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News of the day from across the globe, Aug. 11

Venezuela’s government continued to crack down on opponents with an order to arrest a fifth opposition mayor who has been promoting protests against President Nicolas Maduro. A small group of youth, some of them masked, set up barricades of strewn metal objects in the eastern Caracas district of El Hatillo on Thursday to protest the previous day’s supreme court decision to order Mayor David Smolansky imprisoned for 15 months for not obeying orders to shut down the protests. Syrian government forces and their allies captured a key area along the border with Jordan on Thursday in their latest push against insurgents groups there. Syrian state media said the capture closes major smuggling points used by rebels to bring in weapons and fighters from Jordan into the war-torn country. Human rights groups expressed concern Thursday over the Maldives government’s purported plan to carry out its first execution in 60 years. Seven groups, including Amnesty International, Anti-Death Penalty Asia Network and Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development, said in an open letter to President Yameen Abdul Gayoom that they have seen credible reports that the convictions have been secured through forced confessions and other due process violations. An Iranian blogger who wrote for an Israeli news website and who left her country for exile after threats of imprisonment arrived in Israel on Thursday, saying she feels “safe now” after finally reaching the Jewish state. An official Chinese news agency says at least 36 people were killed and 13 others injured in a crash on an expressway in the country’s northwest.

Article by Chronicle news services (c) Page One News - Read full story here.