Maduro criticizes UN human rights report in scathing letter

(CNN)Embattled Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has written a letter to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to reject the content of a report in which Bachelet highlighted “patterns of violations of all human rights” at the hands of the Venezuelan state. The letter also “demands a full rectification and correction of the grave errors” on behalf of Bachelet’s office. Stating that Bachelet “sidelined with those who act against our people”, Maduro wrote that the report “damaged the efforts by the Venezuelan states to normalize the relationship with the Commissioner’s Office.” Two members of Bachelet’s staff have been temporarily deployed to Venezuela to monitor human rights issues at Bachelet’s request. The Office of the High Commissioner for …

Nicaragua frees more than 100 political prisoners under new amnesty law

Prisoners jailed for their role in anti-government protests were released Monday and Tuesday, including journalists and activists a year of anti-government protests while also protecting police and others who violently clamped down on the demonstrations. Fifty-six people arrested since the protests began were freed on Tuesday, a day after 50 others were released, bringing the number behind bars to around 80, down from hundreds previously. Those released on Tuesday included the campesino leaders Medardo Mairena and Pedro Mena, and the student leader Edwin Carcache. Miguel Mora and Luca Pineda Ubau, the director and the spokeswoman for the 100% Noticias television channel which was shut down by authorities in December, were also freed. Neighbors and friends gathered to receive the newly …

Former baseball star David Ortiz wounded in Dominican Republic shooting

Former Boston Red Sox slugger was at an entertainment centre when the shooting took place Former Boston Red Sox player David Ortiz has been shot and wounded in the Dominican Republic. His father Leo Ortiz told ESPN that he was shot while at an entertainment centre in Santo Domingo on Sunday. They called to tell me that David is injured and that they took him to a medical centre, but they did not tell me how he is or exactly where he was transferred, Leo Ortiz said, adding: At the moment, everything is confusing. Dominican national police director Ney Aldrin Bautista Almonte said Ortiz was at the Dial Bar and Lounge in Santo Domingo around 8:50pm on Sunday when the …