Venezuela's government announced on Monday two marches to counter protests opposition leader Juan Guaido have been planned. The street demonstrations in favor of President Nicolas Maduro will be launched on Saturday, and May 1, Labor Day.
Saturday's event will also mark Venezuela's official exit from the Organization of American States, two years after Maduro made the decision to leave the bloc, accusing it of being part of a U.S. campaign to "intervene" in Venezuela.
"We want to summon our members to two great demonstrations," said Hector Rodriguez, a leader of Maduro's United Socialist Party in Venezuela (PSUV).
"We summon the whole Chavista population to mobilize and celebrate the definitive exit from this area of U.S. domination and subordination," he added, referring to supporters of the late president and Maduro's predecessor Hugo Chavez.
The government's announcement comes three days after Guaido revealed his plans for events on those two dates, including what he said would be "the biggest demonstration in this country's history" on May 1 to demand the end of Maduro's "usurpation."
Guaido, 35, and the National Assembly have branded Maduro a "usurper" over his controversial re-election last year. The National Assembly head launched a challenge to Maduro's authority in January, declaring himself acting president.
The government's announcement is in line with its recent policy of calling a counter-demonstration every time Guaido plans a protest of his own.
Maduro has repeatedly slammed U.S. interventions in Venezuela's affairs, as Washington pursues a policy of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against the Venezuelan government in support of Guaido.
"With that same rebellion, today we confront new imperialists who seek to rob our sacred treasure, freedom. We will defeat them!" Maduro said last Friday on the 209th anniversary of the start of Venezuela's independence from Spanish rule.
China has called for efforts to promote the peaceful resolution of the Venezuela issue.
Beijing called on relevant parties in Venezuela to seek a political settlement via dialogue and consultation within the constitutional and legal framework, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang told a routine press conference last month, underscoring China's opposition to interventions by "external forces" in Venezuela's internal affairs.
After the failure of the meeting between Trump, Kim, now the The leader of the Republic of north Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will visit Russia for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the DPRK's state media confirmed.
PWith his Russia visit, Kim is seen working to build up foreign support for his economic development plans, since the breakdown of the second U.S.-DPRK summit in Hanoi in February led to stalled talks with Washington on the sanctions relief Pyongyang had sought.
State media Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said the visit will happen "soon," but did not elaborate the time or the venue.
Putin and Kim are on track to meet by the end of April, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Monday.
Kim Jong Un's chief aide, Kim Chang Son, was seen in Vladivostok on Sunday according to South Korean news agency Yonhap, leading to speculation that the Putin-Kim summit will be held in the city around April 24-25.
NK News, a group that follows the DPRK, showed photos on its website on Monday of preparations underway at Vladivostok's Far Eastern Federal University, likely to host part of the summit, with workers installing DPRK and Russian flags.
After the diplomatic failure at the Hanoi summit, Kim is likely looking to prove that he is still being sought after by world leaders, and that he has more options, said Artyom Lukin, a professor at Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok.
Good Morning My Love
By Poet: Craig Moon
Good morning, Good morning my Love
I know I just woke up,
But I want to tell you something,
as I drink my morning cup.
I really love YOU
I do? I do? I do!
And As I dream of day your with me,
I don’t know what I’d do.
So this is my way of showing you,
I believe our dreams will come true.
As I wrote this little poem to say,
I love YOU I love YOU I love YOU.
I do, I do, I do!
And may the smile that you get,
when you feel the warmth it brings,
stay with you all day,
As I know we will be happy
for the rest of our loving days….
I promise to always raise you up,
Whenever you are down,
I promise to wipe away your tears,
When you need them to flow out,
I promise to keep you smiling,
To show the world your light,
I promise to be your strength,
Whenever you need somewhere to lean,
I promise I will be your voice,
When the words don’t come to you,
I promise to be your eyes,
When you are unable to see,
I promise to be your ears,
When you cannot hear,
I promise to always be real to you,
When you are in need of the truth,
I promise to help you chase your dream,
When you feel they are too large,
I promise to be your smile,
When you ca’t help but frown,
I promise to listen,
When you need to speak,
I promise you my heart,
Whenever you need love,
I promise you my love,
Forever and always.
