** People rescuing an injured passenger from inside a passenger bus hit by a truck on Dhaka-Mawa Expressway in Shologhar area of Shreenagar upazila in Munshiganj on Thursday. ** Motorcycles allowed on Padma Bridge after 10 months ** Commuters charge extra fare, passengers disappointed ** 78 people killed in Yemen stampede ** Moon sighting committee meets today to ascertain Eid day ** 9 killed in road accidents in 3 districts ** US announces new $325 m military aid package for Ukraine ** Eid-ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia today ** Eid exodus begins ** LPG price cut illusive ** 15 hurt as bus overturns in capital ** New interbank cheque clearing timings set for Eid holidays ** Four women hit by a train die in Tangail ** 12.28 lakh SIM users left Dhaka on Tuesday ** Sylhet engineer threatened over power outage ** People rush to village homes to spend Eid holidays with their near and dear ones. This photo was taken from Sadarghat Launch Terminal on Tuesday. NN photo ** Surge in cases of dehydration, diarrhoea amid summer heat wave ** Padma Bridge construction cost increases by Tk 2,412cr ** PM gives Tk 90m to Bangabazar fire victims ** Textile workers block highway demanding wage, Eid bonus ** Attack on PM's motorcade Ex-BNP MP, 3 others get life term ** Load-shedding increases for demand of electricity during heat wave ** Motorbikes to be allowed on Padma bridge from Thursday ** 5-day Eid vacation begins from today ** Take Nangalkot train accident as a warning about negligence of govt functionaries **

US slaps new sanctions on Venezuela regime

03 March 2019 AFP, Washington
US slaps new sanctions on Venezuela regime

Troops with Venezuela\'s Bolivarian National Guard were out in force on the border with Colombia to prevent foreign aid from coming into the country

The United States and Russia clashed Friday over how to assist crisis-wracked Venezuela, with Moscow pledging new relief channelled through President Nicolas Maduro and Washington slapping sanctions over the blocking of US aid it tried to push through the border.
A day after Russia and China vetoed a US and European resolution at the UN Security Council that called for unimpeded aid deliveries, Washington said it was targeting six Venezuelan military officers for stopping last weekend's US-led convoy.
Four people were killed in the melee as Mr Maduro's forces prevented the 178 metric tonnes of rice, beans and other food from crossing into the country from Colombia. The leftist strongman says the aid is a pretext for a US-led invasion.
"We are sanctioning members of Maduro's security forces in response to the reprehensible violence, tragic deaths and unconscionable torching of food and medicine destined for sick and starving Venezuelans," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.
The six include Maj Gen Richard Jesus Lopez Vargas, the commander of the Venezuelan National Guard. The sanctions freeze any assets in the US and penalise US financial dealings with the officials.
The US also revoked the visas of 49 Venezuelan officials and their family members, the State Department said.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, whom Washington has recognised as interim president, had hoped to triumph in bringing in the stockpiles of food, which the US coordinated with Colombia and Brazil.
Mr Guaido has said 300,000 people could die without an influx of aid into Venezuela.
The United Nations says 2.7 million Venezuelans have fled since 2015 as the socialist economy crumbles, with basic supplies out of reach to the masses.
More than 50 countries recognise Mr Guaido as Venezuela's rightful president-but Mr Maduro enjoys strong support from Russia, which is eager to challenge US interventionism, as well as China, which is concerned over the fate of billions of dollars Beijing has lent to Caracas.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, receiving Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez in Moscow, said Russia was stepping up shipments of wheat and was considering sending more medical supplies after shipping 7.5 tonnes.
"We are very closely cooperating and coordinating all our steps in the international arena," Mr Lavrov said.
"This has acquired special significance now that Venezuela is facing a frontal attack and unabashed interference in its domestic affairs," he said.
Elliott Abrams, the US special representative on the crisis, charged that Mr Maduro's forces would turn Russian aid into a "political weapon" by providing it only to supporters.
"Obviously, we are in favour of giving humanitarian assistance to Venezuela; we are not in favour of giving it to this corrupt regime," Mr Abrams told reporters in Washington.
Mr Lavrov voiced hope that international pressure would "cool hotheads in Washington" who he said are seeking military intervention in Venezuela.
He alleged that the United States was planning to buy small arms, mortar launchers and shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles from an "Eastern European country" and station them "close to Venezuela."
President Donald Trump has not ruled out military intervention in Venezuela, although even close US allies have said they would not support the use of force.
Republican senator Marco Rubio, who has worked closely with Mr Trump to seek Mr Maduro's ouster, appeared this week to suggest a violent climax as he posted on Twitter two pictures of Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi-one relaxed and smiling while in power, the other bloodied as he was lynched in an uprising.

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