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‘Poison’ PlayStation puts kids on ‘road to hell’: Chavez

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CARACAS (AFP) – – Sony’s PlayStation video game console is “poison” and leads children down the capitalist “road to hell,” Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said.

Chavez, in his weekly radio-TV show “Alo Presidente,” called on Venezuelan manufacturers to make “educational” toys and dolls with indigenous peoples’ features to replace capitalistic counterparts like the Barbie doll that “have nothing to do with our culture.”

In expanding on his dislike of western toys and games — he already slammed Nintendo for promoting “selfishness, individualism and violence,” Chavez Sunday took on the world’s top selling game console, Sony’s PlayStation.

“Those games they call ‘PlayStation’ are poison. Some games teach you to kill. They once put my face on a game, ‘you’ve got to find Chavez to kill him.'”

The firebrand leftist president said any game that “bomb cities or just throw bombs,” are sold by capitalist countries to sow violence so they can “later sell weapons.”

They “promote the need for cigarettes, drugs and alcohol so they can sell them. That’s capitalism, the road to hell,” he added.

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Venezuela, Chavez said, should be making “educational games,” and suggested designing “little indigenous dolls” to sell in place of dolls “like Barbie, that have nothing to do with our culture.”

Venezuelan lawmakers in October passed a law outlawing the sale of “bellicose” games and videogames that can be punished with up to five years imprisonment.

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New Zealand opens gun buyback after mosque killings

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New Zealand opened a gun buyback scheme Thursday aimed at ridding the country of semi-automatic weapons similar to those used in the Christchurch mosque attacks that killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern vowed in the hours after the March 15 killings that New Zealand's gun laws would be tightened and her government has expedited the change in just three months.

"The buyback and amnesty has one objective -- to remove the most dangerous weapons from circulation following the loss of life at Al Noor and Linwood mosques," Police Minister Stuart Nash said.

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Convicted on all seven counts: US sex cult leader Keith Raniere who attracted the rich and famous

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A US jury on Wednesday convicted a "self-help" guru of racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes for his leadership of a cult-like organization of sex slaves he branded like cattle.

Keith Raniere, 58, coerced a string of women into having sex with him as the charismatic leader of a life-coaching group he founded in New York state.

Nxivm -- pronounced Nexium -- had proved a huge draw since its 2003 launch, attracting a coterie of rich and famous devotees such as the "Smallville" actress Allison Mack, and spreading into cities across the United States.

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Pompeo ups pressure on Russia over four MH17 accused

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Moscow must ensure that those charged with murder over the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 face justice, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said, after international investigators accused three Russians and a Ukrainian over the disaster.

The trial of the four men with military and intelligence links will start in the Netherlands in March next year, although they are likely to be tried in absentia as neither Russia nor Ukraine extradites their nationals.

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