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Easter In Ukraine
April 20, 2014 - Kiev, Ukraine - Ukrainian Orthodox priest sprinkles holy water on believers on Easter Sunday in Kiev.
Shooting In East Ukraine Shatters Easter Truce
April 20, 2014 - Slavyansk, Ukraine - Shells and ammunition and burnt-out cars at a checkpoint at the entrance to the town of Slavyansk after a night attack. Russian state media reported five people killed in a gun attack on the checkpoint manned by pro-Russian activists. The hostilities broke the
fragile ceasefire after Kiev promised a truce over Easter.
Pope Francis Celebrates Easter Mass 2014
Apr 20, 2014 - Vatican City State (Holy See) - POPE FRANCIS waves at the Easter Mass in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican on Sunday. At the end of mass Pope Francis delivers the special blessing 'Urbi et Orbi' from the balcony of the St. Peter's facade.
Easter Celebrations 2014 in Manila
April 20, 2014 - Manila, Philippines - Filipinos cool off in the polluted waters of Manila Bay during Easter Sunday. Despite the government ban on swimming due to health hazards, many poor Filipinos still mark Easter Sunday by going to Manila Bay and swimming during the scorching summer heat.
Pope Francis Celebrates Easter Vigil 2014
Donatella Giagnori/Eidon Press/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Vatican City State, Holy See - Pope FRANCIS baptizes 10-year-old GIORGIO CAPEZZUOLI during the Easter vigil service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Easter Celebrations 2014 in Jerusalem
Omer Messinger/ZUMA Wire/ZUMAPRESS.com
Apr 19, 2014 - Jerusalem, Israel - Orthodox Christian worshipers take part in the ceremony of the Holy Fire at the church of The Holy Sepulcher.
Easter Celebrations 2014 in Jerusalem
Saeed Qaq/APA Images/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Jerusalem, Israel - Israeli police close the roads that lead to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, as Christian worshippers arrive in Jerusalem's Old City.
100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo 2014
April 19, 2014 - Beijing, China - A visitor takes a photo next to a Doraemon figure at the 100 Doraemon Secret Gadgets Expo. A hundred life-size Doraemon figures, each of which bearing a distinct secret gadget, were displayed during the show. Doraemon, a 22nd-century robotic cat, has been a popular
anime character since its introduction by Japanese cartoonist Fujiko Fujio in 1969.
UK Soccer 2014 - Liverpool beat Norwich City 3-2
Paul Childs/Action Images/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 20, 2014 - Norwich, England, United Kingdom - RAHEEM STERLING (R) celebrates with LUIS SUAREZ after he scores the third goal for Liverpool during the Norwich City v Liverpool Barclays Premier League match at Carrow Road. Liverpool won 3-2.
F1 2014 - China Grand Prix - Hamilton Wins
April 20, 2014 - Shanghai, China - British driver #44 LEWIS HAMILTON of the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team celebrates another victory at the Grand Prix of China during the FIA Formula One World Championship 2014 in Shanghai.
Tennis 2014 - Fed Cup USA vs France
April 19, 2014 - St. Louis, Missouri, U.S - United States Fed Cup Team Member SLOANE STEPHENS currently ranked #17 in singles and #997 in doubles hits a backhand shot during the first match of the 2014 World Group Playoffs of the Fed Cup by BNP Paribas between United States and France played at
Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis, MO. where France defeated USA 6-3 and 6-2.
Soccer 2014 - Paris SG Beat Lyon To Win French League
April 19, 2014 - Paris, France - THIAGO SILVA and the Paris St-Germain team celebrate after winning the French League Cup for a record fourth time after a 2-1 win over Lyon at Stade de France.
NCAAW Gymnastics 2014 - Oklahoma, Florida Share Title
Kyle Okita/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Birmingham, Alabama, U.S. - Florida's KYTRA HUNTER is greeted by Head Coach RHONDA FAEHN after Hunter's beam routine during the Team Finals of the 2014 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex in Birmingham, AL. Oklahoma and Florida were
crowned co-champions at the championships on Saturday.
NCAA Football 2014 - Texas Orange-White Scrimmage
Tim Warner/Cal Sport Media/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Austin, Texas, U.S. - Texas Longhorns running back MALCOLM BROWN (28) runs over defensive back CHEVOSKI COLLINS (14) for a touchdown during the annual Texas Football Orange-White Scrimmage at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, TX.
