Girl’s Rape in Venezuela Becomes a Rallying Cry for Abortion Activists

The assault of a 13-year-old girl in Venezuela and the arrest of her mother and a teacher who helped her end the pregnancy have forced a national debate about legalizing abortion.

#abortion, #birth-control-and-family-planning, #child-abuse-and-neglect, #maduro-nicolas, #sex-crimes, #venezuela, #women-and-girls, #womens-rights

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5,000 Flee as Venezuela Launches Largest Military Campaign in Decades

The Venezuelan government has long tolerated armed groups trafficking drugs and contraband near its border with Colombia. Now it has lashed out at one of them, driving thousands of civilians into flight.

#colombia, #defense-and-military-forces, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #human-rights-watch, #ntn24-tv-network, #revolutionary-armed-forces-of-colombia, #venezuela

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Biden Grants Protections for Venezuelans to Remain in U.S.

Hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans can temporarily continue to live and work in the United States as the administration considers its next steps in the effort to force out Venezuela’s president.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #homeland-security-department, #immigration-and-emigration, #maduro-nicolas, #mayorkas-alejandro, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Colombia Makes ‘Historic’ Decision to Grant Legal Status to 1.7 Million Venezuelan Migrants

President Iván Duque announced Monday that the Venezuelan migrants who fled an economic collapse at home can legally stay in Colombia for 10 years if they register with the authorities.

#colombia, #duque-ivan, #foreign-workers, #immigration-and-emigration, #labor-and-jobs, #politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Mike Pompeo Leaves State Department With a Dubious Legacy

As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo looks to his political future, his turbulent tenure is characterized by investigations into his leadership and ethics.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #china, #diplomatic-service-embassies-and-consulates, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #iran, #israel, #koch-charles-g, #north-atlantic-treaty-organization, #peace-process, #pompeo-mike, #presidential-transition-us, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Navy Warship’s Secret Mission Off West Africa Aims to Help Punish Venezuela

The tale of the cruiser San Jacinto underscores the Trump administration’s animus toward Venezuela and how the postelection purge of top Pentagon leaders is roiling the military.

#abrams-elliott, #arreaza-jorge, #cape-verde, #defense-department, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #iran, #maduro-nicolas, #miller-christopher-c-1965, #money-laundering, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-africa-command, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-navy, #venezuela

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Treasure Washes Up on Venezuela’s Shore, Bringing Gold and Hope to a Village

Venezuela’s economic meltdown had pummeled a proud fishing village. Then jewelry started mysteriously surfacing on its beach, easing the pain of an economic crisis.

#coastal-areas, #fishing-commercial, #gold, #jewels-and-jewelry, #piracy-at-sea, #treasure-troves, #venezuela

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How We Followed a 1,500-Mile Migration Journey

Over several months, a team of Times journalists tracked the progress of a pregnant mother displaced by the pandemic.

#bogota-colombia, #caracas-venezuela, #colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #immigration-and-emigration, #politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Venezuela to Vote in an Election the Opposition Calls a Charade

A victory by the party of President Nicolás Maduro is likely to further weaken Juan Guaidó, the opposition leader who launched a bold but ultimately failed bid backed by the U.S. to take power.

#datanalisis, #elections, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #venezuela, #voter-fraud-election-fraud

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Coronavirus Strands Millions of Migrants

Millions of people have been displaced by the pandemic. Jessika and her 6-year-old, Sebastián, are among the many who have yet to find a home.

#colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #immigration-and-emigration, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #venezuela

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Judge in Venezuela Convicts 6 U.S. Oil Executives of Corruption

The so-called Citgo 6, who had been lured to Venezuela three years ago for a business meeting, were immediately sentenced to prison.

#citgo-petroleum-corp, #decisions-and-verdicts, #houston-tex, #maduro-nicolas, #prisons-and-prisoners, #venezuela

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Argentina, and Latin America, Mourn Maradona as a Man of the People

Known for siding with leftist leaders and causes, the soccer legend’s life, and his politics, never strayed far from his impoverished roots, and his fans loved him for it.

#argentina, #castro-fidel, #chavez-hugo, #da-silva-luiz-inacio-lula, #funerals-and-memorials, #latin-america, #maradona-diego, #politics-and-government, #soccer, #venezuela

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Venezuela Raids Food Charity, Interrupting Meals for Children

The charity, Feed the Solidarity, often provides the only meals children receive each day. The government accuses it of subversion, with no evidence.

#biden-jill-tracy-jacobs, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #feed-the-solidarity-charity, #food-aid, #humanitarian-aid, #international-relations, #maduro-nicolas, #nonprofit-organizations, #roman-catholic-church, #save-the-children, #united-nations, #venezuela

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They Championed Venezuela’s Revolution. They Are Now Its Latest Victims.

