August 3, 2017

#StreamUpdate: Venezuela at a breaking point and Palestinian journalists silenced

We revisit two stories our community cares about for the latest.


Venezuela is facing down total economic meltdown and institutional crisis. But President Nicolas Maduro has shown no signs he intends to back down, despite being called a "dictator" and facing increasing isolation from other nations. He has, instead, brushed off US sanctions against him, and in the early hours of Tuesday security forces arrested two prominent opposition leaders, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma.

Their arrest, and the latest spate of violence, comes on the heels of Sunday's vote to create a new super Congress filled with backers of the president that gives him sweeping powers in the increasingly divided country. Maduro hailed the vote a victory. However, there is evidence of result tampering and the opposition has called the whole process fraudulent. Protests have been steady since April and more than 120 people have been killed.

We'll discuss the latest news from this volatile nation.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak to

John Holman @mexicorrespond
Correspondent, Al Jazeera English

George Ciccariello-Maher @ciccmaher
Author, "We Created Chavez"

Emiliana Duarte Otero @emiduarte
Managing editor, Caracas Chronicles

Silencing Palestinian journalists

The Electronic Crime law in the West Bank that passed in June is only the latest in a number of concerns Palestinian journalists have voiced about growing restrictions on their reporting. Originally passed to help fight cybercrime, journalists say it undermines their freedom of expression online and that there are political motives. Fatah and Hamas have been at odds for more than a decade, and attempts to reconcile the two parties so far have failed.

So is freedom of expression the casualty? The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) has documented 134 violations against journalists by the PA and Hamas-run authorities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

We'll take a look at what Palestinian journalists are dealing with and what action media groups are taking to defend them.

On this episode of The Stream, we speak to: 

Ashira Ramadan @ashiraram
Regional researcher, Amnesty International

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.