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World news briefs —compiled Feb. 28

VENEZUELA

Protests go on amid Carnaval

Scattered barricades blocked streets in some Caracas neighborhoods Friday even while life went on as usual in others as a political standoff persisted through the second day of national holidays. In spite of the long weekend heading into three days of Carnaval, student-led demonstrations have so far maintained a street presence, not just in the capital, but also in cities including Valencia, Merida and San Cristobal. In that context President Nicolas Maduro forged ahead with a new round of televised peace meetings Friday. He announced his intention to establish similar conferences in all states. Absent were members of the opposition, who refuse to open a dialogue until Maduro releases protesters from jail and stops harsh crackdowns on protests.

CUBA

Stolen art traced to Miami

Dozens of works of art were secretly taken from a storage facility at Cuba’s flagship National Museum of Fine Arts and some have surfaced across the Florida Straits in Miami, museum and gallery officials said Friday. In a statement posted online, Cuba’s governmental National Council of Cultural Heritage acknowledged what it called a major loss for the museum, located on a main boulevard in central Havana. Prominent Florida art dealer Ramon Cernuda, who left Cuba as a young child in 1960 and runs a gallery in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables, told the AP the thefts came to light after he bought a painting two weeks ago by Cuban artist Eduardo Abela from another local gallery.

TUNISIA

World Bank loans $1.2 billion

The World Bank announced Friday a $1.2 billion package to support Tunisia’s economic reforms and stumbling economy. The much needed cash came on the heels of the announcement a month ago by the International Monetary Fund that a long-delayed $500 million in funding had been released following the passing of a new post-revolutionary constitution. The World Bank program involves $750 million to promote growth and create employment. Another $300 million is earmarked for decentralization projects to aid the impoverished interior.

Compiled from wire reports.



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