Venezuelan Armed Force begins military drills

Caracas, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB) began the 2020 Bolivarian Shield military exercises on Saturday, in order to prepare all troops in case of a foreign armed aggression.

President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday that more than two million soldiers will participate in the military drills that will conclude on Sunday, February 16, and will be developed nationwide.

During a press briefing with international media from the Miraflores Palace, the seat of Venezuelan government, the president pointed out that all surface-to-air missile systems, as well as rocket systems, are ready for the exercises.

This excercises are the first ones carried out after the new Constitutional Law on the Armed Forces was recently approved. The inclusion of national militias as an armed wing of the country’s defensive corps is decreed, so they will officially participate in these exercises for the first time with that category.

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Sanchez willing to overcome tensions between Spain and Catalonia

Madrid, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The president of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sanchez, on Saturday ratified his decision to redirect the fierce political conflict with Catalonia, a region that launched a frustrated attempt to break away from this European country in October 2017.

Sanchez spoke in those terms at a meeting of the Federal Committee of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE).

‘Overcoming the conflict that divides the Catalonians from each other and that logically stresses the relations between Catalonia and Spain is essential to continue to move forward,’ Sanchez said.

He clarified, however, that the attention to the serious secessionist crisis in the prosperous northeastern autonomous community of Catalonia will not be detrimental to other pressing social and territorial needs.

The secretary general of the PSOE, who has ruled the country since January, along with the extreme left-wing Unidos Podemos alliance, in the first coalition government since Spanish democracy was established, insisted that the solution to the Catalonian issue goes unfailingly through dialogue.

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Day of deeds and memories at Havana’s International Book Fair

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) Today will be marked by deeds and memories at Havana’s International Book Fair, Cuba 2020, when books on the Vietname War will be launchedin.

On Saturday, the great literary event will launch ‘Relatos de Guerra de Vietnam Heroico’ (War Stories from Heroic Vietnam) by journalist Marta Rojas and diplomat Raul Valdes Vivo, who lived the intensity of one of the bloodiest conflicts in history after World War II.

‘Relatos …’ will be presented at the Alejo Carpentier Hall in Havana’s Morro-Cabaña Park, the main venue of the fair that will conclude on Sunday.

The books ‘Vietnam y las Fantasias Norteamericanas’ (Vietnam and American Fantasies) and ‘Vietnam, Siglos de Heroismo’ (Vietnam, Centuries of Heroism) by researchers H. Bruce Franklin and Jose Ramon Rodriguez Torres, will be launched in the same hall.

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End of political violence and threats advocated in Colombia

Bogota, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) The Executive Committee of the Colombian Communist Party advocated today the end of political violence, the marking and threats against the popular movement, within a context of ongoing violence in this country.

The dark forces that conspire against peace, promote hatred, plan and finance assassination of popular leaders and activists are emerging again before the national government’s indifference, the party said in a statement posted on its website.

In this regard, it noted that, in a flyer believed to belong to the so-called Aguilas Negras (Black Eagles, a narco-paramilitary organization), they threaten anthropologist Jaime Caycedo, a member of the National Security Guarantees Commission and secretary general of the organization, as well as prominent leaders of the Central Union of Workers (CUT), of its Executive Committee and of the direction of Bolivar Department.

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Americans could be sprung from Diamond Princess coronavirus quarantine on Sunday

Hope is on the way for some 400 Americans trapped in coronavirus quarantine aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship off the coast of Japan — the US government is preparing to evacuate them, according to a report.

The State Department is arranging for two planes to transport some 380 US citizens from the cruise liner back to the US as early as Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday night, citing an official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The ship has been stuck off Yokohama since Feb. 5, and since then, the number of confirmed passenger coronavirus cases has risen to 218, according to CDC stats.

A team was in Japan Friday to assess the health of the passengers, the CDC official — Henry Walke, director of the Division of Preparedness and Emerging Infections — told the Journal Friday.

Anyone with a fever, a cough or any other symptoms of the deadly respiratory virus will be barred from traveling on the planes.

