Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday accused the opposition in Venezuela of resorting to violence in what it said was a brazen attempt to draw the country’s armed forces into clashes. The ministry made the allegation after Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called for a military uprising to oust President Nicolas Maduro and armed factions exchanged gunfire outside a Caracas air base as the country hit a new crisis point after years of political and economic chaos.
The White House has confirmed it is considering the designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, after Donald Trump was personally lobbied by Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi. The official designation of the Islamist movement as terrorist would have far-reaching effects, sanctioning companies and individuals who had any interactions with the group. The Muslim Brotherhood is a network of loosely affiliated groups across the Islamic world. In Egypt, the movement has gone underground since Sisi took power, but remains a source of determined opposition to his regime.
A beluga whale found off Norway’s coast wearing a special Russian harness was probably trained by the Russian navy, a Norwegian expert says. Marine biologist Prof Audun Rikardsen said the harness had a GoPro camera holder and a label sourcing it to St Petersburg. The tame beluga repeatedly approached Norwegian boats off Ingoya, an Arctic island about 415km (258 miles) from Murmansk, where Russia’s Northern Fleet is based. Belugas are native to Arctic waters. Russia has a naval base in the region.
The twelve Thai boys and their soccer coach who were trapped in a flooded cave last summer will soon tell their story on Netflix. On Tuesday, they formally signed a deal with the online streaming giant. The plight of the group, all members of a local soccer team known as the Wild Boars, captivated audiences around the world in the summer of 2018 when they became trapped deep inside in a submerged cave complex in northern Thailand.
Japanese Emperor Naruhito formally took up his post on Wednesday a day after the abdication of his father, saying he felt a “sense of solemnity” but pledging to work as a symbol of the nation and the unity of its people. Naruhito, the first emperor born after World War Two and the first to be raised solely by his parents, expressed gratitude for their work and said he felt solemn at the thought of the burden he is taking on.
Facebook Inc. unveiled a redesign that focuses on the Groups feature of its main social network, doubling down on a successful but controversial part of its namesake app — and another sign that Facebook is moving toward more private, intimate communication. The changes, announced Tuesday at the annual F8 conference in San Jose, California, make Groups a bigger part of the Facebook user experience. The company has been pushing more aggressively into groups for the past two years as people shy away from posting things publicly and look for more intimate ways to connect with friends and family.