Seven killed in clashes over Venezuela election

By Danielle Wiener-Bronner
April 16, 2013

Dispute over Venezuela’s election turns violent, huge earthquake rocks Iran and Pakistan, and officials investigate Boston Marathon bombings. Today is Tuesday, April 16, and this is the World Wrap, brought to you by @dwbronner and @clarerrrr.


Supporters of opposition leader Henrique Capriles face off against riot police as they demonstrate for a recount of the votes in Sunday’s election, in Caracas, April 15, 2013. REUTERS/Christian Veron

Venezuelans clash over election. Seven people were killed in protests over Venezuela’s disputed presidential election, as both sides mobilized supporters nationwide for new demonstrations:

Opposition leader Henrique Capriles has demanded a full recount of votes from Sunday’s election after results showed a narrow victory for late President Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. The election authority has ruled out a recount, raising fears of more violence in the South American nation, which has the world’s largest oil reserves.

Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at opposition demonstrators as they took to the streets in Caracas on Monday. Capriles says his team compiled a long list of voting irregularities that skewed the election results in Maduro’s favor. President-elect Maduro initially agreed to a recount before the head of the electoral council rejected the call. Maduro’s narrow victory casts a pall on the future of Chavez’s socialist movement without its charismatic leader Hugo.

Iran earthquake rattles neighboring Pakistan. A massive earthquake struck southeast Iran close to its border with Pakistan, killing at least 13 and destroying hundreds of houses in Pakistan:

Communications with the area, a sparsely populated desert and mountain region, were largely cut, leading to conflicting preliminary reports of casualties in Iran. An Iranian provincial governor later said there were no deaths there.

The 7.8-magnitude quake sent tremors through India and the Gulf states. Witnesses in New Delhi said they saw people running to the streets as tall buildings shook. Iran rests on geological faultlines and has seen many destructive quakes, most recently near its nuclear reactor in Bushehr.

Officials investigate Boston Marathon blasts. Officials probing the two Boston Marathon blasts that marked the worst attack on U.S. soil since 9/11 said that no additional devices were discovered other than the two the detonated near the race’s finish line on Monday:

At this point, no one is in custody in connection with the Monday afternoon attack that left three dead and sent 176 to area hospitals, Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis said at a press conference. Of the injured, 17 remain in critical condition.

President Barack Obama called the Boston bombings an”act of terror,” but said it is unclear whether the twin blasts were the work of a foreign or domestic group or a “malevolent individual.” The FBI is leading investigations into the attacks, joined by the CIA and the National Counterterrorism Center in addition to local officials. Click here for continuing coverage of the aftermath.

Nota Bene:  A closer look into the unsolved murder of three Kurdish activists killed in Paris underscores the escalating tensions between ethnic Kurds and the Turkish government.

Standouts:

“No justification” - A nonpartisan review concludes the United States practiced tortured after 9/11. (The New York Times)

Back to reality - Reuters columnist Gary Regenstreif says it’s time for Maduro to quit with the flights of fantasy. (Reuters)

Immodest proposal - India thwarts Playboy’s plans to open a beach club in Goa. (The Telegraph)

Misplaced van ban –  In response to a high-profile rape case, officials in Rio de Janeiro ban public transportation vans. (The Atlantic)

Pangolin poach - A boating accident exposed China’s poaching of the protected, pine-cone-like species of anteater. (The Los Angeles Times)

From the File:

  • North Korea issues new threats over protests in South
  • Rebels push Assad’s army away from vital north Syria highway
  • Pakistan officials bar ex-president Musharraf from election race
  • EU makes last-ditch bid for Serbia-Kosovo deal
  • Turkey holds 10 suspected of arming Syria Islamist rebels: media
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