April 9, 2017
From Washington, this is VOA news. I'm David Byrd reporting.
Thousands of opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro poured into the streets of Caracas on Saturday as part of a week-long protest movement that shows little sign of losing steam.
The government used armored vehicles and tear gas in an attempt to break up the crowd as it approached the headquarters of the state-run PDVSA oil company.
Police in riot gear fired tear gas and rubber bullets at some demonstrators. The demonstrators threw rocks, bottles and tear gas canisters at police.
Later, demonstrators broke through the police lines and attacked the country's Supreme Court building. Also, the offices of top opposition leader Henrique Capriles were set on fire.
The demonstrations came one day after the government barred Capriles from running for office for 15 years. The opposition leader says the government move is typical in a dictatorship.
He says, "So we can expect more outrageous actions by the government. They could do anything - more human rights violations. We have to resist and I am here to resist, too."
Venezuela's political crisis intensified last week when the Supreme Court issued rulings curbing the powers of the opposition-controlled legislature.
Thousands of people gathered in the French Basque town of Bayonne Saturday to celebrate the end of one of longest conflicts in modern European history.
The Basque separatist group ETA relinquished its last caches of weapons to French authorities.
ETA, designated a terrorist group by the U.S. government, has been blamed for the deaths of more than 850 people since the late 1960s.
For more on these stories, log on to our website. This is VOA news.
Hundreds of people gathered on Saturday at the site of Friday's truck attack in Stockholm, building a wall of flowers on an aluminum fence erected to keep them away from the site's broken glass and twisted metal.
The attack by a 39-year-old Uzbek man who drove a stolen truck into shoppers in Stockholm killed four people and wounded 15.
Sweden's Prime Minister Stefan Lofven visited the site and said his country will remain an open society.
"We grieve with the families that have lost their loved ones, near ones, but we're also determined to continue to be an open society, a democratic society."
Police say the suspect had been on the authorities' radar previously but they dismissed him as a marginal character.
Swedish police say they have located a suspicious package under the driver's seat of the truck but they did not say if it was an explosive.
Syria activists say government warplanes again struck Khan Sheikhoun, the rebel-held town targeted earlier this week in an alleged chemical weapons attack by the Syrian regime.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said one woman was killed and three people wounded after being machine-gunned by jets in an eastern neighborhood.
The warplanes carrying out Saturday's alleged raid are believed to have flown from Shayrat, the airbase targeted Friday morning by the U.S. in a punitive barrage of 59 cruise missiles.
Meanwhile, U.S.-led coalition airstrikes killed a total of 21 people, including a woman and her six children outside the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa.
Activist groups and the Syrian government say coalition planes hit a boat carrying civilians across the Euphrates River.
Separately, an airstrike on the Islamic State-held village of Hneida killed at least 14 civilians, including several children.
Britain's Foreign Minister Boris Johnson has canceled plans to visit Moscow just hours before he was due to leave London as tensions escalated between the U.S. and Russia over Syria.
British officials say that Johnson's trip was called off after the foreign minister consulted his American counterpart, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is due to visit the Russian capital in a few days.
In a statement, Johnson said, "Developments in Syria have changed the situation fundamentally."
Meanwhile, a Russian frigate armed with cruise missiles is headed into the Mediterranean. Russian state media say the Admiral Grigorovich will dock at Tartus on the Syrian coast.
For more on these stories, visit our website. I'm David Byrd in Washington.
That's the latest world news from VOA.