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Venezuelan President Maduro survives assassination attempt, says I am alive

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Nicolas Maduro

Caracas, Aug 5: Blaming far-right elements and Colombia’s outgoing President Juan Manuel Santos for carrying out the foiled assassination bid,Venezuela’s president Nicolás Maduro said “I am alive and victorious.”

Venezuela’s president Maduro has survived an  assassination attempt after several drone explosions disrupted a speech at a military event.

“I am alive and victorious,” the socialist president said in a bellicose televised address. “Everything points to the Venezuelan ultra-right in alliance with the Colombian ultra-right, and that the name of [Colombian president] Juan Manuel Santos is behind this attack.”

Maduro suggested an initial investigation showed Colombia and the US state of Florida, where many Venezuelan exiles live, were linked to the explosions.

Speaking from the presidential palace two hours after the attack, he announced that those behind the attempt on his life had been captured.

The drones, armed with explosives, were flown towards Maduro as he addressed soldiers in the capital Caracas on Saturday afternoon

Maduro was evacuated from a stage on Saturday during a speech at an event event to commemorate the 81st anniversary of the Bolivarian National Guard here after what authorities concluded was an attempted “terrorist attack against the President”.

Two drones loaded with explosives went off near the podium from where the President was speaking, Communications Minister Jorge Rodriguez confirmed to the media.

Just few hours after the incident, Maduro appeared on national television saying that as he was mid-speech in the event when a device exploded right in front of him.

“A flying object exploded near me, a big explosion. Seconds later there was a second explosion,” he said, adding that he initially thought it was fireworks as part of the parade.

The President also said that authorities were able to obtain evidence of the attack and said the investigation was in an advanced stage.

It was “an attempt to kill me, they have tried to assassinate me today”, he added.

“The preliminary investigation indicates that many of those responsible for the attack, the financiers and planners, live in the US in the state of Florida,” Maduro said.

“I hope the (President Donald) Trump administration is willing to fight terrorist groups that commit attacks in peaceful countries in our continent, in this case Venezuela.”

The Colombian government however, has denied any involvement, saying there is “no basis” to Maduro’s allegations.

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French government urges Russia to immediately release Navalny

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

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emmanuel macron

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday urged his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to urgently shed light on the “attempted murder” of opposition figure Alexei Navalny after French tests confirmed the use of the Novichok nerve agent, the Elysée said.

Macron told Putin in telephone talks that it is “imperative that all light be shed, without delay, on the circumstances of this attempted murder and who is responsible”, the French presidency said in a statement.

Read: Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

He also informed Putin that France’s own analysis had confirmed Germany’s conclusion that Navalny was poisoned by Novichok “in contravention of international norms on using chemical weapons”.

Putin, for his part, told Macron that it was “inappropriate” to make groundless accusations against Russia over the suspected poisoning of Navalny, the Kremlin said.

The Russian leader said his country wanted Germany to hand over medical test results taken from Navalny, according to a Kremlin readout of the call.

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Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny detained after landing in Moscow

Russian prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence.

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Alexei Navalny

Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was detained at a Moscow airport after returning from Germany on Sunday, the prison service said.

The prison service said he was detained for multiple violations of parole and terms of a suspended prison sentence and would be held in custody until a court makes a decision in his case.

Mr. Navalny, who is President Vladimir Putin’s most prominent and determined foe, had spent the previous five months in Germany recovering from a nerve agent attack that he blamed on the Kremlin.

Mr. Navalny decided to leave Berlin of his own free will and wasn’t under any apparent pressure to leave from Germany.

The prison service made the announcement after the flight carrying Mr. Navalny landed in the Russian capital, though at a different airport than had been scheduled. It was a possible attempt to outwit journalists and supporters who wanted to witness Mr. Navalny’s return.

The prison service last week issued a warrant for his arrest, saying he had violated the terms of suspended sentence he received on a 2014 conviction for embezzlement. The prison service has asked a Moscow court to turn Mr. Navalny’s 3 1/2-year suspended sentence into a real one.

After boarding the Moscow flight in Berlin on Sunday, Mr. Navalny said of the prospect of arrest: “It’s impossible; I’m an innocent man.”

The Kremlin has repeatedly denied a role in the opposition leader’s poisoning.

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Health

13 Israelis suffer facial paralysis post inoculation

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

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Vaccine

Jerusalem, Jan 17 : At least 13 Israelis suffered mild facial paralysis as a side effect after receiving the first Covid vaccine jabs, the Health Ministry said, adding that the count could be higher.

The officials have raised questions on whether or not to administer the second dose to these individuals the Health Ministry had recommended for the second dose, reported the Jerusalem Post.

“For at least 28 hours, I walked around with it (facial paralysis),” one person who had the side effect told Ynet.

“I can’t say it was completely gone afterwards, but other than that I had no other pains, except a minor pain where the injection was, but there was nothing beyond that.”

As for receiving the second dose, he admits he is undecided, but says that “it is important to note that this is something rare, and I don’t want people to avoid getting vaccinated – it’s important”.

“I recently came across, for example, someone vaccinated who was dealing with paralysis, and decided not to give her a second dose,” Galia Rahav, Director of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Sheba Medical Centre told Ynet.

“It is true that it can be given according to the Health Ministry, but I did not feel comfortable with it.”

She added that, “No one knows if this is connected to the vaccine or not. That’s why I would refrain from giving a second dose to someone who suffered from paralysis after the first dose.”

However, the Health Ministry has assured of the second dose only when the paralysis passes, Ynet reported.

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