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Canada suspends operations at embassy in Venezuela

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Canada announced Sunday it was temporarily shutting its embassy in Venezuela, blaming President Nicolas Maduro for refusing to accredit diplomats critical of his regime.

At the same time, Ottawa is reviewing the status of Maduro envoys to Canada.

Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a statement that “the regime has taken steps to limit the ability of foreign embassies to function in Venezuela, particularly those advocating for the restoration of democracy” there.

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In January Canada, along with the United States and major Latin American powers, was among the first to recognize Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido’s claim to be acting president, beginning a months-long power struggle between him and Maduro.

Soon, Canadian diplomats in Venezuela “will no longer be in a position to obtain diplomatic accreditation under the Maduro regime, and their visas will expire,” Freeland said.

“Therefore, we are left with no choice but to temporarily suspend our operations at the Embassy of Canada to Venezuela, effective immediately.”

More than 50 countries now recognize Guaido rather than leftist firebrand Maduro, who has presided over a crumbling economy and was re-elected in a ballot widely regarded as a sham.

Freeland also said Canada is “evaluating the status of Venezuelan diplomats appointed by the Maduro regime to Canada.”

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Here are 7 suspicious revelations from the US attorney forced out by Bill Barr

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When Attorney General Bill Barr tried to force out Geoffrey Berman, who had been the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, he created a mess he clearly didn't foresee. He claimed Berman had stepped down, but Berman quickly refuted that claim. Berman's opposition foiled Barr's attempt to replace him with an outsider to the office, and eventually, Berman left on the understanding that his deputy, Audrey Strauss, would take over.

The tumultuous and dramatic series of events left a question that has yet to be answered: Why did Barr want to replace Berman so badly? Given the SDNY's centrality to several cases that directly or indirectly implicate President Donald Trump, the hamfisted effort to oust Berman has raised suspicions of potential misconduct and improper influence.

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Trump Jr ripped for ‘hypocrisy’ and ‘stupidity’ as group releases new #ByeDonJr ad

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‘Odd Radio Circles’ perplex astronomers studying the newly discovered phenomenon

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Astronomers believe they have discovered a new, bizarre type of cosmic object that is invisible to all wavelengths of light except radio.

This story originally appeared at Salon.

The strange circular objects in question have been unofficially dubbed "Odd Radio Circles" (ORCs); three of them were discovered in a recent data accumulated during a preliminary survey by the Australian Square Kilometre Array Pathfinder, a radio telescope array in Western Australia. A fourth Odd Radio Circle was discovered when researchers sifted through old data from 2013.

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