Politicoscope Sunday Editions (Page 2)

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Juan Gerardo Guaido Marquez, Juan Guaido - Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido said on Saturday he has asked his envoy to the United States to meet with Pentagon officials to “cooperate” on a solution to the South American country’s political crisis.

Guaido, the leader of the opposition-controlled National Assembly, added he had received word from China that the country would join a diplomatic effort between European and Latin American countries, known as the International Contact Group on Venezuela, to negotiate an end to the crisis.

In January, Guaido invoked the OPEC nation’s constitution to assume an interim presidency, arguing President Nicolas Maduro’s 2018 re-election was illegitimate. He has been recognized by most Western and Latin American countries, but Maduro has retained the support of allies China, Russia and Cuba.

Guaido’s effort to oust Maduro so he can take power and call new elections has stalled in recent weeks, after an attempted military uprising on April 30 was put down. Guaido told an Italian newspaper this week that he would “probably” accept a U.S. military intervention if the United States proposed it.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Today News Headlines

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa led the African National Congress (ANC) to victory in Wednesday’s election, but a drop in its share of the vote underlines the challenge he faces restoring confidence in his party.

With opponents in the ANC and an emboldened far-left opposition party, the former union leader turned business tycoon may struggle to deliver on his promises to push through tough reforms.

Africa’s oldest liberation movement won 57.5% of the parliamentary vote. That was its worst parliamentary result since it swept to power at the end of white minority rule but an improvement on its showing in 2016 local elections.

Ramaphosa worked closely with South Africa’s first black president Nelson Mandela to end white minority rule in 1994. He replaced scandal-plagued Jacob Zuma as head of state in February 2018 after winning a bitter contest to become ANC leader and convincing top party officials to instruct Zuma to resign.

Ramaphosa’s first full presidential term should start later this month, after nomination by his party’s parliamentary caucus and an inauguration ceremony.

“We’ve made mistakes, but we are sorry about those mistakes, and we are saying our people should reinvest their confidence in us,” Ramaphosa said on Wednesday after casting his ballot in the Soweto township where he grew up.

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Cyril Ramaphosa - South Africa Politics Headlines News

South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) will kick-start the economy and deal with corruption, it vowed on Sunday, three days before elections at which its overwhelming majority faces its sternest test since the party rose to power.

Less than 30 km (18.6 miles) away, the country’s second-biggest opposition party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), challenged the ANC’s governance record and promised a tougher stance on corruption and economic policies to target racial inequality.

Though the ANC has won each parliamentary election since the transition from apartheid in 1994, recent opinion polls predict that it will bleed support to opposition coalitions that have gained ground as the ANC has been dogged by political scandal and a flagging economy.

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Scott Morrison vs Bill Shorten - Australia News Headlines

Australian political parties are using voter email addresses to find matching social media profiles then combining them with the country’s compulsory electoral roll data, illustrating how privacy scandals have done little to slow the march of data-driven campaigning.

While the use of data and public profiles from Facebook, Twitter and other social media for political campaigning has become widespread globally, Australia is one of the most open countries in the world to online information gathering by political operatives.

“Most Australians have little idea about how many data points organisations like political parties, let alone Facebook, have on each of them,” said Glenn Kefford, a political scientist at Macquarie University who has written extensively about data-driven campaigning.

“They would be shocked and probably disgusted.”

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Donald Trump USA Headlines News Today

The Trump administration has revised training guidelines for asylum officers in ways that could make it harder for migrants seeking refuge in the United States to pass an initial screening. The revisions to a lesson plan used by hundreds of asylum officers suggest the Trump administration is finding new ways to narrow who can access asylum as bolder policy proposals with that same goal have been blocked by federals courts, said former government officials and immigration experts who reviewed the internal plan that was shared with Reuters. The changes could potentially lead to more denials and deportations before migrants’ full cases can be heard, they said.

Jessica Collins, a spokeswoman for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), which oversees asylum applications, said the agency periodically updates its training documents and that it processes all claims on a case-by-case basis. The lesson plan has been revised in 2006, 2014 and February 2017. The new version, dated April 30, goes into effect this month, USCIS said.

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Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump - Russia News - USA Politics News

Donald Trump said that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t seeking to “get involved” in the crisis in Venezuela, despite assertions by the American president’s top national security advisers that the Kremlin is offering critical support to Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

“He is not looking at all to get involved in Venezuela other than he’d like to see something positive happen for Venezuela,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday, following a call with the Russian leader earlier in the day. “And I feel the same way. We want to get some humanitarian aid -- right now people are starving, they have no water, they have no food.”

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New Caledonia Politics News

The French Pacific islands of New Caledonia were voting Sunday on whether to become an independent nation, in a closely-watched test of support for France in one of its many territories scattered around the globe.Some 18,000 kilometres (11,000 miles) from the French mainland, New Caledonia is home to a quarter of the world's known supplies of nickel -- a vital electronics component -- and is a strategic foothold for France in the Pacific.

Voting in New Caledonia's 284 polling stations opened at 8:00 am Sunday (2100 GMT Saturday) and was to end at 6.00 pm, with results expected the same evening.The participation rate was 73.68 percent at 5:00 pm, much higher than at the same time during local elections in 2014.

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