Tennis 2014 - Monte Carlo Rolex Masters Semifinals
April 19, 2014 - Monte Carlo, Monaco - ROGER FEDERER of Switzerland in action during his 7-5, 6-2 win over N. Djokovic in the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters tennis tournament.
Soccer 2014 - Bayern Munich Beat BTSV 1-0
April 19, 2014 - Brunswick, Germany - Bayern Munich's CLAUDIO PIZARRO (L
April 19, 2014 - Brunswick, Germany - Bayern Munich's CLAUDIO PIZARRO (L) celebrates his goal with THOMAS MUELLER in their Bundesliga match. Bayern beat BTSV 1-0. Credit Image: © Imago/ZUMAPRESS.com)
UK Soccer 2014 - Cardiff City Tie Stoke City 1-1
Alex Morton/Action Images/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom - Stoke's MARC MUNIESA and Cardiff's WILFRIED ZAHA in action during their Barclays Premier League match at Cardiff City Stadium. The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
UK Soccer 2014 - Aston Villa Tie Southampton 0-0
Craig Brough/Action Images/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Birmingham, England, United Kingdom - NATHAN BAKER of Aston Villa in action with SAM GALLAGHER of Southampton during their Barclays Premier League match at Villa Park. The match ended in a 0-0 draw.
F1 2014 - Chinese Grand Prix - Qualifying
April 19, 2014 - Shanghai, China - KIMI RAIKKONEN of Finland and Scuderia Ferrari in the pit lane during qualifying for thr FIA Formula One Grand Prix of China.
Will and Kate Visit Taronga Zoo With Baby George
Tim Rooke/Rex Features/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 20, 2014 - Sydney, Australia - Prince WILLIAM, CATHERINE Duchess of Cambridge and Prince GEORGE meet a bilby during a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. The royal family visited the Nightlife display at Taronga Zoo and officially named the Prince George Bilby Exhibit.
William and Kate at Easter Service in Sydney
Tim Rooke/Rex Features/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 20, 2014 - Sydney, Australia - CATHERINE Duchess of Cambridge in an Alexander McQueen ivory coat and a Jane Taylor gray fascinator as she arrives with Prince William to St. Andrew's Cathedral for Easter Sunday Service in Sydney, Australia.
Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Perform in Royal Oak
Marc Nader/ZUMA Wire/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S - JOSHUA EPSTEIN of the American Indie-pop band DALE EARNHARDT JR JR performing home town show to a sold out crowd at the Royal Oak Music Theatre in Royal Oak Michigan on April 19th 2014
'Champs' Premiere - Tribeca Film Festival 2014
Sonia Moskowitz/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 19, 2014 - New York, New York, U.S. - EVANDER HOLYFIELD, MIKE TYSON attend Tribeca Talks: After the Movie 'Champs' during the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival at the SVA Theater, NYC.
Leonard Ortiz/The Orange County Register/ZUMAPRESS.com
April 18, 2014 - Anaheim, California, U.S. - JACKIE COLE, 30 of Los Angeles, arrives on the opening day of Wondercon at the Anaheim Convention Center as Turanga Leela. WonderCon is an annual comic book, science fiction, and motion picture convention.
Justin Bieber Out in LA
April 17, 2014 - Los Angeles, California, U.S. - Singer JUSTIN BIEBER is chased by fans during a night out at The Grove in Los Angeles.
The KONA Gallery
FEATURE of the Day
Feb. 16, 2014 - Caracas, Venezuela - A demonstrator takes part during a protest by government opponents demanding the release of imprisoned students, in Altamira. (Credit Image: © Boris Vergara/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Feb. 18, 2014 - Caracas, Venezuela - A woman walks next to members of the National Bolivarian Guard during a protest against the Venezuelan government. Protesters flooded the streets Tuesday after troops arrested opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on charges of causing unrest and inciting violence that left three protesters dead last week. (Credit Image: © Miguel Gutierrez/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)
March 3, 2014 - Caracas, Venezuela - A protestor looks over a barricade as others clash with members of the National Bolivarian Guard during a protests against the Venezuelan government in Caracas. (Credit Image: © Santi Donaire/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)
March 3, 2014 - Caracas, Venezuela - A masked youth throws back a treat gas canister at riot police, as protestors clash with members of the National Bolivarian Guard during a protests against the Venezuelan government. (Credit Image: © Santi Donaire/EFE/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Feb. 16, 2014 - Caracas, Venezuela - A demonstrator with the face painted in the colors of the Venezuelan flag takes part during a protest by government opponents demanding the release of imprisoned students, in Altamira. (Credit Image: © Boris Vergara/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The Darkest Hour Of Venezuelan Democracy
The Darkest Hour Of Venezuelan Democracy - The Chavez-Maduro regime has corrupted democracy and impoverished the nation in a perfect storm of political strong-arming, cheap oil, and public apathy.
