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Venezuela Crisis: Maduro Blocks Humanitarian Aid From Reaching The Country

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s military has barricaded a bridge between Venezuela and the Colombian border town of Cucuta to block humanitarian aid from reaching the country.

Soaring hyper-inflation has forced millions of Venezuelans to flee or go hungry as they struggle to afford basic goods, food and medicine.  But Maduro has long rejected receiving humanitarian assistance, saying Venezuela is not hungry, and is not a country of beggars.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Maduro needs to allow the food aid to get through to help millions of Venezuelans who are starving.

Tensions have been high for a third week now since opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido announced himself president.

The US and Canada have each pledged twenty million, and fifty million dollars in aid.  At least forty countries have recognized Guaido as the legitimate president of Venezuela.

Health News

U.S. FDA Grants Emergency Authorization For COVID-19 Treatment From Regeneron

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The U.S. Food and drug administration has granted emergency authorization for the Regeneron antibody treatment, the same drug that was administered to president Donald Trump after he was diagnosed with COVID-19.

The drug’s approval is limited in scope for people who have tested positive for the coronavirus and who are at high risk for developing severe COVID-19.

Regeneron says it will have enough of the drug for at least eighty thousand patients by the end of this month.  It says, by the first week of January, it would have enough for 200,000 patients, and for 300,000 by the end of January.

The United States has surpassed the 12 million infection mark, and nearly two hundred seventy Americans have died from complications from the disease.

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At Least 26 Dead In Central America From Powerful Hurricane Iota

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26 persons have been confirmed dead in the wake of powerful hurricane iota, which is still battling some parts of central America.

Iota made landfall Monday night in Nicaraguaith continued heavy rains that are expected to cause mudslides and life-threatening flash and river flooding.

In Nicaragua, state-run radio reported at least 16 persons died in that country alone.  Vice president Rosario Murillo said two children also died while trying to cross a river on Monday.

More than 114,000 homes have no power and more than 47,000 are without water.

In Honduras, five persons have died and more than 61,000 persons are now living in shelters.

Colombian president Iván Duque confirmed two persons are dead, six others are wounded, and one person is missing.

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Brexit: UK ‘Will Be Less Safe Without EU Security Deal’

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Britain’s top counter-terrorism officer, Neil Basu says a Brexit deal is “incredibly important for the safety and security of the United Kingdom.

Basu says the deal would guarantee better security and law enforcement agreement than the UK currently has.

Talks between the UK and EU are ongoing, but deadline for a deal is set for December.

The UK left the EU in January, but continues to follow current EU rules until the end of the year while negotiations take place.

Any deal would need to be ratified by the UK and EU parliaments.

The UK had wanted to maintain the current access to shared databases, but the EU says that is not available to none EU members.

Basu says the UK needs to negotiate a security treaty that either retains or improves on the current position.

Meanwhile, prime minister Boris Johnson says he is confident the UK will prosper outside the EU if a post-Brexit trade deal is not agreed with the bloc.

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