VENEZUELA

Opposition has gained supermajority in assembly

Electoral authorities in Venezuela say the opposition coalition won a key two-thirds majority in the National Assembly in legislative voting.

The National Electoral Council has published on its website the final tally of results from Sunday's elections showing that two previously undecided races had broken in favor of the opposition, giving them 112 out of 167 seats in the incoming National Assembly. The ruling socialist party and its allies got 55 seats.

The supermajority gives the opposition a strong hand in trying to wrest power from President Nicolas Maduro after 17 years of socialist rule.

It now has the potential votes to sack Supreme Court justices, initiate a referendum to revoke Maduro's mandate, and even convoke an assembly to rewrite Hugo Chavez's 1999 constitution.

Maduro, meanwhile, remained defiant in a speech late Monday night.

"A fight is coming, a good fight that we're sure will result in new victories for the revolution," he said. - AP, Bloomberg
CUBA

Talks over seized assets

U.S. and Cuban officials met in Havana on Tuesday to begin negotiating a possible settlement for $1.9 billion worth of American assets seized by Fidel Castro's government in the early 1960s, as well as other claims built up over years of strained relations. A settlement would be especially significant because it would address the chain of events that led to the U.S. trade embargo, which by law cannot be lifted until the claims are resolved. - Washington Post
ISRAEL

Palestinian gets prison

An Israeli military court has sentenced a female Palestinian lawmaker to 15 months in prison after convicting her of belonging to an illegal organization and incitement, the army announced Tuesday, drawing angry denunciations from Palestinian leaders in the West Bank. The sentencing of Khalida Jarrar culminated a case that has attracted widespread attention. Jarrar is a popular figure in the West Bank and well known for her fiery speeches against Israel. Jarrar, who is in her early 50s and has two grown daughters, was arrested in April in a raid on her home. - AP