Venezuela's Constituent Assembly assumes new powers

Venezuelan military receives President's order to prepare for US invasion

Venezuelan military receives President's order to prepare for US invasion

In the event, she accused Maduro of removing her to try and thwart a probe linking the president and his inner circle to the nearly $100 million in bribes that Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht admitted to paying to Venezuelan officials in exchange for contracts.

The constituent assembly was elected in late July to re-write the constitution, which the unpopular Maduro billed as the only solution to bring about peace after more than four months of deadly opposition protests.

Colombia's Radio Caracol reported Friday that the couple had exited via Brazil and had arrived in Mexico, where Ortega was set to hold a conference call with a group of top prosecutors from across Latin America.

The 59-year-old told Reuters in an interview this month that she feared the government would "deprive me of my life". In retaliation, she was removed from office by the constitutional assembly, barred from leaving the country and went into hiding after an arrest order was issued for her husband for allegedly running an extortion ring out of the prosecutor's office.

Odebrecht officials have admitted to paying around £77 million in bribes to Venezuelan officials in exchange for contacts. Washington has said it will consider sanctions against anyone who participates in the constituent assembly.

Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress on Saturday rejected a government bid to usurp many of its powers, vowing to continue its legislative agenda and denouncing the move against it as a power grab by President Nicolas Maduro. The Socialist-dominated Supreme Court has stripped power from congress and shot down almost every law it has approved since it was taken over by the opposition in 2016.

Police Officers Shot Dead in Florida
In a separate incident in Jacksonville, Florida, two officers were reported shot by the department's Twitter account . One trooper was life-flighted to Morgantown Hospital and the second was taken by ambulance to Uniontown Hospital.

Maduro and his allies have frequently lashed out against Ortega, accusing her of being part of an opposition effort to overthrow Maduro.

Lawmakers and several foreign governments decried the move as an attempt to dissolve congress, although Maduro's supporters insist lawmakers can continue to meet and have appealed for an agreement so the two bodies can coexist. The decision was later reversed amid widespread global criticism, but sparked a protest movement that has left more than 120 dead.

The Geneva-based International Commission of Jurists said in a report on Wednesday that Ortega's dismissal "removes one of the last remaining institutional checks on executive authority".

Ortega said publicly that her family had been threatened, but also vowed to defend Venezuela's constitution "with my last breath".

The National Election Council's president, Tibisay Lucena, announced that both the ruling and opposition parties have registered more than 200 candidates for the upcoming elections.

"We will not appear before the fraudulent Constituent Assembly", they said in an open letter published in local media.

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