Venezuela’s President Maduro Wins Another 6 Years In Power

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Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro won another six years in power after the country's election on Sunday. But several countries and political leaders are denouncing his win as a sham. 

Panama, Costa Rica, Chile and the U.S. Mission to the U.N. said they won't recognize the results of the election. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it a sham, and Sen. Marco Rubio said the election was illegitimate.  

Venezuela's election process has been criticized for more than a few reasons. For one, many opposition parties boycotted the vote. And some opposition candidates were barred from participating anyway. 

The opposition also claimed voting numbers were inflated. A reporter from NPR said voting stations around the capital appeared almost empty all day. But election officials say voting turnout was almost at 50 percent. 

There’s also the widespread issue of hunger in Venezuela. The country has a government program that subsidizes boxed food for those who sign up for the program. And those people were encouraged to scan their subsidy card after voting, which provided the Venezuelan government with a list of people who voted. 

The director of the Venezuelan Electoral Observatory, a watchdog group, says people feared they could lose their subsidized food if they didn't vote. The government also reportedly used state resources during the campaign and pressured state workers to vote. 

In a victory speech Sunday, Maduro told Venezuelans: "I am a better prepared president and human being right now. You trusted in me and I will respond."

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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Paraguay Is Now The Third Country To Move Its Embassy To Jerusalem

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Not long after the U.S. and Guatemala moved their Israel embassies from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Paraguay has followed suit.

The country's president Horacio Cartes and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the move official during an inauguration ceremony Monday.

"A great day for Israel; a great day for Paraguay — a great day for our friendship," Netanyahu said.

Other countries — including Romania, the Czech Republic and Honduras — have said they're also considering moving their embassies to Jerusalem.

The U.S. officially opened its new embassy last week, sparking anger among Palestinians and deadly protests on the border between Gaza and Israel.

Guatemala did the same just two days later.

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NYC Mayor Reportedly Orders Police To Stop Arrests For Pot Smoking

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio reportedly instructed the city's police department to stop arresting people found smoking marijuana in public. 

CNN reports the mayor ordered police officers to give summonses instead. 

People issued summonses are still required to appear in court before a judge. But instead of being held in police custody until that happens, it's their responsibility to show up in court at the designated time.

Recreational use of marijuana is currently illegal in New York, though officials have decriminalized possession of small amounts. 

This move by de Blasio comes after he announced earlier this month that the NYPD would soon "overhaul its marijuana enforcement policies."

A report by The New York Times found a disproportionate number of people arrested for marijuana possession in New York City in the first three months of this year were black or Hispanic. 

New York Police Commissioner James O'Neill said the department does not specifically target minorities, but than "an honest assessment" needs to be conducted about the differences in arrest rates.

The Manhattan District Attorney's Office also recently announced that as of Aug. 1, it will no longer prosecute marijuana possession and smoking cases. 

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DOJ Says Watchdog Will Look Into Trump Campaign Surveillance

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The Department of Justice asked its internal watchdog to look into whether there was any political motivation in the FBI's investigation of President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

The request came after Trump tweeted on Sunday that he planned to order an investigation into whether the FBI or DOJ "infiltrated or surveilled" his campaign "for political purposes."

The DOJ announced back in March that its inspector general would look into potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It's now folding Trump's demand into that investigation. 

In a statement released Sunday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said, "If anyone did infiltrate or surveil participants in a presidential campaign for inappropriate purposes, we need to know about it and take appropriate action."

The New York Times reported Friday that a confidential intelligence source interacted with Trump campaign advisers George Papadopoulos and Carter Page. And The Washington Post later reported that same source also met with Trump's campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis.

Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump's lawyers, told CNN he didn't think Trump would sit for an interview with special counsel Robert Mueller without access to information on that confidential source.

Giuliani also said Mueller's office told the president's team that the part of the Russia investigation involving Trump could be wrapped up by the start of September if he agreed to answer Mueller's questions. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

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‘Deadpool 2’ Kicks ‘Infinity War’ Out Of Top Spot With $125M Debut

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Finally kicking Thanos and "Infinity War" out of the No. 1 spot is "Deadpool 2," bringing in an almost record-breaking $125 million in its first week out. I say "almost" because "Deadpool 2" had the second best opening for an R-rated film of all time. The original "Deadpool" still holds that title by more than $7 million. 

But as a consolation prize, "Deadpool 2" did have the best foreign box office debut for an R-rated film, pulling in $176 million. It stole that record from respectable X-Men.

"Logan" brought in nearly $160 million in its foreign box office debut last year. 

"Black Panther" and "Avengers: Infinity War" still had better debuts than "Deadpool 2." But, Deadpool did have the third-highest debut.

Now, we all knew the Merc With a Mouth would be a moneymaker; afterall, the original "Deadpool" is the highest grossing R-rated film in box office history. 