Text by El Espectador - Caracas, Venezuela - The time is now to react. If you must lie, you lie - any dictator will tell you that.
The socialist regime forged by the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has now held power for 16 years, apparently using the procedures and rules of the democratic system.
It was defeated just once, in 2007 when voters rejected its proposed constitutional reforms, though it had no qualms then in threatening the victors.
The late president called the results of the referendum a ''shitty victory'' for his opponents. Indeed months later, backed by the exceptional powers that parliament had given him - an Enabling Act - he instituted everything Venezuelans had rejected in their vote. Is the popular uprising now spreading in Caracas the end of this reign? It is still too early to say.
Chavez, his followers and the whole Chavista movement, have played with democracy in the most cavalier, shameless manner. They have falsified elections to the point of turning them into harmless, useless formalities. They have resorted to the praetorian methods characteristic of fascist regimes, using paramilitaries to shoot and kill and spread fear among opponents; or like comunists, conquering power and perpetuating themselves as they dismantle institutions of state.
In the process of humiliating and destroying democracy, the Chavistas have enjoyed formidable tools and circumstances. Firstly they redefined the ideas of their 19th century idol Simón Bolívar, who apparently is but a step away from becoming a socialist or Marxist.
The Bolivarian discourse has become an umbrella to justify the ''feats'' meant to attract the unwary inside and abroad. The oil on which the country is literally afloat has become an instrument of diplomatic blackmail: Back me if you want your free oil!
Given away at the cost of domestic impoverishment, it has helped make the ''Bolivarian ideal'' and its pseudo-socialist experimentation dominant in regional bodies like the Organization of American States (OAS), and in such proliferating bureaucratic institutions as the Bolivarian Alliance ALBA, the Community of Latin American States and the trading union UNASUR.
The evident results: The OAS has confirmed all elections, and no country speaks out against the blatant and considerable strikes against liberties and democracy in Venezuela. They have repositioned Cuba as a champion of democracy and freedom, revived the Cuban dictatorship and handed Venezuelan sovereignty to the Castros who now give instructions on what is to be done in Venezuela.
Allies further afield include Russia, China and Iran - the anti-American crowd - and support is given to terrorist groups and fanatics roaming the region. The country has become a shelter for terrorist chieftains of the FARC and ELN. The Chavista discourse - from Chavez to his handpicked successor President Nicolas Maduro - is punctuated, even embodied, by the kind of cheap talk that would silence critics by bombarding them with insults and calumny.
The regime has flexed its crass muscles by sweeping away private enterprise; Venezuela is practically a country without businessmen now. Likewise with the media, the order of the day is to shut down, revoke licences and close channels. The papers have nothing to print on.
One broadcaster was squashed financially during the last presidential elections while the latest attack has targeted another dissenting medium, the broadcaster NTN24. While there may be shortages in the supermarkets, there is none when it comes to using violence against ''enemies,'' through counter-demonstrations, shootings and beatings meted out by the regime's plain-clothes agents.
The message is clear: They will do all that's necessary to retain power. If they are prepared to beat legislators inside parliament, what else would they do in the future? The masks, it seems, are slowly coming off. And we finally have the accusations against actors abroad - presidents in Washington and Bogota and the Colombian paramilitaries said to be fomenting street protests, just like the Castro regime that likes to blame the United States for the failure of its supposedly superior economic system.
Removing a dictatorship is no easy task, and the opposition coalition must make choices: continue with protests to force a presidential resignation, urge the world to pay attention or wait for more support from a public kept quiet by gifts and subsidies. Whatever path they choose, opponents must understand that nothing can succeed without unity among them. (Credit Image: © Boris Vergara/Xinhua/ZUMAPRESS.com)
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