Nicolas Maduro Wins Venezuela Presidential Elections

 President Nicolas Maduro won the Venezuelan presidential elections Sunday, gaining a second presidential term for six years with more than 5.8 million votes, the National Electoral Council (CNE) announced Sunday night, according to Telesur.

With 92.6 percent of the votes counted, Maduro had 5.8 million votes, while his closest rival, former governor Henri Falcón getting 1.8 million votes, said CNE President Tibisay Lucena who added that in total, 8.6 million Venezuelans voted, out of an electoral registry of 20.5 million people.

Russia Unveils World’s First Floating Nuclear Power Station

Russia on Saturday unveiled the world's first floating nuclear power station at a ceremony in the port of the far northern city of Murmansk where it will be loaded with nuclear fuel before heading to eastern Siberia.

Built in Saint Petersburg, the Akademik Lomonosov arrived in Murmansk on Thursday where it was moored in the port and presented to the media on Saturday.

Constructed by the state nuclear power firm Rosatom, the 144 by 30 meter (472 by 98 foot) ship holds two reactors with two 35 megawatt nuclear reactors that are similar to those used to power icebreaker ships.

Putin: Joint Efforts Must Be Exerted to Push ahead with Political Settlement in Syria

MOSCOW-Russian President Vladimir Putin said it is important to exert joint efforts for pushing ahead with the political settlement to the crisis in Syria.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Friday with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Moscow, Putin said that the joint efforts must be exerted in the framework of the political tracks of Geneva and Astana peace process, SANA reported.

 “Despite intricate external political circumstances and sticking points over several foreign files, Russia and Germany consider that it is important and useful to maintain periodical contacts between the two sides,” he said.

Cuban Passenger Jet Crashes at Havana International Airport

MOSCOW- A Cubana de Aviacion passenger jet crashed while taking off from Havana’s Jose Marti international airport, CNN reported on Friday, according to Tass.

According to France Presse, there were 104 passengers aboard the plane.

Cuba’s Granma newspaper reported that four passengers had survived the crash.

They were taken to hospital in critical condition, according to the newspaper.

Russia Expects Foreign Troops to Be Withdrawn from Syria- Kremlin

SOCHI- Russia hopes foreign armed forces deployed to Syria in violation of international law will be withdrawn from that country, Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, according to Itar Tass.

At a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Sochi on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed the hope that in connection with the Syrian army’s achievements in the fight against terrorism and the beginning of a more active phase of the political process "foreign armed forces will be withdrawn from the Syrian Arab Republic." Answering reporters’ questions on which countries were meant and whether Iran was among them, the Kremlin spokesman recalled that some countries kept their soldiers and officers on Syrian soil "in a de facto illegitimate regime from the perspective of international law."

EU to Block US Sanctions on Iran to Protect European Firms

US President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran has raised serious concerns and worries among America’s European allies.

In a clear response to the US move, EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker has announced that the bloc plans to apply a 1996 law that would prohibit European companies from complying with any sanctions the US will reintroduce against Tehran, Deutsche Welle reported.

Iran Calls on OIC to Address US Embassy Move Fallout

Iran called for investigation into the consequences of the US embassy relocation by a fact-finding committee.

Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Gholam hossein Dehqani in the meeting of senior experts of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Thursday evening also said, 'The Islamic Republic of Iran calls for assignment of a fact-finding committee to address the recent crimes committed by the Zionist regime of Israel in the occupied territories.'

UK's Shadow Cabinet Rejects Presence of any British Forces in Syria

LONDON (ST)-UK's Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry announced the Shadow Cabinet's rejection of the presence of any British forces on the Syrian territories.

In an interview with the UK's "Prospect" magazine, Thornberry said the foreign troops, including the British forces, who are present in Syria, should leave Syria, because these troops "are not fighting for the sake of the Syrian people. Any of them."

She added that "there is nothing called revolution taking place in Syria," urging the government of Teresa May to support the results of the Syrian National Dialogue Congress held in the Russian city of Sochi.