Venezuela’s pro-government supreme court has ordered the removal and imprisonment of a Caracas area mayor at the center of protests against President Nicolas Maduro. The court has sentenced Ramon Muchacho to 15 months in prison for not following an order to remove barricades set up by anti-government prostesters in the Chacao district of eastern Caracas. Muchacho’s whereabouts were not immediately known, but he denounced the ruling on Twitter, saying that “all of the weight of the revolutionary injustice has fallen on my shoulders” for doing his job to guarantee the constitutional right to protest. Relatively wealthy Chacao was the center of the most intense clashes between protesters and national security forces that have left at least 120 dead and hundreds injured over the past four months.
Iran: President ousts Rev. Guard from defense ministry
After decisively winning re-election almost three months ago, Iran’s president yesterday proposed a new Cabinet for his second term that cuts out the hard-line Revolutionary Guard from controlling the Defense Ministry for the first time in nearly 25 years. However, Hassan Rouhani’s Cabinet for now also fails to include women and his pick for the Justice Ministry is on a European Union sanctions list over human rights abuse allegations. The Cabinet selection shows Rouhani, a cleric whose stances are moderate compared to others in the Islamic Republic, remains pragmatic about how far he can push his administration that is under the ultimate control of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
US-Canada: Alaska tribes seek talks on mining
A group of 16 southeast Alaska tribes have banned together in an attempt to secure a stronger voice in inter-governmental talks about a series of large Canadian mining projects. The Juneau Empire reported that the tribes are eyeing a seat at the table with Canada, having hired a full-time coordinator. Tis Peterman is the United Tribal Transboundary Mining Work Group first full-time employee. He will work out of Wrangell and is working on a Memorandum of Understanding, which would give the tribes a position alongside the state of Alaska and British Columbia in meetings about the controversial mining projects. The at-question mining projects fall on shared waters, including operations upriver from salmon habitat on the Stikine, Unuk and Taku River watersheds.