Inauguration day could have gone better for the man picked to lead Venezuela’s socialist revolution for the next six years. Hours before President Nicolas Maduro’s swearing-in, his government announced it would allow a full audit of the razor-thin vote that the opposition says he won by fraud, which analysts said was likely a bow to both domestic and international pressure. Then the massive crowds that used to pack the streets for late leader Hugo Chavez failed to appear. Finally, a spectator rushed the stage and interrupted Maduro’s inaugural speech, shouting into the microphone before he was grabbed by security.
Militants release family
A French family, including four children, held hostage by an Islamist militia in northern Nigeria has been freed, according to French and Cameroonian officials. Tanguy Moulin-Fournier, his wife, Albane, brother Cyril and four sons ages 5 to 12 were kidnapped in February after visiting a wildlife park in northern Cameroon and were whisked by motorcycles across the border into Nigeria. The Islamist militia Boko Haram later claimed responsibility and demanded the release of prisoners in Nigeria and Cameroon. They said the kidnappings were in response to France’s military operation to drive out Islamist militias in Mali.
Serbian accord reached
After months of difficult negotiations, Serbia and Kosovo reached an agreement Friday aimed at overcoming ethnic enmities in Kosovo, a former Serbian province, a milestone that officials hope will enhance stability in the region and clear a path for both countries to eventually join the European Union. Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign policy chief, said the prime ministers of the two countries had initialed an agreement during talks in Brussels. Serbian officials said the accord was subject to approval by “state bodies” in Belgrade, the Serbian capital, but European officials said it was unlikely that Serbia would backtrack.
Compiled from wire reports.