President Maduro signed a decree convening a constituent assembly (Reuters Image) CARACAS, Venezuela (AFP) – Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday formally launched moves to rewrite the constitution, defying opponents who accuse him of clinging to power in a political crisis that has sparked deadly unrest.At an open air rally before thousands of supporters in red t-shirts, Maduro signed a document formally establishing the terms for electing members of a “constituent assembly” that will be tasked with drafting a new constitution.His backers waved red, yellow and blue national flags in defiance of angry opposition protests after the death toll from weeks of clashes reached 53. Violence appeared to intensify in recent days with the opposition marching daily to demand early elections.A man was doused in fuel and set alight on Sunday at a demo. Three people were shot dead late Monday in riots in the western state of Barinas.The government and opposition accuse each other of sending armed groups to sow violence during demonstrations.Maduro has accused the opposition of “terrorism,” and is resisting their calls for a vote on removing him from power.The opposition blames him for an economic crisis that has caused shortages of food and medicine. It says he plans to pack the “constituent assembly” with his supporters.Maduro said 176 of the assembly’s members will be drawn from certain civil groups, which the opposition say are traditionally loyal to him and his late predecessor Hugo Chavez.(Photo: AFP)In a move set to further inflame the opposition, Maduro said the constitutional body would sit in the chamber of the National Assembly legislature — the only state institution nominally controlled by his opponents.Electoral specialist analyst Eugenio Martinez said on Twitter the constitutional assembly looked likely to be set up via “a made-to-measure election, a process designed to make the Chavista vote worth more than the opposition one.”A total of 53 people have been killed during demonstrations, many of them shot, public prosecutors said on Tuesday. Looting has broken out in various cities.A man was set alight on Sunday by a crowd who accused him of thieving. Maduro said he was targeted for being a government supporter.Fresh riots broke out on Monday evening in the capital and Barinas.“Venezuelans awake today in mourning for those murdered in our beloved Barinas. Such viciousness against our people!” opposition leader Henrique Capriles wrote on Twitter.Opposition lawmakers called a session for Tuesday to discuss the violence.Elected in 2013, Maduro has resisted opposition efforts to remove him since January 2016.He has said there will be presidential elections as scheduled next year, but not before.Instead, he has angered the opposition by seeking constitutional reforms. His rivals say that aims to strengthen his grip on power and avoid elections.Maduro retains the public backing of the military and control of most state institutions.He says the crisis is an international conspiracy backed by the United States.Venezuelans are struggling to buy food due to shortages and soaring inflation. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedVenezuela denounces ‘imperialist’ US sanctions threatJuly 18, 2017In “Regional”Venezuelan legislature launches trial against MaduroOctober 25, 2016In “latest news”Almost 7.2m Venezuelans vote to reject MaduroJuly 17, 2017In “Regional”
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedOverseas based Guyanese vacationing, feared dead after jet skiing accidentJuly 16, 2018In “Crime”Missing body from Pomeroon boat collision recoveredFebruary 19, 2014In “Crime”Body of WBD man recovered at Splashmin’s Fun ParkMarch 25, 2019In “latest news” The body of an overseas based Guyanese who reportedly drowned on Sunday last in the Demerara river, days after arriving in Guyana with his family on a holiday break, was on Tuesday recovered near a Koker at Timehri, East Bank Demerara.The dead man has been identified as Ravindra Budhraj, 46, who was vacationing with his wife and daughter.They were reportedly residing at, Prashad Nagar, Georgetown.Based on information received, the incident occurred at about 17:30hrs on Sunday.INews was told that Budhraj and his family visited Santa Mission on Sunday morning, spent most of the day, and returned to the Jettoo’s Sawmill Wharf, located at Coverden, East Bank Demerara, at about 17:00h.A few minutes later, the father of one and another man- identified as a 29-year-old Computer Technician- who is a family friend, and a member of the trip, mounted a green jet ski and went skiing in the Demerara River.However, according to the family friend, Budhraj, who was driving, lost control, resulting in both men falling into the river.At this point, an eyewitness who observed what transpired, rushed to their assistance in the company of other persons, in another boat.This online publication was told that upon their arrival, only the 29-year-old was seen panting for breath in the water. Budhraj had already allegedly submerged.The 46-year-old victim arrived in Guyana on July 7, 2018.Investigations are ongoing.
In another article leading up to Asia-Pacific’s International Mining Exhibition (AIMEX) from 29-31 August, the organisers stated that the Australian mining industry “looks set to enjoy a much needed reprieve as 2017 shapes to be the year the industry can catch its breath.” The article refers to analyst reports from companies such as PwC and Ernst and Young that have “indicated a shift in the industry to one of planning which seems to be a sentiment expressed by mining companies in quarter one of 2017.”“Cost optimisation and increased productivity will remain core to the mining industry. The strategies adopted over the past two years will place mining companies in a strong position to capitalise on improved operating margins and if market conditions continue to strengthen the focus will shift to growth developments which will come in the form of asset expansion as well as asset acquisition. In recent times, expansion projects and tenement developments have been put on hold but as many sites enter into the final stages of their life, these developments are once again commencing to ensure asset continuity. Asset acquisitions have been most recently driven by the portfolio realignment of some of the major players. This change in strategy has seen a number of profitable sites up for sale over the last 18 months providing great acquisition targets for the small to medium sized operators. These predominately equity based transactions will continue in 2017 and will consolidate the position of the mid-tier players helping them become major players in their respective commodities at the peak of the next cycle.”The article concludes: “While the industry is by no means at the beginning of its next boom the overriding sentiment of the sector is one of optimisim. While it is safe to say that the focus will still be on strengthening the balance sheet, improving commodity prices has freed up funds to replace much needed equipment which will ultimately filter down to the suppliers. As the focus shifts to the future miners will ensure they have the best assets in their portfolio to achieve sustainable growth and maximise the financial return to their shareholders.”The article uses information from http://www.ey.com/gl/en/industries/mining—metals/ey-mergers-acquisitions-and-capital-raising-2016-trends-2017-outlook as well as http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/energy-utilities-mining/assets/pwc-mining-transformation-final.pdf