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Best Places To Live In The U.S.

Here are the best places to live in U.S.

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Americans say Austin, Texas, is the best place to live in the US. (Wikimedia Commons)
Americans say Austin, Texas, is the best place to live in the US. (Wikimedia Commons) VOA

Americans say Austin, Texas, is the best place to live in the United States, according to an annual survey done by U.S. News & World Report.

For the second year in a row, Austin came out on top among the 125 largest metropolitan areas. The 2018 survey measures a city’s affordability, employment market and quality of life.

Behind Austin are Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, and Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Colorado Springs was named second best place to live in the US. (Wikipedia)
Colorado Springs was named second best place to live in the US. (Wikipedia) VOA

Rounding out the top 10 are Portland, Oregon, Huntsville, Alabama, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Seattle, Washington.

“When deciding on a place to settle down, it’s important to understand that where a person lives can impact their well-being,” said Kim Castro, executive editor at U.S. News.

“U.S. News created the Best Places to Live to highlight areas across the country that have the characteristics residents are looking for, including steady job growth and affordability. The top-ranked places are areas where citizens can feel the most fulfilled socially, physically and financially.”

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Some of the biggest movers included Colorado Springs, which moved from the 11th spot last year to No. 2. U.S. News chalks that up to “a booming job market and high quality of life.”

Huntsville is a first-time top 10 city, and the survey found that it offers “residents in the science, technology, engineering and math fields employment opportunities, while also holding the highest value score out of all places on this year’s list.”

According to a U.S. News spokesperson, it’s hard to tell the benefits a city might receive after appearing on the list.

Denver, Colorado, was named the third best place to live in the US. (Denver.org)
Denver, Colorado, was named the third best place to live in the US. (Denver.org) VOA

“Best Places to Live is only in its third year, so it’s too soon to tell whether any single event, ranking or company has had a major impact on any one place in such a short period of time,” said Anna Beth Jager in an email. “Because local economies, housing markets and quality of life are less likely to see drastic change so immediately, we’re expecting to see shifts — whether as a direct result of the Best Places to Live ranking or other factors — take place more gradually.”

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Some Austin residents took to social media with their thoughts on the city being named best place to live. One common point of view was to cheer the results, but also to tell people not to move there, as many fear a large influx of newcomers will change a city that residents celebrate for being “weird.”

In fact, the unofficial motto of Austin is “Keep Austin Weird.”  VOA

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Vice President Mike Pence Claims, United States “Will Not Tolerate” Detention of Roberto Marrero of Venezuela

A collapse in world energy prices, corruption and failed socialist policies have destroyed oil-rich Venezuela's economy.

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence speaks to the media at the White House in Washington, Jan. 9, 2019. VOA

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence has said the United States “will not tolerate” the continued detention of Roberto Marrero, chief of staff of Venezuela opposition leader Juan Guaido.

Marrero was arrested Thursday during a pre-dawn raid on his home. Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol explained the arrest, saying a “large number of weapons” were found in Marrero’s house.

Pence made the statement in an op-ed piece for the Miami Herald Friday. He warned that the United States would not tolerate Marrero’s detention or intimidation of the Guaido government, which the U.S. recognizes as the legitimate government of Venezuela.

Personal belongings are seen on the floor at the residence of Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to opposition leader Juan Guaido, after he was detained by Venezuelan intelligence agents, according to legislators, in Caracas, Venezuela, March 21, 2019.
Personal belongings are seen on the floor at the residence of Roberto Marrero, chief of staff to opposition leader Juan Guaido, after he was detained by Venezuelan intelligence agents, according to legislators, in Caracas, Venezuela, March 21, 2019. VOA

​Pence also called out Cuba, Russia, and China for supporting the administration of embattled president Nicolas Maduro and profiting from it.

He said Cuba is allowing its military and intelligence services to train, support, and equip Venezuela’s secret police; Russia vetoed a resolution at the United Nations calling for unfettered aid to Venezuela; and China is refusing to grant a visa to economist Ricardo Hausmann to attend the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual meeting, which it is hosting.

Pence called Maduro a “corrupt dictator” and said those nations are holding Venezuela back in its “steady march towards freedom.”

“Nicolas Maduro must go,” he said.

Guaido, head of the National Assembly, has declared himself interim president after disputed elections. The United States and about 50 other countries have recognized him as Venezuela’s legitimate leader. But Maduro has vowed to remain, leaving the two men in a struggle for power.

U.S. citizens detained

Also Friday, the State Department issued a statement of concern for “all U.S. persons” detained in Venezuela. Prison officials reportedly are preventing lawyers and families of detained Americans from seeing or bringing food to the detainees.

Six U.S. citizens, executives of the oil company Citgo, have been in jail since November 2017 for alleged money laundering and embezzlement.

The two U.S. senators from Texas, home to five of the six detainees, say the six are being held in deteriorating conditions. The legislators also say Venezuelan authorities have denied the detainees a trial and contact with the State Department.

Citgo is a U.S.-based refinery and gasoline marketer primarily owned by Venezuela’s state-run oil company, PDVSA.

President Donald Trump has said all options are on the table for Venezuela, but he has not said under what circumstances he might consider using U.S. military force.

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A collapse in world energy prices, corruption and failed socialist policies have destroyed oil-rich Venezuela’s economy.

Food and medicine are scarce, and more than 3 million Venezuelans have fled the country. (VOA)