CUBAN DIPLOMATS LEAVING U.S. POSTS
HAVANA» The public face of Cuba’s diplomatic opening with the United States is leaving her post to become ambassador to Canada, officials said Sunday. Josefina Vidal was sworn in to her new role at a ceremony presided over by President Raul Castro. Officials said Vidal’s deputy Gustavo Machin would also leave the division of U.S. affairs to become ambassador to Spain.
In a government renowned for its opacity, Vidal and Machin were given unusual rein to talk publicly about Cuba’s relations with Washington. They offered regular briefings to journalists about the state of diplomatic ties, which were re-established two years ago. Under their watch, the Cuban government often spoke more openly than the U.S. administration about the state of bilateral relations.
Kushner to face both intelligence committees this week.
WASHINGTON» Congressional investigators will question senior White House adviser Jared Kushner on Monday, as the multiple probes into contacts between Russia and the Trump campaign intensify and focus more directly on those closest to the president. Kushner is scheduled to meet behind closed doors with the Senate Intelligence Committee on Monday, then be questioned — again in private — by the House Intelligence Committee the following day.
Poles protest for eighth day over contentious judicial changes.
Poles protested in cities and towns across Poland for the eighth day Sunday over new rules passed by the ruling party that would drastically limit the independence of the judiciary.
Protesters see moves by the governing Law and Justice party as an assault on the country’s democratic system of checks and balances, accusing party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski of behaving in an authoritarian way to cement his power.
People waved flags of the European Union and Poland as they gathered in the evening in front of the presidential palace and the Supreme Court in Warsaw. They called on President Andrzej Duda to veto three contentious bills that would put the Supreme Court and other areas of the judiciary under the party’s control.
Venezuelan opposition calls 48-hour strike this week.
Venezuela’s opposition party is calling for a 48-hour general strike in Caracas on Wednesday and Thursday in a continuation of protests over President Nicolas Maduro’s plan to elect a new assembly next weekend and rewrite the country’s constitution.
Deputy Simon Calzadilla, speaking for Unidad Democratica, urged Venezuelans to go to their electoral centers at 10 a.m. Monday to place banners and protest signs that say “in my voting place there won’t be constituent assembly.”
With the oil-exporting economy already in a tailspin, investors say some sort of ban on crude exports from Venezuela may force the country into default on its debt.
Alcohol poisoning kills three, hospitalizes 48 in southern Iran.
Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported that alcohol poisoning has killed three and left nearly 50 people hospitalized in southern Iran.
Authorities are trying to identify and arrest the distributors of the alcoholic beverage in the southern Kerman province. Drinking alcohol is illegal and considered sinful under Islamic law in Iran. However, homemade brews tend to be available for cheap on the black market.
“Wonder Woman” sequel gets a title.
DIEGO» Wonder Woman has a few SAN reasons to celebrate. As of Sunday, the superhero pic is now the highest-grossing film of the summer, with $398 million from North American theaters, and the sequel is official. Warner Bros. is not saying much about the inevitable followup to the smash hit, but the studio did flash a title card with the words “Wonder Woman II” during its Comic-Con presentation Saturday.
Victory for “Dunkirk” and “Girls Trip” at the box office.
It was victory for “Dunkirk” and “Girls Trip” at the box office during the weekend. Both original and well-reviewed films smashed expectations and enticed diverse audiences to the theaters.
Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic brought in an estimated $50.5 million to top the charts, according to Warner Bros., while the comedy “Girls Trip” broke the R-rated comedy slump of 2017 with $30.4 million to take second place. “Dunkirk” was far from an inevitable summer success.
But stellar reviews, awards buzz and hype around the film’s large-scale production helped drive people to the theater and large-format screens.