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Venezuelan leader, barred from US summit, arrives in Turkey

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Venezuelan leader, barred from US summit, arrives in Turkey

ISTANBUL (AP) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro was welcomed in the Turkish capital on Wednesday just as the foreign minister of Russia, a key ally of the ostracized Latin American regime, was also visiting the city.

Maduro is on a Eurasian tour after being rebuffed by Washington, which decided not to invite him to the Summit of the Americas.

Turkey is one of a handful of places around the world – Russia and Iran are other friendly states – where Maduro is welcome amid U.S. sanctions on his country.

Similarly, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also faces travel restrictions due to his country’s war on Ukraine.

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Lavrov arrived in Turkey, which like Russia borders the Black Sea, two days after NATO members Bulgaria, North Macedonia and Montenegro reportedly refused to allow his plane to fly through their airspace to reach Serbia.

His official duties in Ankara – a meeting with his Turkish counterpart – took place at President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s palace just hours before Maduro arrived at the same venue.

There was no official word on whether the two men met.

Turkey and Venezuela have deepened their ties in recent years, with trade rising to nearly $850 million, according to Erdogan. Venezuela’s gold trade with Turkey has risen as U.S. sanctions have cut off other sources of income for Caracas.

Erdogan told a news conference with Maduro that Turkey was against the “one-sided” sanctions on Venezuela. “We will always stand with the friendly and brotherly people of Venezuela,” he said, adding that he hoped to visit Caracas next month.

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Manduro thanked Turkey for its support during the COVID-19 pandemic and said the two countries had signed three agreements on banking, agriculture and tourism.

Earlier, Maduro laid a wreath at the tomb of Turkey’s founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk before traveling to the palace, arriving in a limousine escorted by ceremonial cavalry.

Erdogan was the first Turkish president to visit Venezuela in 2018 while Maduro has traveled to Turkey on several occasions.

During one such stopover Maduro and his wife were criticized for dining in the expensive Salt Bae steak restaurant while many Venezuelans were struggling with poverty.

The Summit of the Americas meeting of regional leaders in Los Angeles is taking place June 7-to-10. The governments of Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua have been excluded from it by the United States.

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Mishael Morgan becomes first Black artist to win Best Actress Daytime Emmy

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Mishael Morgan becomes first Black artist to win Best Actress Daytime Emmy

Mishael Morgan becomes first Black artist to win Best Actress Daytime Emmy

Mishael Morgan won the Best Lead Actress Daytime Emmy Award on Friday. Photo courtesy of CBS

June 25 (UPI) — The Young & the Restless star Mishael Morgan became the first Black artist to win a Daytime Emmy Award in the Best Lead Actress category in Pasadena Friday night.

“I was born on a tiny island in the Caribbean, and I’m now standing on an international stage and I am being honored regardless of the color of my skin, regardless of my passport, for being the best at what I do,” Morgan said as she accepted her statuette.

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“Now there are little girls around the world and no matter what the industry, the vocation … they can strive to be the best.”

The actress also thanked viewers for their support since she joined the soap opera in 2013.

“I am so immensely proud of our generation,” she said. “We are breaking glass ceilings left right and center and I am so honored to be a vessel and to experience this moment. Everybody out there today, we can do this thing called equality and unity together.”

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BTS’ ‘Proof’ tops U.S. album chart

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BTS’ ‘Proof’ tops U.S. album chart

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BTS' 'Proof' tops U.S. album chart

BTS’ “Proof” is No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. File Photo by Oliver Contreras/UPI | License Photo

June 25 (UPI) — K-pop group BTS’ Proof is the No. 1 album in the United States this week.

Coming in at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart dated Saturday is Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, followed by Harry Styles’ Harry’s House at No. 3, Post Malone’s Twelve Carat Toothache at No. 4 and Future’s I Never Liked You at No. 5.

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Rounding out the top tier are Morgan Wallen’s Dangerous: The Double Album at No. 6, Kendrick Lamar’s Mr. Morale & The Big Steppers at No. 7, Olivia Rodrigo’s Sour at No. 8, SZA’s Ctrl at No. 9 and Carrie Underwood’s Denim & Rhinestones at No. 10.

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Shooting at Oslo, Norway, gay bar leaves 2 dead

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Shooting at Oslo, Norway, gay bar leaves 2 dead

Shooting at Oslo, Norway, gay bar leaves 2 dead

Police investigate the scene after several shots were fired outside the London Pub in the center of Oslo, Norway, on Saturday. Photo by Javad Parsa/EPA-EFE

June 25 (UPI) — Oslo, Norway, canceled its gay pride parade and raised its terror threat to the highest level Saturday after a shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub left two people dead and 21 injured, authorities said.

The shooting took place at 1:14 a.m. Saturday at the London Pub, a second bar and a fast-food restaurant. Police arrested a suspected gunman who they believe acted alone.

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Of those injured, 10 were in serious condition.

Police haven’t identified the suspected shooter, but described him as being a 42-year-old Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, according to Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten. CNN reported he was “known to police” and had minor previous convictions.

Authorities said they seized two weapons from him upon the arrest.

Roger Berg, the head of Norway’s domestic intelligence and security service, said the shooting was being investigated as an act of “extreme Islamist terror,” according to The Washington Post.

The suspect was being held on charges of murder, attempted murder and terrorism, police official Christian Hatlo said.

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The attack happened hours before the city’s planned gay pride parade. Organizers said pride events scheduled for Saturday have been canceled upon police advice.

Despite the cancellation, thousands of people joined an impromptu parade outside the nightclubs where the shooting took place. Many waved gay pride flags, while others shouted slogans of support for gay rights.

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