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29 countries including Britain and US urge Venezuela to release political prisoners

Venezuela to engage in a national dialogue with the opposition to preserve peace and security, and to release political prisoners

Opposition supporters take part in a rally to demand a referendum to remove Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro, in Caracas, Venezuela, Sept.16, 2016. Twenty-nine nations called on Venezuela to launch a national dialogue to preserve peace and security.

Geneva, October 1, 2016: Paraguay led nearly 30 countries Thursday in calling on Venezuela to engage in a national dialogue with the opposition to preserve peace and security, and to release political prisoners.
Oscar Cabello Sarubbi, Paraguay’s vice minister of foreign affairs, read the statement on behalf of 29 countries, including Britain and the United States, at the U.N. Human Rights Council.

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It drew a rebuke by Venezuela and its allies, including Cuba and Syria, at the Geneva forum.
The joint statement urged all parties in Venezuela to hold a timely and effective dialogue “to preserve peace and safety, to ensure the full respect of human rights, due process, the separation of powers and the consolidation of a representative democracy.”

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The government of President Nicolas Maduro is struggling under an unraveling socialist economic system that suffers from triple-digit inflation, extensive shortages of staple products, and food riots. He says the OPEC-member country is a victim of an economic war backed by the United States and the Venezuelan political elite.

Venezuela’s opposition has called for rallies nationwide on October 12 to push for a recall of Maduro this year, as it seeks to oust his Socialist Party in an early presidential election.
U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, in an opening speech to the forum September 13, highlighted “allegations of repression of opposition voices, arbitrary arrests and excessive use of force against peaceful protests” in Venezuela, as well as “increasingly widespread hunger and sharply deteriorating health care.”

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The Paraguay-led statement said it shared Zeid’s concerns about repression and called for “the early release of persons arrested for political reasons” including opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, whose wife Lilian Tintori brought his case to Zeid two years ago.(VOA)

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?