Venezuelan police fired tear gas and plastic bullets Monday into a crowd of thousands protesting a decision by President Hugo Chavez that forced a television station critical of his leftist government off the air. Police fired toward the crowd of up to 5,000 protesters from a raised highway, and protesters fled amid clouds of tear gas. They later regrouped in Caracas’ Plaza Brion chanting “freedom!” It was the largest of several protests that broke out across Caracas hours after Radio Caracas Television ceased broadcasting at midnight Sunday and was replaced with a new state-funded channel. Chavez had refused to renew RCTV’s broadcast license, accusing it of “subversive” activities and of backing a 2002 coup against him.
A Canadian woman credited with helping to save an ailing fellow climber on Mount Everest was honored Monday by Nepal’s mountaineering community. Meagan McGrath, 29, of Sudbury, Ontario, was recognized for saving Usha Bista, a female climber from Nepal who had fallen sick on the way to the summit on May 21. Bista suffered cerebral edema, or swelling of the brain, which can be fatal if left untreated at a high altitude. McGrath was the first to come across Bista and was then joined by a Western man and his Sherpa guide. They called other climbers for help.
Kazakh authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for the powerful son-in-law of President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who faces abduction charges and has publicly criticized the longtime leader. Rakhat Aliyev, the husband of Nazarbayev’s daughter Dariga, was put on a wanted list for alleged involvement in the suspected February kidnapping of two senior managers of a bank he controls, the Interior Ministry said in a statement posted on its Web site Monday. Aliyev was suspected of an attempt to unseat his father-in-law in 2001 and recently advocated the establishment of a monarchy in the Central Asian former Soviet republic.
A pair of 2-year-olds who wandered out of a vacation home and into the Australian wilderness were found Monday, scratched and dirty but unhurt, after spending more than 24 hours outdoors. “I heard what I thought was human voices and couldn’t believe my ears,” said Merrilyn Hutton, who found the children. “I moved towards the sound … then standing beside the scrub was a little red head and then a little white head popped up too.”
From Herald news services