Last 24 Hours: Talks in Venezuela as death toll hits 41

Thursday brought a six hour meeting between President Maduro, his government and the Venezuelan opposition to discuss the ongoing political conflict. It was also mediated by foreign ministers from the Unasur bloc of South American governments.

“The road here was long and complicated, but it was worth it,” Maduro said earlier in lengthy opening comments. He cautioned against unrealistic expectations.

“There are no negotiations here. No pacts. All we’re looking for is a model of peaceful coexistence, of mutual tolerance.”

Just as talks were ongoing, the death toll of the deadly unrest on the streets rose to 41. A policeman was shot and a woman was hit by a car while protesting.

The United Nations voted into a peacekeeping mission for the Central African Republic. The UN Security Council authorized a 12,000 strong peacekeeping force for the nation undergoing deadly religious milita violence.

The gap in the divide between Israel and Palestine is “narrowing,” the United States says.

“Our negotiating team and both parties remain in intensive negotiation. They had another meeting today. The gaps are narrowing but any speculations about an agreement are premature at this time,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told a regular briefing.

Asked precisely what the negotiators were trying to achieve, Psaki said: “We are working to determine what the path forward is for these negotiations.”

NATO’s chief has called on Russia to pull back their troops alongside the Ukraine border. Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said there were 40,000 troops with “tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and aircraft.”

After a shooting of a homeless man spurred protests, the U.S. Justice Department ruled New Mexico’s Albuquerque police department engaged “in a pattern or practice of use of excessive force, including unreasonably deadly force.”

United States CIA’s “harsh interrogations” exceeded legal authority, a declassified U.S. Senate document revealed.

Should know

Egypt; Two Muslim Brotherhood members killed in Nile Delta shootout – Pakistan; 13 militants killed in fresh infighting – Sri Lanka; Troops killed three emerging separatist Tiger leaders – Mexico; Security chief for drug kingpin found dead

Syria; Ship ready to destroy Syria chemical weapons at sea – Kenya; Rights group accuses Kenya of “scapegoating, abusing” Somalis – Cambodia; Court convicts 13 of plotting against government – Colombia; President Santos would think twice before killing FARC leader

Koreas; South Korea envoy warns of “grave” situation after North Korea’s nuclear threat – China; China says Taiwan protests won’t affect relations – South Sudan; U.S. Kerry urges end to South Sudan fighting in meeting with senior official – Burundi; UN warns leaders against stoking political violence – United Nations; UN renews call for human rights monitoring in Western Sahara

To watch

MidEast talks; Israeli coalition partner threatens to quit over peace talks – European Union; Rising anti-Russia sentiment threatens European stability – Russia; West struggles as Russia moves to dominate old USSR – Scotland; Scottish nationalists mark 160 day countdown to independence referendum vote – Egypt; Tahrir Square dream fades as Sisi builds power

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