Dhaka Courier

One of every three people in Venezuela

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One of every three people in Venezuela is struggling to put enough food on the table to meet minimum nutrition requirements as the nation’s severe economic contraction and political upheaval persists, according to a study published by the U.N. World Food Program. A nationwide survey based on data from 8,375 questionnaires reveals a startling picture of the large number of Venezuelans surviving off a diet consisting largely of tubers and beans as hyperinflation renders many salaries worthless.

A total of 9.3 million people – roughly one-third of the population – are moderately or severely food insecure, said the World Food Program’s study, which was conducted at the invitation of the Venezuelan government. Food insecurity is defined as an individual being unable to meet basic dietary needs. The study describes food insecurity as a nationwide concern, though certain states like Delta Amacuro, Amazonas and Falcon had especially high levels. Even in more prosperous regions, one in five people are estimated to be food insecure.

 

Prioritizing pageantry over policy, President Donald Trump basked in India’s welcoming embrace on a day that featured a mega-rally with cheering crowds, a mutual admiration show with his counterpart and a sunset tour of the famed Taj Mahal. Trump used Day One of his whirlwind 36-hour visit to India to reaffirm close ties with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and tease progress on a trade deal down the road. But the day was largely devoted to a trio of enviable photo-ops: the largest rally of Trump’s presidency sandwiched between visits to a former home of independence leader Mohandas Gandhi and the Taj Mahal.

In his first hours on the subcontinent, Trump received the adulatory reception that has eluded him on many foreign trips. More than 100,000 people packed the world’s largest cricket stadium, nearly all of them wearing white caps with the name of the event, “Namaste, Trump.”

 

Malaysia’s king accepted Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s shocking resignation but reappointed him as interim leader following the collapse of the ruling alliance in a major political upheaval less than two years after its historic election victory. The stunning turn of events come amid plans by Mahathir’s supporters in his Bersatu party to team up with opposition parties to form a new government and thwart the transition of power to his named successor, Anwar Ibrahim.

Minutes before Mahathir tendered his resignation to the palace, Bersatu said it would leave the four-party Alliance of Hope and support Mahathir as prime minister. Eleven other lawmakers, including several Cabinet ministers, announced they were quitting Anwar’s party to form an independent bloc. The withdrawal of more than three dozen lawmakers means the ruling alliance has lost its majority in Parliament.

 

NASA’s newest Mars lander confirmed that quakes and even aftershocks are regularly jolting the red planet. Scientists reported this week that the seismometer from the InSight spacecraft has detected scores of marsquakes. A series of research papers focus on the 174 marsquakes noted through last September. Twenty-four were relatively strong — magnitude 3 to 4 — and apparently stemmed from distant underground triggers. The rest were smaller, with uncertain magnitude and origin. Even the stronger quakes would not have posed a hazard to anybody on the planet’s surface, researchers said in a press conference.

The overall tally has since jumped to more than 450 marsquakes, most of them small, InSight’s lead scientist, Bruce Banerdt of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in an email. The basic cause of Martian quakes is a long-term cooling of the planet, which makes it contract, fracturing its brittle outer layers, Banerdt told reporters.

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