South America is where we start today's international events coverage.I'm Carl Azuz. Thanks for watching.
Extreme inflation, when prices rocket higher and money buys less, increasing violent crime, empty grocery store shelves, people unable to shampoo, salt, medicine, underwear.These are some of the problems facing the nation of Venezuela.Factor in power shortages, blackouts by the government and a rapidly shrinking economy, and protests are growing, with demonstrators demanding that President Nicolas Maduro be recalled.He still has some supporters and President Maduro recently declared a constitutional state of the emergency, a decree that will give him more powers over Venezuela's economy and authority to overcome what he called foreign aggressions against the country.What caused all this?
Well, the Venezuelan government seized or took over many of the country's industries in recent years.The economy is very dependent on oil sales and for a while, the government used some of those sales to fund its social programs, aid for schools, child care, sanitation.But when global oil prices started dropping in 2014, so did Venezuela's economy.And some analysts say this could lead to the end of Maduro's presidency.
From South America, we're taking you to the Middle East now, to a region called the West Bank.It's an area of about 2,100 miles located along the west bank of the Jordan River.There's a cluster of churches there that have stood empty since 1967.The reason, they're surrounded by minefields, dating back to the war that year-but an organization is working to clear them out.
The signs around us warn of danger in three languages.Here, only the road is safe.Beyond the barbed wire, nearly 5,000 explosive mines covering one square kilometer.In this particular area, we're not looking to find an anti-personnel mine.