he continued.

An immense social media and communications entity, Facebook has dominated much of the Western market and even Asia.

Line Corporation, however, warns the giant that “Asia is ours”.


Line Corporation, a Japan-based app company, is using a different strategy despite providing a similar product.

The corporation had used cute bunnies and bears in Japan. In Indonesia, they have used it as a classmate-connecting service based on alumni-based networks, which the company found strong.

According to Line CEO Takeshi Idezawa, the app and their endeavour would be “meaningless unless we have the top share.”

“With regard to services in Asia, I can say that we are at the forefront.”

Idezawa’s company would be battling rival services from WhatsApp, China’s WeChat and Facebook’s gigantic Messenger.

According to App Annie Ltd. Research Head Danielle Levitas, their analytics show that Line is arguably in the best position in Asia.

She said messengers thrive effectively with the plethora of stickers, emojis and other stuff you can do in messenger.

Line’s stickers have gained fame worldwide. Moon, Cony, Brown and other characters now have dolls, stationeries. Life-sized versions of the characters are used as promotional material.

However, it would face stiff competition against WeChat, especially as Line is banned in Japan. The company plans to open three shops in the country despite the ban.

The revelation through the ‘Panama Papers’ exposed the shocking and vile activities of the global shadow finance community. Press and observers believe it would implicate several political figures in the world.

The first casualty is possible Iceland’s Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson.

The centre-right Prime Minister had asked to dissolve parliament and called for early elections on Tuesday.

Iceland’s five-year president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson had denied the request and opted that leaders of other political parties guarantee a solution that was in the national interest.

About 320,000, the total of Iceland’s population, were completely shocked by the Prime Minister’s crimes including the ownership of an offshore company controlled by his wife.

About 22,000 of Iceland’s populace had come out in protest in Rekjavik’s streets on Monday. This is one of the historically-largest protests seen in Iceland.

Gunnlagsson said in social media that he is willing to break up parliament and call for early elections. He also insisted he and his wife had not done anything illegal. He iterated his accomplishments for Iceland.

According to observers in Iceland, Prime Minister Gunnlagsson is unlikely to survive his political career with the scandal.

Doctors, midwives and parents are to receive new guidance to reduce the rates of stillbirths in England. The new “care bundle” will allow parents to have access to new and better maternity services. The new services aim to reduce stillbirths by 2030.

Smoking, restricted baby movement, lack of knowledge for foetal care during labour and reducing alcohol consumption would be the focus of the new care program.

NHS England will roll out the new recommendations as an example of the best standard of care nationwide.

About 665,000 babies in England have about 2 per cent stillborn upon delivery. With a ratio of one to 200, England intends to improve its health services for labour.

NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens said:

“NHS maternity care is now the safest it’s ever been, and most mums say they’re cared for brilliantly… but we could cut stillbirths if all pregnant mums were encouraged to quit smoking, if proper monitoring takes place during pregnancy, and if maternity providers listen carefully when pregnant women report worries about their baby’s movements.”

An information and advice leaflet about reduced foetal movement will now be given to women by week 24 of their pregnancy.

Whilst charities have welcomed the announcement, many believe more still needs to be done.

Elizabeth Hutton, the chief executive of Kicks Count, said: “We could be getting the message out even further. We could do more monitoring of mums during pregnancy, there’s all sorts of research that can be done.”

Upon the event of a Brexit, Calais refugees can move into Britain illegally, warns French President Francois Hollande. Hollande said that without an EU involvement, the UK will have to contain the refugees intending to enter the country through their own capabilities.

Hollande warned there will be “consequences” if the UK pulls out of the EU. At the conclusion of the Franco-Briton Summit with British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“I don’t want to scare you, but I just want to say the truth” as he endorsed previous warnings by Number 10 about the consequences for border control.

In his strongest intervention in the EU referendum yet, the French president said: “There will be consequences in many areas: on the single market, on financial trade, on economic development between our two countries.

“Now that doesn’t mean that everything will be destroyed; I don’t want to give you a catastrophic scenario. But there will be consequences especially in terms of people as well.

“It obviously won’t put in question the historical relations between France and the UK – our friendship – but there will be consequences especially in the way we handle the situations that we just mentioned in terms of immigration.”

According to Leader of the Commons Chris Grayling, the EU is desperate for UK voters to allow Britain to stay in Europe. The “Euro Elite” according to the former Justice Secretary, is uniting with big businesses to pressure British voters.

According to French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron, he expected the Le Tourqet Treaty to be “torn up” once the UK exits Britain.

London Mayor Boris Johnson said it was just “usual flapping and scaremongering”.

