Egypt Independent: World-Main news en Venezuela dialogue could open way for international help: US diplomat <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Dialogue between the Venezuelan government and opposition could provide a platform from which they could request help from the international community, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon said on Friday.</span></p><p>Shannon held talks with Venezuelan officials, including President Nicolas Maduro and opposition figures, in Caracas this week amid a punishing economic crisis in the South American nation. A date had not been set for another round of talks, he said.</p><p>During the visit, Shannon also met with former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. He, along with former presidents Martin Torrijos of Panama and Leonel Fernandez of the Dominican Republic, are trying to facilitate talks between the government and the opposition.</p><p>Given the diametrically opposed views of each side in Venezuela, internationally mediated talks outside Caracas could help address their differences, Shannon said.&nbsp;</p><p>&quot;The hope [is] that this can be used not only to address political differences but also to create a platform from which both the government and the opposition can ask for help from the international community to address some of the very significant crises that Venezuela faces now,&quot; Shannon told reporters.</p><p>&quot;It is up to the two parties to determine whether or not the facilitators are the right ones. Our view is that they are at this point,&quot; he added.</p><p>Shannon did not specify what type of help Venezuela could ask for.</p><p>His three-day visit comes amid increasing concern among Venezuela&#39;s neighbors about the situation in the South American OPEC nation.</p><p>Once among Latin America&#39;s most prosperous nations, Venezuela has plunged into unrest and a harsh economic slowdown. Long lines for food and medicines have led to protests and opposition calls for a recall referendum to remove Maduro.</p><p>Despite protests from Venezuela&#39;s Foreign Minister Delcy Rodriguez, a majority of member states from the 34-nation Organization of American States (OAS) on Thursday backed a move by OAS chief, Luis Almagro, to &quot;invoke&quot; the organization&#39;s democratic charter on Venezuela.</p><p>While the move could eventually lead to Venezuela&#39;s suspension, there is currently little appetite within the regional bloc to suspend Venezuela, with all member states favoring dialogue as a first step.</p><p>Shannon said Venezuela felt &quot;uncomfortable&quot; with the OAS process, adding: &quot;They don&#39;t like being called out.&quot;</p><p>&quot;My hope is that we will have a follow up date in the very near future,&quot; he added.</p> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 08:34:00 +0000 Reuters 2470600 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/05/18/505021/venezuela.jpg Debris in Tanzania to be examined for link to missing MH370 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">A new piece of debris found in Tanzania will be examined for a possible link to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, Malaysian state news agency Bernama cited the country&#39;s transport minister as saying on Saturday.&nbsp;</span></p><p>&quot;This debris is quite large... only if it is confirmed to be that of Boeing 777 will we send an investigation team there to study whether it really belonged to MH370 or not,&quot; Malaysian transport minister Liow Tiong Lai was quoted as saying.</p><p>Liow said recent discoveries of bags and other personal items found in Madagascar were not connected to MH370.</p><p>Flight&nbsp;MH370&nbsp;disappeared in March 2014 with 239 passengers and crew on board shortly after taking off from Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing.</p><p>Investigators believe someone may have deliberately switched off the plane&#39;s transponder before diverting it thousands of miles off course over the Indian Ocean.</p><p>A piece of the plane washed up on the French island of&nbsp;Reunion&nbsp;in July 2015.</p> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 08:26:00 +0000 Reuters 2470599 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/01/26/501010/malaysia.jpg Nexit, Frexit or Italeave? British vote fires up EU's 'Outers' <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p><span style="font-size: 1em; line-height: 1.5em;">Britain&#39;s vote to leave the European Union fired up populist eurosceptic parties across the continent on Friday, giving fresh voice to their calls to leave the bloc or its euro currency.</span></p><p>Right-wing and anti-immigrant parties in the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and France demanded referendums on membership of the union, while Italy&#39;s 5-Star movement said it would pursue its own proposal for a vote on the euro.</p><p>Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-immigrant PVV party, said he would make a Dutch referendum on EU membership a central theme of his campaign to become prime minister in next year&#39;s parliamentary election.</p><p>&quot;I congratulate the British people for beating the political elite in both London and Brussels and I think we can do the same,&quot; Wilders told Reuters. &quot;We should have a referendum about a &#39;Nexit&#39; as soon as possible.&quot;</p><p>On Thursday, Britons voted to leave the 28-nation EU, forcing the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealing the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.</p><p>&quot;There is no future any more [for the EU],&quot; Wilders said.</p><p>France&#39;s far right National Front party also called for a French referendum on European Union membership, cheering a Brexit vote it hopes can boost its eurosceptic agenda.</p><p>Party leader Marine Le Pen celebrated the result by displaying the British flag on her Twitter page.</p><p>&quot;Victory for freedom!&quot; she said. &quot;We now need to hold the same referendum in France and in (other) EU countries.&quot; Her deputy, Florian Philippot said: &quot;Our turn now #Brexit #Frexit.