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France, Venezuela, The UK and Turkey – This Is World News In Focus

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France: A gunman killed a police officer with an assault rifle in Paris Champs-Élysées on Thursday night.  Two other police officers and a bystander were wounded.

The gunman, later identified to be 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi, was said to have emerged from a car that stopped beside a stationary police van, and fired at the driver and other policemen on the pavement.

Cheurfi was shot dead while attempting to escape on foot.

Records show the alleged murderer was born in Livry-Gargan, a suburb northeast of Paris, and had been imprisoned for attempted murder, violence, and robbery.

Neighbors called the gunman “psychologically very damaged,” according to the Guardian.

President François Hollande described the attack as an act of terrorism.  The Islamic State claimed responsibility.

For more we go to CBS News:

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Venezuela: Hundreds of thousands of angry Venezuelans took to the streets in Caracas and other cities on Wednesday to protest against President Nicolas Maduro.

Describing the rallies as “mother of all marches,” a parody of the massive US GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast that dropped in Afghanistan on 13 April, demonstrators claimed that Maduro was dragging the country into a dictatorship and ruining the economy.

They demanded elections and a return to democratic rule.

But the peaceful demonstrations erupted into chaos as anti-government protesters clashed with national guard troops and government-aligned militias, as well as Maduro supporters.

Tear gas, rubber bullets, and other weapons were fired.  At least three people were killed and dozens injured, including a 17-year-old boy who was shot in the head near Caracas.

The marches were triggered by the pro-Maduro-controlled supreme court’s attempt to dissolve the opposition-leaning legislature last month.

For more we go to BBC News:

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UK: In an unexpected move, Prime Minister Theresa May on Tuesday called for an early election on 8 June 2017.

The decision is seen to be an attempt to summon public support for her government’s preparations for Brexit — a political portmanteau for UK’s formal divorce from the European Union.

On Wednesday, the Parliament voted 522 to 13 in favor of the Prime Minister’s request.

Recent polls have suggested that the Theresa May’s Conservative Party is leading the major opposition by a wide margin.

Pundits suggest that a Conservative Party’s victory in the elections would give the administration until 2022 to focus on negotiating a deal for an orderly departure from the European Union.

For more we go to ITV News:

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Turkey: In a national referendum held last Sunday, slightly more than half of Turkish voters favored giving President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power.

The Turkish public was asked whether the country’s constitution should be amended to scrap the role of prime minister, expand the seats of the parliament, and allow the president, being the head of state and having ties with political parties, to lead the government.

Among its 18 articles, the referendum also sought a public mandate to allow the president to appoint ministers, prepare the budget, choose the majority of senior judges, enact certain laws by decree, and dismiss parliament.

According to Turkey’s electoral commission, nearly 99 percent of voters took the poll and 51.3 percent voted “yes.”

The opposition questioned the legitimacy of the referendum as they claimed that the process was flawed and rules were changed at the last minute.

But the objection was rejected by the electoral board on Wednesday.

The opposition is worried that the new constitution will erode democracy in the country, whereas the victorious camp argues that a strong, centralized government under the new system will enable the country to better tackle economic issues as well as problems with Syrian refugees, terrorism campaigns, and wars against Kurdish insurgents and across Turkey’s southern border.

For more we go to BBC News:

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Have a story that you’d like us to cover or review? Contact NewsWhistle’s Tony Church at Tony@NewsWhistle.com.

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Lead-In Image Courtesy of thomas koch / Shutterstock.com;  “ISTANBUL – TURKEY 16 APRIL : AK Party and Erdogan supporters congratulate the results of the referendum on April 16, 2017 in Istanbul, Turkey.”

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