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What we didn't know is if this sequel could be as hilarious, original and critically acclaimed as its predecessor. 

"I was shocked by how much emotional heft this movie had. ... I liked this movie more than the first one," Matt Atchity said on "What the Flick?!"

While I'm not ready to call this the best comedy sequel of all time, "Deadpool 2" definitely manages to keep the critics happy, landing a 83 percent on the tomatometer. 

Falling to the No. 2 spot this week after holding on to first place for nearly a month is "Avengers: Infinity War," earning about $28.7 million in its fourth week out. "Infinity War" is slowly creeping toward the $2 billion milestone, but it's not there just yet. 

Taking the No. 3 spot this week in its silver screen debut is "Book Club," bringing in an estimated $12.5 million. This female-led, romantic comedy is about as anti-comic book adaptation film as you're gonna get, and that's exactly what Paramount Pictures was hoping for. "Book Club" beat box office expectations by at least $3 million.

Next week, Donald Glover plays Lando Calrissian in "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

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China Joins Commercial Space Race With Private Company’s Rocket Launch

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China has entered the commercial space race.

Beijing-based OneSpace Technologies launched its OS-X rocket Thursday. It's the first rocket launched by a private Chinese company. OneSpace has been compared to Space X. But, the OS-X is no Falcon.

The OS-X is less than half the size of the first and current Falcon rockets. And OS-X rocket boosters can't be re-used.

But, OneSpace's launch does show China's steady progress. In 2012, President Xi Jinping said he wanted to make China a "spaceflight superpower." OneSpace was founded three years later. The company reportedly has plans for 10 missions in 2019.

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Trump And Moon Discuss Summit After North Korea’s Shift In Attitude

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U.S. President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in reportedly chatted over the weekend about the planned U.S.-North Korean summit.

The Washington Post reports Trump sought the South Korean president's interpretation of the sudden shift in the North's position.

A meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un is set for June 12 in Singapore, but last week, the North hinted it could cancel the summit if it continued to face pressure to denuclearize. 

And North Korea outright canceled a planned meeting with the South amid a joint U.S.-South Korea military exercise. The North views the exercise as rehearsal for invasion.

Trump and Moon are expected to meet Tuesday at the White House to further prepare for the summit.

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Pope Francis Is Trying To Make College Of Cardinals More Diverse

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Pope Francis made a surprise announcement Sunday that he's going to create 14 new cardinals in a ceremony June 29. 

The list of new cardinals includes names from parts of the world where Christians are a minority — like Iraq and Pakistan. 

The move will make the College of Cardinals a little less European. Right now, there are 213 cardinals. And according to Vatican statistics, 100 of them are from Europe. That's almost half.

The added diversity could make a difference in the Catholic Church's future. Eleven of the new cardinals are under 80 years old. That means they'll likely be able to vote for the next pope. After June 29, there will be 126 cardinal electors.

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Rising Fuel Costs Could Affect Flights — From Airfare To Bathroom Size

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The cost of jet fuel is rising, which puts airlines in a slightly awkward position ahead of the summer travel season — do they charge more or cut operating costs?

According to the latest stats from the International Air Transport Association, jet fuel in North America is 56 percent more expensive than it was a year ago.

That climb starts to really sting right about now: June, July and August are big months for airlines. But if a summer travel boom costs more than usual to operate, the airlines will have to decide how to adjust.

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They could raise fares, but if they do, fliers might not notice right away. After all, airlines tend to set fares way in advance. Airlines could also decide that more expensive operations should mean fewer operations — as in cutting flights. 

But tight budgets are already forcing airlines to make long-term changes. Take American Airlines' effort to get even more people into its planes. It's retrofitting about 200 of its planes to get 12 more seats into each of them. And the airline insists the new seats will actually have more legroom. They're taking space out of the bathrooms instead. So, that'll be fun.

Those changes don't mean American won't raise ticket prices, though. American's CEO warned travelers last month they should expect higher fares with the higher fuel prices. Other airlines could follow suit.

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Every Catholic Bishop In Chile Offers To Resign Amid Abuse Scandal

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Every bishop in Chile has offered to resign.

The move, which is reportedly unprecedented, came Friday. The 34 bishops said in a statement: "We want to announce that all bishops present in Rome, in writing, have placed our positions in the Holy Father's hands so that he may freely decide regarding each one of us."

Pope Francis met with the bishops last week in a summit in which he addressed sexual abuse of minors by clergy members. It was in response to a 2,300-page report released in March detailing sexual abuse by Chilean priests. It also reportedly revealed that Catholic Church officials destroyed evidence of abuse.

It's not clear if the pope accepted the bishops' resignations. But he has reportedly said that while some in the church will need to resign, "we must go further."

Additional reporting by Newsy affiliate CNN.

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