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There is currently a shortage of eggs throughout Venezuela, with people waiting in line for at least an hour to buy them. The IMF said inflation would more than double in the economically struggling South American country in 2016. (Associated Press)

Crumbling economy in Venezuela puts Nicolas Maduro’s socialist regime in peril

The late Hugo Chavez kept his “Bolivarian Revolution” alive by picking fights — mostly with the United States and Venezuela’s traditional elites — while sailing on a sea of oil. But with energy prices plummeting and the economy cratering, Venezuelans aren’t buying the old formula anymore under Chavez’s handpicked successor.

Under army patrol, South Korean cargo trucks head to Kaesong, North Korea. South Korea said it will shut down the joint industrial park there and accused Pyongyang of using hard currency from Kaesong to develop its nuclear and missile programs. (Associated Press)

U.S. and Asian allies punishing North Korea for its aggression

- The Washington Times

Aftershocks from North Korea’s satellite launch over the weekend continued to reverberate on both sides of Pacific on Wednesday, as South Korea pulled the plug on a high-profile joint venture with Pyongyang, the U.S. and Japan moved ahead on new economic sanctions on the North and China faced increasing pressure to rein in its rogue ally.

Adm. Cecil E.D. Haney. (Associated Press) ** FILE **

China adds warheads to older DF-5s

- The Washington Times

China’s military has begun retrofitting single-warhead DF-5 intercontinental ballistic missiles with multiple, independently targetable re-entry vehicles, according to U.S. defense officials. The upgrading of the DF-5 missiles with multiple warheads, known as MIRVs, was detected by U.S. intelligence agencies within the past several months.

President Barack Obama sits with FBI director James Comey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015 before making a statement on Wednesday's mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif.  (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Feds want $38 million to help FBI break data encryption

- The Washington Times

The Justice Department is seeking $38 million in its proposed 2017 budget to help the FBI’s development of a workaround to data encryption — a need the FBI director highlighted with the disclosure that investigators have been unable to access information on the cellphone of one of the San Bernardino attackers.

"In my 50-plus years in the intelligence business, I cannot recall a more diverse array of crises and challenges than we face today," Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said at a daylong Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Intel chief warns of widening array of terror dangers

- The Washington Times

President Obama’s top intelligence official warned Tuesday that the country is facing an unusually broad range of security threats, from Islamic State recruitment of extremists inside the U.S., to Iranian support for terrorism, to the expanding pursuit by Russia and China of cyberspying technology and weapons capable of neutralizing U.S. satellites orbiting the earth.

In this Dec. 19, 2013, file photo, North Korean workers assemble jackets at a factory of a South Korean-owned company at the jointly run Kaesong Industrial Complex, in Kaesong, North Korea. South Korea says Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, it will halt operations at joint industrial park with North Korea in response to the North's recent rocket launch. (Kim Hong-Ji/Pool Photo via AP, File)

South Korea to shut down joint industrial park with North Korea

- Associated Press

South Korea said Wednesday that it will shut down a joint industrial park with North Korea in response to the North’s recent rocket launch, accusing the North of using hard currency from the park to develop its nuclear and missile programs.

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Ex-army chief's appointment as Sri Lanka lawmaker criticized

Associated Press

An international rights group says the Sri Lankan government's decision to appoint the civil war-winning general to Parliament contradicts pledges to investigate abuses alleged to have occurred under his command.

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2016 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry at a conference entitled 'Supporting Syria & The Region,'  in London. As Kerry heads to Munich, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016,  in search of compromises that could yield a truce and revive peace talks that were suspended before they really started, the administration is being pressed by all sides to clarify its strategy.  (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now

- Associated Press

Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, U.S. officials say, but Washington believes Moscow is giving itself and the Syrian government three weeks to try to crush moderate rebel groups.

FILE - In this Feb. 4, 2016 file-pool photo, Secretary of State John Kerry at a conference entitled 'Supporting Syria & The Region,'  in London. As Kerry heads to Munich, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016,  in search of compromises that could yield a truce and revive peace talks that were suspended before they really started, the administration is being pressed by all sides to clarify its strategy.  (Nicholas Kamm/Pool Photo via AP, File)

Russia proposes March 1 ceasefire in Syria; US wants it now

- Associated Press

Russia has proposed a March 1 ceasefire in Syria, U.S. officials said Wednesday, but Washington believes Moscow is giving itself and the Syrian government three weeks to try to crush moderate rebel groups.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., center, walks with Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, to the chamber for the vote to impose more stringent sanctions on North Korea for willfully violating international law by pushing ahead with its nuclear weapons program and for what they say are flagrant violations of international law, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Senate passes bill to hit North Korea with harsher sanctions

- Associated Press

Seeking to derail North Korea's drive for nuclear weapons, Republican and Democratic senators set aside their partisan differences Wednesday to unanimously pass legislation aimed at starving Pyongyang of the money it needs to build an atomic arsenal.

Army pays woman $820,000 to settle sexual harassment case

- Associated Press

The Army has paid $820,000 to settle a lawsuit by a former military police trainee who says she was fired after she filed a sexual harassment complaint against a supervisor, defense lawyers said Wednesday.

Chancellor: Cash-strapped UC Berkeley faces tough decisions

- Associated Press

The University of California, Berkeley, is running a $150 million deficit this year and must undertake a top-to-bottom review of expenses if it hopes to sustain its national standing as a premier public institution, the school's chancellor warned Wednesday.

NATO ministers approve new reinforcements for eastern Europe

- Associated Press

NATO defense ministers on Wednesday approved new multinational reinforcements to beef up defenses of frontline alliance members most at risk from Russia, the alliance's secretary-general announced.

In this photo provided by Turkish Islamic aid group IHH, Syrians gather at a temporary refugee camp for displaced Syrians in northern Syria, near Bab al-Salameh border crossing with Turkey, Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016. Turkey is facing mounting pressure to open its border as tens of thousands of Syrian fleeing a government onslaught and intense Russian airstrikes arrived at the frontier. (IHH via AP)

Kurds attack Syrian air base held by insurgents

- Associated Press

Kurdish fighters helped by Russian airstrikes launched an attack in northern Syria on Wednesday in an attempt to capture a military air base held by Syrian insurgents, while an international aid group warned that the health system in parts of the north is close to collapse.