Despite unpopularity and a deepening economic crisis, Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro seems such a certainty for reelection in April that only an evangelical pastor has found the faith to run against him. "I am the light in the darkness," said little-known pastor Javier Bertucci, without a hint of irony, so far the only opponent willing to try to unseat the leftist leader in a presidential election which Maduro's opponents accuse him of rigging. A ballot wasn't due until December but the Constituent Assembly, an all-powerful legislature stacked with Maduro loyalists, announced in January that the date was being brought forward.
Around 2,000 Roman Catholic Filipinos protested in Manila on Saturday against a push to legalise divorce, with church groups also using the "Walk for Life" march to slam President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly drugs war. The pre-dawn protest was organised by church groups worried about the possible passage of a divorce bill, which is being championed by Duterte's allies in Congress.
By Matt Spetalnick, Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration and key Asian allies are preparing to expand interceptions of ships suspected of violating sanctions on North Korea, a plan that could include deploying U.S. Coast Guard forces to stop and search vessels in Asia-Pacific waters, senior U.S. officials said. Washington has been talking to regional partners, including Japan, South Korea, Australia and Singapore, about coordinating a stepped-up crackdown that would go further than ever before in an attempt to squeeze Pyongyang's use of seagoing trade to feed its nuclear missile program, several officials told Reuters. While suspect ships have been intercepted before, the emerging strategy would expand the scope of such operations but stop short of imposing a naval blockade on North Korea.
The San Francisco-based company, which started as a free service to share and store photos, music and other large files, competes with much larger technology firms such as Alphabet Inc's Google, Microsoft Corp and Amazon.com Inc as well as cloud-storage rival Box Inc. In its regulatory filing, Dropbox reported 2017 revenue of $1.11 billion, up 31 percent from $844.8 million a year earlier. "With over a $1 billion in revenues it speaks to Dropbox’s success over the past few years and is an impressive number in a fertile space," said Daniel Ives at research firm GBH Insights.
By Thu Thu Aung YANGON (Reuters) - Three bombs rocked the capital of Myanmar's restive Rakhine State, Sittwe, early on Saturday, police said, adding that a policeman was slightly injured and the authorities were still working to determine who was behind the bombings. The blasts come only three days after a large bomb killed two bank employees and injured nearly two dozen other people in the northeastern city of Lashio, where several ethnic insurgent groups are fighting the Myanmar military. Sittwe is the capital of Myanmar's violence-torn Rakhine where Rohingya Muslim insurgent attacks last year sparked a massive military response that pushed 688,000 Rohingya across the border into Bangladesh.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has sparked storm of criticism after saying he had stopped eating rice in favor of more expensive quinoa. Najib, who is facing a general election within months under a cloud of a corruption scandal, has been blamed for a rising cost of living since launching a goods and services tax in 2015. Hoping to win a third term in the election due by August, Najib has denied wrongdoing in connection with the graft scandal surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday honored the head of the Federal Communications Commission with a rifle after braving death threats and other opposition as he worked to undo the Obama administration's 2015 net neutrality rules. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hill, Maryland, by the NRA with the "Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award," an honor named for the late actor who was an NRA president.
A Tennessee woman driving a white van on Friday intentionally drove into a White House security barrier but did not breach it, and she was immediately apprehended and put under arrest, the U.S. Secret Service said. No shots were fired and no law enforcement personnel were hurt, the Secret Service said in a statement. Previous encounters with the 35-year-old woman from La Vergne, Tennessee, near the White House had resulted "in numerous arrests for a variety of criminal violations," it added, without giving her name.
Syrian regime air strikes and artillery fire hit the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a sixth straight day Friday killing 38 civilians, as world powers struggled to reach a UN deal to stop the carnage. More than 460 civilians, including over 100 children, have been killed in nearly a week of bombardment that has been one of the seven-year conflict's bloodiest episodes. Diplomatic haggling delayed a vote at the United Nations Security Council on a 30-day truce, with Kuwait's Ambassador Mansour al-Otaibi, who holds the council presidency, saying "we are very close" to agreement with Russia, Syria's ally.