Venezuela’s new legislative superbody opens despite wide criticism

CARACAS, (Reuters) – Venezuela yesterday inaugurated a new legislative superbody that is expected to rewrite the constitution and give vast new powers to the ruling Socialist Party, defying worldwide condemnation that the new assembly undermines democratic freedoms.

Trump administration goes on attack against leakers, journalists

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, taking up an issue that has infuriated Republican President Donald Trump, went on the attack against leaks yesterday, warning of a possible crackdown both on reporters and their sources inside the federal government.

Strong U.S. jobs report bolsters case for further Fed tightening

WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – U.S. employers hired more workers than expected in July and raised their wages, signs of labor market tightness that likely clears the way for the Federal Reserve to announce a plan to start shrinking its massive bond portfolio.

In blustery call, Trump pressured Mexico on border wall payment

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump pressured the Mexican president to stop voicing opposition in public to his plan to have Mexico pay for a border wall, according to transcripts of phone calls published on Thursday that gave an insight into Trump’s attempts to influence foreign leaders in his first days in office.

New Pakistan PM wants probe of harassment charges against Imran Khan

PTI chief Imran Khan and MAN Ayesha Gulalai. ISLAMABAD, (Reuters) – Pakistan’s new prime minister called on Friday for an investigation into allegations that opposition leader Imran Khan harassed a woman lawmaker, charges Khan dismisses as revenge for his role in the ouster of then-premier Nawaz Sharif.

U.S. Justice Dept to cities: Focus on crime committed by illegal immigrants

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, (Reuters) – U.S. cities that refuse to step up efforts to focus on crimes committed by illegal immigrants will not be allowed to participate in a new crime reduction training program unveiled earlier this year by the Justice Department, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said yesterday.

Mercosur trade bloc to evict Venezuela -source

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – South American trade bloc Mercosur will trigger its democratic clause this weekend to suspend Venezuela indefinitely and not allow it back until democracy is restored, a Brazilian government source said yesterday.

Born this way? Researchers explore the science of gender identity

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – While President Donald Trump has thrust transgender people back into the conflict between conservative and liberal values in the United States, geneticists are quietly working on a major research effort to unlock the secrets of gender identity.

Brazil’s Temer wins Congressional votes to block graft charge

BRASILIA, (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted yesterday to reject a corruption charge against President Michel Temer for allegedly taking bribes, saving him from facing a possible Supreme Court trial that could have ousted him from office.

Venezuela inflated turnout in controversial vote -election firm

LONDON/CARACAS,  (Reuters) – Venezuela inflated the turnout figures for its constituent assembly election by at least 1 million votes, the company that provides the country’s voting machines said yesterday, an accusation the government quickly dismissed as “irresponsible.” Earlier in the day Reuters exclusively reported that only 3.7 million people had voted by 5:30 p.m.

Dow pole vaults 22,000, but beware the landing

NEW YORK, (Reuters) – The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed over the 22,000 mark for the first time yesterday, but investor fears about the sustainability of the gains took the shine off the round number milestone.

Britain’s outspoken Prince Philip bows out of public life

LONDON, (Reuters) – Prince Philip, the 96-year-old husband of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, bowed out of public life yesterday with his final solo appearance at an official event, ending a royal career marked by occasional gaffes that landed him in hot water.

More video emerges of suspected drug planting by Baltimore police

(Reuters) – The Baltimore Police Department suspended seven officers after body camera video emerged that the city’s public defender said appeared to show them planting drugs in a car during a traffic stop, the second such episode in the city in two weeks.

All eyes on Venezuela military after protests, vote

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela, (Reuters) – Venezuelan soldiers are increasingly weary of the popular backlash against their role in quelling anti-government protests and all eyes are on the military to see if it will remain loyal to President Nicolas Maduro.

Communist-run Cuba puts brakes on private sector expansion

HAVANA, (Reuters) – Communist-run Cuba said on Tuesday it was suspending issuing new licenses for certain private-sector activities from bed-and-breakfasts to restaurants until it had implemented new measures to curb wrongdoing such as tax evasion.