Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro supports rewriting the national constitution. His proposal would reorganize the existing legislative body and change the election system to “direct and secret vote” by this new body according to Al Jazeera. These changes were announced at a Caracas May Day Celebration. Maduro’s opponents have openly dismissed these proposals, claiming the president could easily manipulate elections with this system. Leonel Alfonso Ferrer, a Venezuelan constitutional attorney, told CNN that “in the short term, nothing changes.”
Tensions in Yemen continue to rise, as Saudi Arabia prepares to attack Hodeida, a key port city. In the ongoing civil war, the Houthi rebel movement has fought against a Saudi-led multinational coalition loyal to the official government of Yemini President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi. Meanwhile, Yemen sits unaided at “the brink of famine, according to The Independent. The U.S. has backed the Saudis in the conflict, however, bipartisan legislation is attempting to convince Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to reconsider the American military’s position.
In the midst of rising tensions with North Korea, the U.S. is reportedly considering options at the U.N. to increase pressure on the country. At a council meeting last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on all countries to downgrade or sever diplomatic relations with North Korea and impose targeted sanctions on entities and individuals supporting its missile and nuclear program, according to News Asia. North Korea has threated the U.S. and other nations with its nuclear weapons program and missile testing.
The Trump administration has recently described trade issues between Canada and the U.S. as a “disgrace,” citing softwood lumber industry and dairy protections as the primary reason. Canada recently lowered prices on both commodities, allegedly competing directly with U.S. goods. In retaliation, the administration announced a 20 percent tariff on the two products, with several discussing the whole issue as a misunderstanding. In 2016, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. had a $11.2 billion trade deficit with Canada.
Turkey detained over 200 individuals following a confrontation between May Day protesters and police. Authorities fired rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd and reportedly seized Molotov cocktails, hand grenades and fireworks. The rally was a response to last month’s controversial referendum, which gave President Recep Erdogan more constitutional power. The state has cracked down on free speech, jailed 120 journalists and banned access to Wikipedia, several television programs and over 150 news outlets since July.