“I would say: Donnez-moi un break. There’s absolutely no reason why that treaty should be changed,” he said in south London. “It was an intergovernmental treaty; it was the Le Touquet treaty. It was signed between the British government and the French government. It’s not in the French interests to want to do that and it’s just the usual flapping and scaremongering.”

Turkey is calling for the United States and other allies to provide ground support as Russian-backed Syrian regime forces are closing in on Turkey’s borders.

Washington said a large-scale joint ground operation is highly unlikely despite the Turkish call.

Kurdish Militia have dominated several parts of Iraq and Syria from the Islamic State. Russian-backed regime forces have taken back several areas of Syria from both Saudi-backed rebels and IS.

Shiite Militias backed by Iran along with Russian air strikes had provided help for Syrian forces.

Meanwhile, the Kurdish YPG militia has become a prime target of Turkish artillery fire. Turkey considers the militia to be hostile insurgents in the region.

Turkey has accused Russia of “obvious war crimes” following its missile attacks against hospitals and an MSF facility in the northern region of Syria. Syrian ambassador to Russia Riad Haddad blamed the US for the airstrikes. In response, a US official denied all claims as no IS presence had been noted in the northern provinces.

Turkey had promised the YPG the “harshest reaction” if it should capture a town near the Turkish Border.

UN Syria Envoy Staffan de Mistura conversed with Syria’s foreign minister to end hostilities and have the country’s support to bring in humanitarian aid.

Russia, which is becoming an increasing diplomatic challenge for the US, has become the central subject of the US’ plan to quadruple its budget to help European defences in 2017 against Russia’s increasing aggression.

Relations between Russia and US had gone down since the 2014 illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and its open sponsorship of the separatists.

The Pentagon is to propose a 50 per cent spending in the campaign against the extremist militant group the Islamic State

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter said US forces fighting in the air in Iraq and Syria are having lower numbers of laser-guided missiles and smart bombs.

A planned $1.8 billion (£1.2 billion) is proposed for 2017 to buy 45,000 more of the supplies needed for the air campaign against ISIS.

Carter said:

“We’re taking a strong and balanced approach to deter Russian aggression,” he said. “We haven’t had to worry about this for 25 years, and while I wish it were otherwise, now we do.”

The new allocations will signify the initiative to demonstrate US commitment to NATO allies in Europe as several states have mentioned their increasing concerns regarding Russia’s intentions to increase aggression in the region, particularly in central Asia.

Doctors Without Borders (Medicins Sans Frontieres, MSF) said Europe’s response to the refugee crisis was “a catastrophic failure.” The opening and closing of its borders “in a dangerously capricious manner” had created stress in the passage of many people.

MSF said asylum seekers did not have legal avenues in entering Europe as human smugglers continued to have huge influence despite the continent’s open borders.

The MSF intervened in 2015 as the NGO began their search and rescue operations for lost refugees in the Mediterranean. It has helped bring back 16,113 using three boats.

According to MSF Emergency Coordinator Will Turner “As long as conflicts lead to mass displacements, which in turn overwhelm neighboring countries, people in need of safe haven will reach out to Europe.”

Many European countries had increased controls on refugees coming from Syria, Sudan and Libya. Austria, Sweden and Denmark had introduced border controls, which directly violate the Schengen agreement.

The MSF advised Europe to improve its procedures for receiving refugees, which has become cumbersome and are driving away most refugees seeking refuge.

Millions of Syrians are displaced following the continuing Syrian Civil War. Meanwhile, escalating conflicts in Africa, Sudan and Libya had increased the number of refugees seeking asylum in Europe.

After its Monday sell-off, the Chinese Stock Market continued to tumble on Tuesday. The Shanghai Composite had fallen by 3.11 per cent. However, it retraced back about 0.8 per cent. The Shenzhen Composite opened down by 4.5 per cent. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index was down by 0.32 per cent at 21,264.

China had used its new “circuit breakers” linked to the CSI300 index. This would mean a 5 per cent reduction in the CSI300 index would halt trade for 15 minutes. When the index drops by 7 per cent, the market will close for the day.

On Monday, the trade had dipped the CSI300 down by 7 per cent, which suspended the trade for the day. Deutsche Bank estimates that 42 per cent of the 7 per cent loss were mostly financials, property and industrial names.

Circuit breakers are common in both US and China. In the United States, a dip between 7 and 13 per cent against the S&P 500 index halts trading for 15 minutes. If it reaches a 20 per cent mark, it would completely halt trading.

New concerns of a global economic slowdown and increasing tensions in the Middle East reflected on US and European equity markets.