In an effort to complete his consolidation of power, Nicolás Maduro is cracking down on the leftist activists who once supported him, but have begun to speak up against his administration’s corruption and cronyism.

#chavez-hugo, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #maduro-nicolas, #police-brutality-misconduct-and-shootings, #politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Trump, Venezuela and the Tug-of-War Over a Strongman

How a yearslong battle over U.S.-Venezuela relations aided President Trump’s campaign in Florida — and left the Maduro regime standing.

#ballard-brian-d, #florida, #gorrin-raul, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #presidential-election-of-2020, #sargeant-harry-iii, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #venezuela

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U.S. Imposes Sanctions on Iran’s Oil Sector

The Trump administration is trying to fortify its campaign of maximum pressure against Iran from being reversed by a potential Biden administration.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #iran, #islamic-revolutionary-guards-corps, #mnuchin-steven-t, #nuclear-weapons, #office-of-foreign-assets-control-united-states-treasury, #presidential-election-of-2020, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-nations, #united-states-international-relations, #venezuela

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Venezuela Opposition Figure, Long Confined, Flees Country

Leopoldo López had spent the past six years in jail, house arrest and diplomatic asylum. He fled on Saturday to an undisclosed location, his party said.

#lopez-leopoldo, #maduro-nicolas, #politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Richard Grenell Pursued Talks of Maduro, Power Change in Venezuela

A close ally of President Trump quietly met with an associate of President Nicolás Maduro, whom the United States does not recognize as the leader of Venezuela.

#economic-conditions-and-trends, #grenell-richard, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #presidential-election-of-2020, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Grenell Pursued Talks Over Change of Power in Venezuela

A close ally of President Trump quietly met with an associate of President Nicolás Maduro, whom the United States does not recognize as the leader of Venezuela.

#economic-conditions-and-trends, #grenell-richard, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #presidential-election-of-2020, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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False Political News in Spanish Pits Latino Voters Against Black Lives Matter

On family WhatsApp groups and in Spanish-language media, misinformation paints 2020 as a zero-sum game.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #black-lives-matter-movement, #black-people, #colombia, #computers-and-the-internet, #conspiracy-theories, #florida, #fringe-groups-and-movements, #hispanic-americans, #instant-messaging, #miami-fla, #presidential-election-of-2020, #race-and-ethnicity, #radio, #right-wing-extremism-and-alt-right, #rumors-and-misinformation, #social-media, #spanish-language, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela, #whatsapp-inc

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Grid AI raises $18.6M Series A to help AI researchers and engineers bring their models to production

Grid AI, a startup founded by the inventor of the popular open-source PyTorch Lightning project, William Falcon, that aims to help machine learning engineers more efficiently, today announced that it has raised an $18.6 million Series A funding round, which closed earlier this summer. The round was led by Index Ventures, with participation from Bain Capital Ventures and firstminute. 

Falcon co-founded the company with Luis Capelo, who was previously the head of machine learning at Glossier. Unsurprisingly, the idea here is to take PyTorch Lightning, which launched about a year ago, and turn that into the core of Grid’s service. The main idea behind Lightning is to decouple the data science from the engineering.

The time argues that a few years ago, when data scientists tried to get started with deep learning, they didn’t always have the right expertise and it was hard for them to get everything right.

“Now the industry has an unhealthy aversion to deep learning because of this,” Falcon noted. “Lightning and Grid embed all those tricks into the workflow so you no longer need to be a PhD in AI nor [have] the resources of the major AI companies to get these things to work. This makes the opportunity cost of putting a simple model against a sophisticated neural network a few hours’ worth of effort instead of the months it used to take. When you use Lightning and Grid it’s hard to make mistakes. It’s like if you take a bad photo with your phone but we are the phone and make that photo look super professional AND teach you how to get there on your own.”

As Falcon noted, Grid is meant to help data scientists and other ML professionals “scale to match the workloads required for enterprise use cases.” Lightning itself can get them partially there, but Grid is meant to provide all of the services its users need to scale up their models to solve real-world problems.

What exactly that looks like isn’t quite clear yet, though. “Imagine you can find any GitHub repository out there. You get a local copy on your laptop and without making any code changes you spin up 400 GPUs on AWS — all from your laptop using either a web app or command-line-interface. That’s the Lightning “magic” applied to training and building models at scale,” Falcon said. “It is what we are already known for and has proven to be such a successful paradigm shift that all the other frameworks like Keras or TensorFlow, and companies have taken notice and have started to modify what they do to try to match what we do.”

The service is now in private beta.

