Inaugural delay endorsed
Venezuela’s Supreme Court chief on Wednesday endorsed putting off President Hugo Chavez’s inauguration, siding with the government in a heated dispute with the opposition while the ailing leader struggles with complications a month after cancer surgery in Cuba. Supreme Court President Luisa Estella Morales made the statement after the opposition urged the top court to rule that the government was violating the constitution by delaying the swearing-in for a new term, which had been scheduled for today.
Impeachment bid fails
Pro-democracy lawmakers made a symbolic attempt to impeach Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, Hong Kong’s Beijing-backed leader, in the latest sign of the widening gulf between the semiautonomous southern Chinese city and its political masters on the mainland. The motion was unsurprisingly voted down Wednesday after debate in the 70-seat Legislative Council, where pro-Beijing representatives outnumber the 27 pro-democracy legislators.
Rare squid video filmed
After a hundred dives deep into the Pacific, scientists and broadcasters say they have captured video images of a giant squid in its natural habitat deep in the ocean for the first time. The 9-foot invertebrate was filmed from a manned submersible during one of 100 dives in the Pacific last summer in a joint expedition by Japanese public broadcaster NHK, Discovery Channel and Japan’s National Museum of Nature and Science.
Democracy backers jailed
A Vietnamese court found 14 democracy activists guilty of subversion and sentenced them to jail terms ranging from three to 13 years, verdicts which drew immediate criticism from the United States. The long prison terms imposed Wednesday suggest that the Communist government is intent on stepping up its ongoing crackdown on people who publicly challenge its authoritarian, one-party rule.
Compiled from wire reports.