By : Tina Jeffery
Painter FRANCISCO DE ZURBARÁN 1598 – August 27, 1664
Saint Serapion or The Martyrdom of Saint Serapion is his masterpiece at all , it is painted in a 1628 oil on canvas painting by the Spanish artist Francisco Zurbarán (1598–1664). The work was commissioned by the Mercedarian Order to hang in the De Profundis (funerary chapel) hall of their monastery in Seville (now Museum of Fine Arts of Seville). Zurbarán is noted for his portrayals of penitent or martyred monks and saints. Critic Tom Lubbock used this painting to illustrate a difference in the way the martyrdom of two different saints were depicted. He contrasted the understated and calm depiction of St. Serapion's violent death, with the equally or more violent death of the Jesuit priest and martyr Saint Edmund Campion (1540–1581) who was publicly hanged, drawn and quartered in London in December 1581.
The art critic draws a comparison in the manner of depiction of Campion's death and that of Saint Serapion of Algiers (1179–1240), a Mercedarian friar who fought in the Third Crusade of 1196 and was later martyred.
Saint Serapion is depicted by Zurbarán in a quasi-crucified pose, standing with each hand bound by ropes and chain to an overhead horizontal pole. According to Michael Brenson of the New York Times, his head "has shifted from the realm of the robe to the realm of the cape, which supports the head and seems to have the potential to lift it to the sky".
The painting stops at the figure's knee level, while the strain placed on his arms is indicated by the heavy hanging folds of the drapes of the cloth hanging from left shoulder and right outstretched arm.The saint is identified by text on a small note placed to the left of his chest area.
Francisco Zurbarán is known for the forceful, realistic use of chiaroscuro in his paintings. He was devoted to an artistic expression of religion and faith; and most of his best known works are religious paintings capable of evoking intense feelings of devotion. He also created several still life paintings including the renowned work Still-life with Lemons, Oranges and Rose. Along with El Greco and Diego Velázquez, Zurbaran is one of the most celebrated artists of the Spanish Golden Age.
A team of researchers from the University of California Los Angeles have created a unique device that can generate electricity from snowfall, science media report, citing a paper published in the journal Nano Technology.
The device is basically a vastly improved weather station, which, in addition to measuring how much snow is falling at any given time and what direction and speed the wind is blowing at, can convert the snow power utilizing the principles of static electricity generation.
The researchers have called their creation a snow-based triboelectric nanogenerator, or a snow TENG, and the senior author of the paper, chemistry and biochemistry professor Richard Kaner, explains it as follows: "Static electricity occurs from the interaction of one material that captures electrons and another that gives up electrons. You separate the charges and create electricity out of essentially nothing."
In fact, it’s a little bit more than nothing. Snowflakes carry a positive charge, while silicon, which was used for the device’s surface, is negatively charged. When snow falls on the silicone surface, the contact generates an electric charge and the device captures it.
It sounds deceptively simple but the creators of the device did not go straight for silicone. "While snow likes to give up electrons, the performance of the device depends on the efficiency of the other material at extracting these electrons," explains the co-author of the study, postdoctoral researcher Maher El-Kady, as quoted by Nano Magazine. "After testing a large number of materials including aluminum foils and Teflon, we found that silicone produces more charge than any other material."
While the state in which the device came into existence will hardly be the best place for its deployment, there are many parts of the world where snow falls frequently and where the show TENG could potentially have a future as power generator. But the more fascinating part is that, according to El-Kady, the device could be added to solar panels and help boost their efficiency.
Solar panels have no problem with cold weather—in fact they operate more efficiently in colder weather because heat interferes with their operation. But they do have a problem with snow cover. PV panels convert sunlight into power and if their access to sunlight is blocked by a snow buildup, they cannot operate.