With this new funding, Grid, which currently has 25 employees, plans to expand its team and strengthen its corporate offering via both Grid AI and through the open-source project. Falcon tells me that he aims to build a diverse team, not in the least because he himself is an immigrant, born in Venezuela, and a U.S. military veteran.

“I have first-hand knowledge of the extent that unethical AI can have,” he said. “As a result, we have approached hiring our current 25 employees across many backgrounds and experiences. We might be the first AI company that is not all the same Silicon Valley prototype tech-bro.”

“Lightning’s open-source traction piqued my interest when I first learned about it a year ago,” Index Ventures’ Sarah Cannon told me. “So intrigued in fact I remember rushing into a closet in Helsinki while at a conference to have the privacy needed to hear exactly what Will and Luis had built. I promptly called my colleague Bryan Offutt who met Will and Luis in SF and was impressed by the ‘elegance’ of their code. We swiftly decided to participate in their seed round, days later. We feel very privileged to be part of Grid’s journey. After investing in seed, we spent a significant amount with the team, and the more time we spent with them the more conviction we developed. Less than a year later and pre-launch, we knew we wanted to lead their Series A.”

#artificial-intelligence, #bain-capital-ventures, #cloud, #deep-learning, #developer, #enterprise, #free-software, #github, #grid-ai, #helsinki, #index-ventures, #machine-learning, #ml, #neural-network, #pytorch, #recent-funding, #sarah-cannon, #startups, #tc, #torch, #united-states, #venezuela, #web-app, #william-falcon

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Venezuela Ordered Killings and Torture of Critics, U.N. Investigators Say

President Nicolás Maduro and other high-ranking officials were accused of being behind the detention of government critics and assaults by state security services.

#defense-and-military-forces, #demonstrations-protests-and-riots, #espionage-and-intelligence-services, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #maduro-nicolas, #political-prisoners, #politics-and-government, #torture, #united-nations-human-rights-council, #venezuela, #war-crimes-genocide-and-crimes-against-humanity

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At U.S.A.I.D., Juggling Political Priorities and Pandemic Response

Aggressive oversight of the aid agency by political appointees at the White House and the State Department has delayed humanitarian aid when the world needs it most.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #barsa-john, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #disasters-and-emergencies, #federal-budget-us, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #humanitarian-aid, #russia, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-agency-for-international-development, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela, #ventilators-medical, #xinjiang-china

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The Doctor Tackling a Coronavirus Mystery in Children

Alberto Paniz-Mondolfi treated some of the world’s most horrendous infectious diseases before fleeing Venezuela. Now that experience is helping him untangle MIS-C.

#black-people, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #children-and-childhood, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #coronavirus-risks-and-safety-concerns, #dengue-fever, #genetics-and-heredity, #hispanic-americans, #kawasaki-disease, #parasites, #parenting, #pediatric-inflammatory-multisystem-syndrome-pims, #race-and-ethnicity, #venezuela

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Venezuela’s Opposition Splits Over Taking Part in Coming Elections

Sanctions and boycotts have failed to bring down president Nicolás Maduro. Now some opposition leaders are ready to shift strategy and take him on at the ballot box, despite concerns about the vote’s fairness.

#capriles-radonski-henrique, #datanalisis, #elections, #european-union, #guaido-juan, #international-relations, #maduro-nicolas, #venezuela, #voter-fraud-election-fraud

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Venezuela Deploys Security Forces in Coronavirus Crackdown

A ruined economy and a broken health care system have left President Nicolás Maduro unable to fight the pandemic as other world leaders have. Instead, he’s detained thousands to try to halt the spread.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #drugs-pharmaceuticals, #maduro-nicolas, #quarantines, #venezuela

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In Diplomatic Doubleheader, U.S. Seizes Iranian Fuel From Ships Headed to Venezuela

The high-seas handover blocked two diplomatic adversaries from evading American economic sanctions. Iran denied it was its fuel.

#defense-and-military-forces, #defense-department, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #iran, #islamic-revolutionary-guards-corps, #justice-department, #maduro-nicolas, #security-council-un, #state-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #venezuela

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2 Ex-Green Berets Sentenced to 20 Years for Venezuela Attack

Venezuelan prosecutors said the former Green Berets admitted to taking part in a failed attack aimed at overthrowing the country’s president.

#berry-airan, #caracas-venezuela, #defense-and-military-forces, #denman-luke, #goudreau-jordan-g, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #politics-and-government, #united-states-army-special-forces-green-berets, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #venezuela

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U.K. Judge Denies President Nicolás Maduro Access to Venezuelan Gold at Bank of England

It would be unlawful to allow Mr. Maduro access to the gold, the judge said, because the British government recognizes his rival, Juan Guaidó, as the country’s leader.

