By Daniel Wallis and Deisy Buitrago CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Tuesday he had proof that a massive power outage was caused by saboteurs aiming to throw the country into chaos before municipal elections this weekend. The blackout on Monday night was the second major power outage the year, plunging much of the country into darkness and prompting accusations of government incompetence from the opposition. Speaking on state TV alongside Electricity Minister Jesse Chacon and other officials, Maduro briefly showed a photo of what appeared to be a cut conductor cable lying on the floor. "What motive could there be for leaving a whole country without electricity?" he said, adding that Chacon had brought him the evidence and more details would be unveiled on Wednesday. "We always face these attacks by the right-wing fascists ... they wanted to make me, as president of the republic, decree a state of emergency and suspend the elections." Critics of the government say lack of maintenance was likely to blame for the outage. Maduro said power had been restored in record time and praised the workers involved. "Whoever made this criminal attack wanted to leave our Venezuela without electricity for 24 to 48 hours ... thinking that would convince people not to continue with the revolution." Maduro's combative rhetoric echoed his allegations in September, when he also accused the opposition of sabotaging the national grid to discredit him after a blackout that was one of the worst in the OPEC nation's history. Venezuela has experienced periodic power cuts since 2009, although the capital, Caracas, had been spared the worst of the outages, but it was hit by Monday night's blackout, which cut electricity across about half the country. Nationwide municipal elections on Sunday are seen as a test of Maduro's political strength after he narrowly won the presidency in April to replace his late mentor, Hugo Chavez. Since coming to power, Maduro has accused the opposition of plotting to assassinate him, and more recently of trying to undermine his government and wreck the economy through price-gouging and the hoarding of consumer goods. Critics say the electricity problems symbolize the failure of 15 years of socialist rule in Venezuela, a country of 29 million people with the biggest oil reserves in the world. (Reporting by Daniel Wallis and Deisy Buitrago; editing by Christopher Wilson)
- The Daily Beast
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty ImagesPolice and medical personnel were called to the Texas home of Sen. Ted Cruz Tuesday night after reports of a 14-year-old girl at the property suffering from self-inflicted stab wounds to her arms.The teen was taken to the hospital shortly after. It’s unclear who the girl was—though Cruz does have two daughters: Catherine, 11, and Caroline, 14.In a response to The Daily Beast, a representative for his office said: “This is a family matter, and thankf
- The Hill
Police are warning the public as a spike in violent "bank jugging" robberies is on the rise across Southern California, especially during the holidays.
Kirstie Alley Only ‘Recently Discovered’ Her Cancer Before She Died—Here’s the Form She Was Diagnosed With
Her friend and co-star John Travolta called her one of the "most special relationships I’ve ever had."
Herschel Walker's son says Trump called his father for months demanding that he run, while 'everyone with a brain' begged him not to
Herschel Walker was dogged during his Georgia Senate campaign by allegations including that he paid for women to have abortions.
- Fox News
People's Choice Awards: Shania Twain and Olivia Wilde go sheer on red carpet ahead of music icon's honors
Shania Twain, Olivia Wilde and Heidi Klum walked the red carpet where Lizzo and Ryan Reynolds were to be honored at 48th People's Choice Awards hosted by Kenan Thompson.
- Town & Country
The Princess of Wales paired the red dress with the Lotus Flower Tiara and Queen Elizabeth's diamond earrings for Tuesday night's reception at Buckingham Palace. See the look.
- LA Times
Five women, including two "Cosby Show" actors, have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against disgraced comedian Bill Cosby, NBC and TV companies.
UK says attacks on Russian bomber bases could be 'most strategically significant' force protection failure of the Ukraine war
The deadly drone attacks on the air bases housing strategic bombers occurred hundreds of miles into Russia territory, far from the front lines.
People are getting sick with mystery illnesses and testing negative for COVID, RSV, and flu. Here's why.
There are plenty of viral illnesses floating around this holiday season. Experts stress testing is key because it can lead to swift treatment.
Stuart Varney, once a loyal defender of the former president, criticized Trump on multiple fronts.
Princess Diana’s Former Butler Has a Harsh Suggestion for How Meghan Markle & Prince Harry Should Be Punished Over Bombshell Docuseries
Royalists are foaming at the mouth just waiting for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Netflix docuseries to premiere. They are ready to criticize the Sussexes at every turn, but Princess Diana’s former butler Paul Burrell wants to be heard ahead of the drama. He went to the thorn in the Sussexes’ side, Piers Morgan, to […]
Two entities under The Trump Organization’s umbrella have been convicted of criminal tax fraud. It’s a first for Donald Trump’s company, set to tarnish the former president’s brand of successful businessman.
It's Dior, darlings.
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How Kate Middleton and Prince William Broke Their Social Media Silence After the 'Harry & Meghan' Trailer Release
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The pink-haired Canadian country superstar performed a medley of hits plus her new single "Waking While Dreaming" & accepts the Music Icon award.
- The State
Sanders, an NFL legend, accepted Colorado’s head coaching job last weekend. Now he’s trying to flip the Tigers’ top 2023 recruit.
Kate Middleton announced a Christmas special going down on the exact same day as Meghan and Harry's Netflix docuseries drop.
- The New Voice of Ukraine
Ukraine has no limitation on the distance of its strikes on targets in Russian territory, a Ukrainian government defence adviser told the Financial Times newspaper in a report published on Dec. 7.
- Cowboys Wire
A former second-round draft pick will bolster the CB corps; what now after the Cowboys leaked their concerns about Beckham's knee? | From @ToddBrock24f7