Even though solar panel arrays are mounted at an angle so rain and snow slide down the panels, freeing the access to sunlight to the surface, with heavy snowfalls this becomes irrelevant and the panels’ efficiency rate drop steeply. This problem recently came to the fore in the U.S., in states that experienced some pretty harsh winter weather complete with blizzards and snowstorms that effectively brought down the efficiency rates of some solar farms to zero temporarily.
This small device, the snow TENG could solve this problem for the solar power industry, making the panels reliable regardless of the weather and expanding solar’s reach in previously unattractive locations where there’s little sun but lots of snow, combining the benefits of cold weather and static electricity.
By Irina Slav
copyright for Oilprice.com
By Nick Cunningham
Shrugging off low levels of storage, natural gas prices have continued to plunge.
The U.S. entered this past winter with natural gas supplies at a 15-year low. Paltry levels of gas in storage, just ahead of the peak winter demand season, pushed prices up to the highest level in four years. A cold snap in November led to a jump of around 30 percent in a week, an increase so fast and so quick that it forced at least one trading firm out of business. By mid-November, prices had climbed as high as $4.80/MMBtu.
Worryingly, the rest of winter still lay ahead. Gas supplies in storage were at their lowest levels in a decade and a half, and demand had steadily increased year-after-year as gas-fired power plants replaced shuttered coal plants. The surge in LNG exports and petrochemicals also amounted to a new source of demand that didn’t exist in its current form only a few years ago. To top it off, there were several rounds of extreme cold that swept across the North American continent, forcing millions of people to crank up the heat.
Yet, despite that backdrop, prices shockingly fell back rather quickly. A few weeks after the November price spike, Henry Hub spot prices dropped below $4/MMBtu. By February, prices fell below $3/MMBtu and remained there, with the market eyeing the end of the winter demand season. Now, with temperatures rising, prices recently plunged as low as $2.50/MMBtu.
However, the price decline comes even as storage remains remarkably tight. Natural gas inventories stood at 1,247 billion cubic feet (Bcf) as of April 12. Notably, despite the large increase of 92 Bcf from the week earlier, gas inventories were still 414 Bcf below the five-year average, and also at multi-year lows for the time of year.
Why are prices hovering close to their lowest levels in years, even though inventories have been decimated.
The answer largely comes down to record levels of production, with output continuing to rise on an ongoing basis. Analysts and gas traders have largely shrugged off low storage levels, expecting that the “injection season” – the months between April and November when demand is seasonally soft – will see storage levels fill up quickly, replenishing depleted stocks.
‘‘This is a very bad development here’’ for gas futures, Bob Yawger, director of the futures division at Mizuho Securities USA, told Bloomberg in an interview. ‘‘This is below the multi-year low and we are basically in no man’s land right now.’’
He we on to say ‘‘We have just a lot of gas production in this country,’’, adding that ‘‘Storage is in fact pretty far behind last year, but you can have as much gas as you want and as soon as you want it. That’s what’s killing the market.’’
The Marcellus and Utica Shales (classified by the EIA as the “Appalachia Region”) continue to pump out the nation’s largest amount of gas, with production above 30,000 million cubic feet per day. Output is expected to rise by another 353 million cubic feet per day in May, according to the EIA’s Drilling Productivity Report.
The Permian is adding huge volumes of new supply as well, a byproduct of the oil drilling frenzy. The Permian is now the U.S.’ second largest shale gas producer, expected to top 14,000 million cubic feet per day next month.
However, much of the Permian’s natural gas is going up in smoke because there is not enough pipeline capacity to move all of the gas to market.
The gas glut in the Permian has become so acute that prices recently crashed deep into negative territory. The state has relatively lax standards on flaring, allowing producers to simply burn off gas they can’t capture. Permian drillers were flaring gas at the rate equivalent to the entire residential demand in the state of Texas at the end of 2018, according to Bloomberg. Surely, the volumes of gas going up into the air have climbed since then.
Still, with the Permian and Marcellus adding record gas supply, along with a revived Haynesville Shale, the U.S. continues to break new records for gas output. That means that prices have little chance of climbing significantly higher in the short run.
Sources and copyright: of Oilprice.com