Venezuela and Colombia agree on gradual normalization of border
President of Ecuador Rafael Correa read a joint statement agreed between Caracas and Bogotá consisting of seven key points, highlighted Venezuelan state news agency AVN.
President of Venezuela Nicolás Maduro and his Colombian counterpart Juan Manuel Santos, after holding a meeting at the Carondelet Palace, the seat of the Ecuadorian Executive Office, agreed on the return of diplomatic delegations in both countries; an investigation into the situation of the Colombian-Venezuelan border; and immediate meetings of ministers to address sensitive issues for both countries.
“This meeting will continue on Wednesday, September 23 in Caracas,” said Correa.
He also said that Venezuela and Colombia agreed to encourage gradual normalization of the border; promote coexistence of the economic, political and social models of each country; advocate the spirit of brotherhood and unity; foster a climate of mutual respect and coexistence; and continue working with the support of Ecuador and Uruguay.
Trinidad and Tobago murder count reaches 317
Khadeem Blake and Shawn Joseph, both of Morvant, were killed around the same time but in separate locations.
Police received both reports at around 7.30 a.m.
Blake was gunned down at a Unipet Service Station at the corner of Morvant Old and Eastern Main Roads.
He was standing in front of his vehicle when gunshots rang out. Blake died at the scene.
And Joseph, a construction worker, of Paradise Heights, was shot dead near a bar called The Perfect Hideout.
Police said Joseph was walking on the road near the bar when a gunman shot him at close range.
He succumbed to his wounds at hospital. The killings took the murder toll to 317.
Politician jailed in Brazil
[BBC] – The former treasurer of Brazil’s governing Workers’ Party, Joao Vaccari Neto, has been sentenced to 15 years and four months in jail for corruption and money laundering.
He is the closest person yet to President Dilma Rousseff to be sentenced over the case, which has led to calls for her impeachment.
But prosecutors say there is nothing to implicate her directly.
A former director of the state oil giant Petrobras was also sentenced.
Renato Duque, the former director of services at Petrobras, got 20 years and eight months.
Vaccari and Duque deny the charges. They are expected to appeal.
These are the longest and the most significant sentences yet in a corruption scandal that is undermining the stability and authority of President Rousseff’s government, says the BBC’s Wyre Davies in Rio de Janeiro.
Government supporters accuse conservative politicians and businessmen of attempting to associate the corruption at Petrobras with the Workers Party in order to topple her left-wing government.
Pope urges ‘revolution of tenderness’ for Cubans
[BBC] – Pope Francis has called on Cubans to live a “revolution of tenderness”, in the final Mass of his four-day visit to the island.
He was celebrating Mass at Cuba’s holiest shrine, the sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of El Cobre.
Later on Tuesday he left for the United States, where he will address both houses of Congress.
The BBC’s Will Grant in Cuba says the Pope has avoided any overt political statements during his visit.
Commentators say he is expected to be more outspoken while in the US.
In Washington DC he will hold the first-ever canonisation mass on US soil and then give the first address to Congress by a pope.
He will then head to New York City for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly.
The final leg of Pope Francis’ US tour is Philadelphia where the pontiff will preside over the Vatican’s World Meeting of Families.
It is being billed as one of the largest events in the city in modern times and could attract up to a million and half people.