#bank-of-england, #decisions-and-verdicts, #great-britain, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #politics-and-government, #venezuela

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Secret Detentions Become a Common Tool of Repression Under Maduro

“Forced disappearances” are playing a critical role in the Venezuelan government’s efforts to muzzle opponents and instill fear, according to a new report.

#detainees, #human-rights-and-human-rights-violations, #kennedy-robert-f-center-for-justice-and-human-rights, #kidnapping-and-hostages, #maduro-nicolas, #prisons-and-prisoners, #venezuela

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Trump Administration’s Nominee for Development Bank Chief Breaks With Protocol

Mauricio J. Claver-Carone would be the first president of the Inter-American Development Bank from outside Latin America.

#appointments-and-executive-changes, #claver-carone-mauricio-j, #cuba, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #foreign-aid, #inter-american-development-bank, #latin-america, #mnuchin-steven-t, #moreno-luis-alberto, #national-security-council, #treasury-department, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #venezuela

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The Pandemic Could Lead to Outbreaks of Measles and Other Preventable Diseases

Vaccinations worldwide have dropped as the fight against the coronavirus continues.

#africa, #bangladesh, #centers-for-disease-control-and-prevention, #congo-democratic-republic-of-congo-kinshasa, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #epidemics, #measles, #quarantines, #united-nations-childrens-fund, #united-states, #vaccination-and-immunization, #venezuela, #world-health-organization, #yemen

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Oil-Starved Venezuela Celebrates Arrival of Tankers From Iran

The shipment represents a deepening of ties between two pariah states that are both under U.S. sanctions.

#chavez-hugo, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #iran, #maduro-nicolas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #ships-and-shipping, #shortages, #venezuela

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From Nearly Free to Out-of-Reach: Gasoline’s Crazy Price Swing in Venezuela

Motorists queue for days to buy subsidized gasoline for next to nothing, but it is increasingly scarce — a reflection of the economic absurdities in the country.

#black-markets, #chavez-hugo, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #maduro-nicolas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #shortages, #venezuela

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Venezuelan Oil Company Sues Miami Ex-Congressman Over $50 Million Deal

Former Representative David Rivera, a strident anti-communist, was quietly consulting for President Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government. He produced just two reports, totaling 5 pages, the lawsuit said.

#florida, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #miami-fla, #petroleos-de-venezuela-sa, #rivera-david-mauricio, #rubio-marco, #venezuela

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An Incursion Into Venezuela, Straight Out of Hollywood

The operation to overthrow the president failed miserably, and eight rebels were killed. But a former Green Beret who was not on the mission has emerged as the central character.

#maduro-nicolas, #united-states, #united-states-army-special-forces-green-berets, #venezuela

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Venezuela Claims 2 Americans Were Captured in Failed Invasion

President Nicolás Maduro said the Americans were among 13 “terrorists” involved in an armed incursion on Sunday.

#caracas-venezuela, #defense-and-military-forces, #maduro-nicolas, #politics-and-government, #united-states-army-special-forces-green-berets, #venezuela

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‘Instead of Coronavirus, the Hunger Will Kill Us.’ A Global Food Crisis Looms.

The world has never faced a hunger emergency like this, experts say. It could double the number of people facing acute hunger to 265 million by the end of this year.

#colombia, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #food, #india, #kenya, #kibera-nairobi-kenya, #lebanon, #south-africa, #syria, #venezuela, #world-food-program

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Oil Collapse and Covid-19 Create Toxic Geopolitical Stew

For nations reliant on oil sales, the combination of the price collapse and the coronavirus pandemic has created new threats of poverty and political instability from Iraq to Venezuela.

#angola, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #gazprom, #mexico, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #pemex, #politics-and-government, #russia, #venezuela

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Venezuela’s Maduro, Used to Crises, Faces His Toughest One Yet

A pandemic and a seismic shift in global oil markets have shaken the country, posing a severe new test for the president just as he seemed to be tightening his hold on power.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #guaido-juan, #maduro-nicolas, #oil-petroleum-and-gasoline, #rosneft, #russia, #venezuela

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Childbirth in Venezuela, Where Women’s Deaths Are a State Secret

We spent weeks following women inside the country’s health care system, which has been crippled by a broken economy overseen by an increasingly authoritarian government.

#caracas-venezuela, #hospitals, #infant-mortality, #maduro-nicolas, #maternal-mortality, #medicine-and-health, #pregnancy-and-childbirth, #venezuela, #women-and-girls

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Doctor, Refugee. Violinist, Refugee. Model, Refugee.

They felt on top of the world. Then the world turned upside down.

#colombia, #immigration-and-emigration, #refugees-and-displaced-persons, #venezuela

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