&quot;</p><p>Le Pen said last month that if she won next year&#39;s French presidential election she would immediately start negotiations on a series of sovereignty issues including the single currency. If those failed, she would ask voters to back leaving the EU.</p><p>She is the front-runner among likely candidates ahead of the vote, although polls see her losing the run-off.</p><p>Analysts and a few FN officials and allies have said its protectionist, anti-euro policy was partly to blame for holding the party back in the past. But the Brexit vote could help it overcome this, Ifop pollster&#39;s analyst Frederic Dabi said.</p><p><strong>&quot;Our turn&quot;</strong></p><p>The populist anti-immigration Danish People&#39;s Party (DF), an ally of Denmark&#39;s right-leaning government, also called for a referendum on membership of the European Union.</p><p>&quot;I believe that the Danes obviously should have a referendum on whether we want to follow Britain or keep things the way we have it now,&quot; DF party leader Kristian Thulesen Dahl said.</p><p>The DF is not in government but is one of three parties supporting the one-party administration. Its call for a popular vote was echoed by the head of the left-wing Red-Green Alliance.</p><p>Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen rejected the calls, but acknowledged that the British vote raised the possibility of a &quot;slimmer EU&quot;.</p><p>In Sweden, the anti-immigration party the Sweden Democrats, which has the support of around 17 percent of voters according to a poll last month, said it would step up pressure for change.</p><p>&quot;We demand that Sweden immediately starts to renegotiate the (EU) deals we have made and that the Swedish people will be able to speak up about a future EU-membership in a referendum,&quot; party leader Jimme Akesson said.</p><p>Austria&#39;s far-right Freedom Party (FPO) called for the heads of the European Commission and European Parliament to resign after the Brexit vote, and said it may also call for a referendum unless the EU is reformed.</p><p>Italy&#39;s second most popular party, the opposition 5-Star Movement described the result as a lesson in democracy and promised to pursue its own proposal for an Italian referendum on the euro.</p><p>The party, considered a genuine contender for government at the next general election, wants Italy to hold a &quot;consultative&quot; or non-binding referendum on whether to remain in the euro zone.</p><p>&quot;Whether you like it or not the British people have chosen,&quot; said lower house deputy Alessandro Di Battista, a member of 5-Star&#39;s leadership committee.</p><p>The right-wing Northern League, a member of Italy&#39;s opposition center-right, was more outspoken. &quot;Thank you Great Britain, next it is our turn,&quot; party leader Matteo Salvini said.</p> Sat, 25 Jun 2016 08:23:00 +0000 Reuters 2470598 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/25/505021/frexit.jpg Savage storm pummels eastern China, killing 98 <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>A violent storm in eastern China that packed gale-force winds and hail killed 98 people and injured hundreds as it flattened power lines, overturned cars and ripped roofs off houses in Jiangsu province.<br /><br />The storm, which included a tornado, struck mid-afternoon on Thursday near Yancheng city, a few hours&#39; drive north of China&#39;s commercial capital Shanghai, the Ministry of Civil Affairs said.<br /><br />Winds reached 125 kph and battered several townships in Funing county, the official Xinhua news agency said.<br /><br />&quot;I heard the gales and ran upstairs to shut the windows,&quot; Funing resident Xie Litian, 62, told Xinhua.<br /><br />&quot;I had hardly reached the top of the stairs when I heard a boom and saw the entire wall with the windows on it torn away.&quot;<br /><br />When the storm subsided and Xie escaped, all the neighboring houses were gone. &quot;It was like the end of the world,&quot; Xie said.<br /><br />The death toll stood at 98, with 800 people injured, state-run China National Radio said on its website on Friday.<br /><br />Pictures online showed injured people lying amid destroyed houses, overturned cars and split tree trunks. One showed a man who had apparently tried to shield a woman from falling debris; both were dead in a pile of rubble.<br /><br />The worst of the storm seemed to have hit only a limited area, however.<br /><br />&quot;It looks like the tornado only hit very specific places,&quot; said a Reuters reporter at the site. &quot;Even nearby villages were fine.&quot;<br /><br />A man broke down in sobs as his 35-year-old son was pulled dead from a pond in Shizhuang town on Friday.<br /><br />In the nearby village of Dalou, tree trunks were snapped, with plates and household items scattered amid rubble, as survivors picked through the debris.<br /><br />Chinese President Xi Jinping, visiting Uzbekistan, ordered China&#39;s cabinet to send a team to oversee relief efforts, Xinhua reported. Premier Li Keqiang urged authorities to speed search and rescue work.<br /><br />GCL System Integration Technology Co Ltd (002506.SZ), a $5-billion solar cell module maker, said a 40,000-sq-m. (430,000-sq-foot) factory it part-owned had collapsed, and it was assessing the damage.<br /><br />Environmental campaign group Greenpeace said the storm caused the collapse of a GCL facility used to store hazardous chemicals, located near a drinking water plant and a river.<br /><br />&quot;The release of these chemicals could pose significant risk to public health and the local ecosystem,&quot; Greenpeace said in a statement.<br /><br />China&#39;s summer often brings severe weather. Floods in the south this week killed at least 22 people and left 20 missing.<br /><br />Last June, a storm caused a Yangtze River cruise ship to capsize, killing 442 people and leaving just 12 survivors, in one of China&#39;s worst such disasters in seven decades.</p> Fri, 24 Jun 2016 11:46:00 +0000 Reuters 2470588 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/06/24/504802/china.jpg