Those who make the flight will likely be taken to Travis Air Force Base near Sacramento, Calif., or to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, where they will undergo mandatory testing and further quarantine.

The trapped passengers were treated to Valentine’s Day gifts of roses and chocolates, one American passenger tweeted.

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Interferon, a Cuban drug with proven efficacy and safety

Havana, Feb 15 (Prensa Latina) A Cuban drug known as Interferon maintains its efficacy and safety to treat viral diseases such as hepatitis B and C, HIV-AIDS, dengue and Herpes zoster.

Developed in 1986 by a team of researchers from the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), the 2B alpha human recombinant Interferon has benefited thousands of Cuban patients since its introduction in the national healthcare system more than three decades ago.

The drug prevents viral multiplication within cells and has also been used to treat different kinds of cancer.

Chinese medical authorities’ decision to use it to fight the coronavirus resulted from the general way in which this virus reduces the natural production of interferon in the human body.

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Hollywood is using victimhood to sell us bad entertainment 

Hollywood has fetishized oppression and victimhood to justify an endless stream of bad content and mediocre talent.

The 24 million people who watched this year’s Academy Awards got to see what Hollywood has become: an industry that cares less about producing quality entertainment, and more about reinforcing a culture that puts a premium on grievance, oppression and victimhood.

No one is more committed to fortifying the standing of victims and their unearned privileges than liberal celebrities. What are each of the nationally televised awards ceremonies if not tributes to social justice, celebrations of “diversity” and recognitions of various forms of hardship that women, ethnic minorities and non-heterosexuals are assumed to endure?

Joaquin Phoenix, Best Actor recipient at last Sunday’s Oscars, made sure to use his acceptance speech as an opportunity to highlight “gender inequality,” acknowledge “queer” and “indigenous” people, and, of course, condemn “racism” — none of which had anything to do with his movie “Joker” or the award he was presented with. But that’s beside the point — he knew he would at least get an affirming round of applause from his peers for signaling that he cared about marginalized people.

It would be a harmless gesture if it weren’t for the fact that Hollywood has fetishized oppression and victimhood to justify an endless stream of bad content and mediocre talent.

Look no further than out-of-work actor Jussie Smollett. According to Chicago police and a special prosecutor assigned to the case, Smollett faked a hate crime in 2019 to boost his middling career as an actor and singer on the Fox drama “Empire.”

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How Gen Z can fix the dystopian world that Zuckerberg created

Mark Zuckerberg often says he created Facebook as a way to connect people and foster relationships. Rarely does he mention his predecessor website, FaceMash, which let users vote on the attractiveness of female Harvard classmates.

FaceMash made some of his peers feel violated, and that’s how a lot of people feel about Facebook today. Zuckerberg’s site left the personal data of millions of users vulnerable to outside political organizations, while allowing extremist groups to use the site to crack down on human rights and incite violence. Meanwhile, political memes and links on the platform are tearing friends and families apart.

Though he denies selling users’ data or encouraging misinformation, Zuckerberg’s approach to running Facebook has demonstrated a failure of empathy. And while many in Silicon Valley are urging him and others in positions like his to do better, it’s too late. They have simply lost our trust.

Now it’s up to a new generation of tech founders and developers to avoid the mistakes of their predecessors, and show us what it really means to be responsible creators and users of tech.

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Bernie Sanders isn’t a brawler — and that’s why he can’t beat Trump

Bernie Sanders is not a fighter like Trump. To the contrary, in key moments, and when under attack, he has faltered or demurred.

With a popular-vote victory in Iowa and an outright win in New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders has officially emerged as the frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination. Many commentators have noted the parallels between Sanders’s surging, antiestablishment candidacy and Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign. The analogy is real. Both men can call upon large, passionate bases of support. Both have also had to contend with the fierce resistance of a party elite bent on denying them victory, along with unfair media coverage.

Trump, of course, confronts these challenges with glee. From the earliest days of his campaign, right through to his celebratory, post-impeachment acquittal “press conference,” he has turned the tables on the DC insiders.

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