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By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo May 21, 2019 “The United Nations Human Rights Office is extremely worried by reports of excessive use of force by security forces against demonstrators across Venezuela,” said Marta Hurtado, spokesperson for the United Nations (UN) High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), May 1. The statement followed the news of violence from armed groups such as “colectivos,” that support the illegitimate regime of Nicolás Maduro. Five people died and 239 were injured during demonstrations called on by Interim President Juan Guaidó, April 30 and May 1. Guaidó called on the people and military supporters to take part in Operation Freedom to restore constitutional order. The United States and more than 50 other countries recognize Guaidó as the legitimate leader of Venezuela. Violent attacks included gunshots and tear gas bombs — a military vehicle also ran over protestors on the street — in response to the protest. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), three of those killed during the protests were under 18. At least 15 of the injured were teenagers, ages 14 to 17. “I urge all those involved to take immediate measures to protect children from any type of violence,” said Henrietta H. Fore, executive director of the United Nations Children’s Fund, via Twitter. The injured included journalists attacked while covering the demonstrations. “We understand that at least 10 journalists were injured on May 1, including five who were wounded by buckshot,” Ravina Shamdasani, a UN Human Rights Office’s spokesperson told the press in Geneva, Switzerland. The UN Human Rights Office urged Venezuelan authorities to protect people’s human rights. The UN also urged political leaders to engage in meaningful discussions to work toward resolving the current crisis. “The UN Human Rights Office will continue to monitor developments in the country,” OHCHR said. Looking for a way out Venezuelans’ living conditions have been deteriorating since 2013, when Maduro took office following Hugo Chávez’s death. Since then, Venezuelans suffer from increasing violence and lack of basic supplies, such as food and medication. The situation has created a massive Venezuelan exodus, considered to be the largest migration crisis in the recent history of Latin America, according to a 2018 report on Venezuela produced by the international nongovernmental organization, Human Rights Watch. In February 2019, the office of the UNHCR reported that the number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants now stands at 3.7 million. During 2018, an estimated 5,000 people left the country every day. Colombia hosts the highest number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela, with more than 1.2 million. Peru follows with 700,000; Chile, with 288,000; Ecuador, with 200,000; Argentina, with 130,000; and Brazil, with 96,000. Mexico and countries in Central America and the Caribbean also welcomed a significant number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. In Brazil, UNHCR manages the flow of Venezuelans at the borders, especially coming from three border posts in the cities of Pacaraima and Boa Vista, in Roraima state, and Manaus, in Amazonas state. “Our main intent is to get a quick profile of these people and identify their primary needs,” said Miguel Pachioni, from the UNHCR’s Press Office, in São Paulo. The institution has been seeking partnerships with governments, as well as public and private Brazilian institutions that could provide initial shelter and, as a longer-term solution, promote the social inclusion of Venezuelans in Brazil. read more
Dry bulk specialists Genco Shipping & Trading Limited has closed on a five-year senior secured credit facility in an aggregate principal amount of up to USD 460 million.Proceeds from the new credit facility were used, together with cash on hand, to refinance all of the company’s existing credit facilities into one facility and pay down the debt on the oldest seven vessels in Genco’s fleet.“We are pleased to have closed on this attractive USD 460 million facility, which was oversubscribed by approximately 40%. With this new facility, we have strengthened our position to capitalize on attractive growth opportunities and have provided Genco with the ability to pay dividends, while simplifying the Company’s capital structure,” Apostolos Zafolias, Chief Financial Officer, said.The new USD 460 million facility lowers Genco’s interest costs through improved pricing, eliminates near-term refinancing risk by extending loan maturity to 2023, establishes an attractive amortization profile, and enhances the company’s flexibility to execute its fleet growth and renewal program by lifting restrictions on vessel acquisitions and additional indebtedness.The final maturity date of the facility will be May 31, 2023. Borrowings under the facility will bear interest at LIBOR plus 325 basis points through December 31, 2018 and LIBOR plus a range of 300 to 350 basis points thereafter, dependent upon total net indebtedness to the last twelve months EBITDA.Scheduled amortization payments USD 15 million per quarter commencing on December 31, 2018 and may be recalculated upon the company’s request upon certain events. read more
A repeal of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act sponsored by State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly has received significant student support in its first week.The DREAM Act, signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 10, allows undocumented college students to qualify for and receive state financial aid. If Donnelly obtains valid signatures from 504,760 registered California voters before Jan. 6, a ballot measure to repeal the DREAM Act will appear on the Nov. 2012 ballot.Source: Californiadreamact.org – Christina Ellis | Daily TrojanThe petition received 7,800 signatures in its first week, and 20 percent was from college students, according to Donnelly.Donnelly disapproves of the DREAM Act because he says it provides illegal immigrants with some of the same benefits legal residents have.“We need to have one standard, and offering money to illegal immigrants is just wrong in so many ways,” Donnelly said. “Giving them the same benefits as legal residents and U.S. citizens who’ve worked so hard is wrong.”Aimee Chang, a sophomore majoring in health promotion and disease prevention studies, said the DREAM Act should be repealed because it could negatively affect U.S. citizens.“[The DREAM Act] should be repealed because it can really have a negative impact for American citizens,” Chang said. “It is already hard enough to get adequate financial aid as it is.”Alex Chin, a sophomore majoring in biological sciences, said given the current state of the U.S. economy, money should be spent on citizens rather than on illegal immigrants.“The economy is in a major slump right now,” Chin said. “By allowing illegal immigrants to obtain financial aid, we’re spending tax dollars on them when we really should be spending it on the education of U.S. citizens.”College students already pay high prices to attend college and government funds should be directed to help alleviate the financial burden of college for legal residents, Donnelly said.“What I hear college students complaining [about] the most is not getting their classes,” Donnelly said. “A four year education should not take five years. We’ve broken the promise to students that we will pay for their education and we should fix this instead of paying for the tuition of illegal immigrants.”Other students, however, said they believe undocumented students should not be prevented from receiving financial aid.“Students who graduate from California high schools should receive funding to attend [public] California universities,” said Katrina Kaiser, a sophomore majoring in economics. “[Undocumented students] have integrated into the California community, culture and economic fabric.” read more