Leadership

Venezuelan security forces raided the headquarters of an opposition party accused of fomenting nearly a week of violent protests, witnesses said, as the country expelled three U.S. diplomats on charges of conspiring with demonstrators.

Presumed military intelligence officers burst into the opposition Popular Will party office and attempted to forcibly remove several activists after throwing tear gas inside, according to party officials.

“The intelligence officers arrived and began to harass us,” said party activist Adriangela Ruiz. “They threw tear gas, took computers and tried to take away several people.”

The government has issued an arrest warrant for Popular Will’s founder, Leopoldo Lopez, 42, the U.S.-educated opposition leader accused of murder and terrorism in relation to the violent demonstrations of the past week.

A stunning catalog of torture and the widespread abuse of even the weakest of North Koreans reveal a portrait of a brutal state “that does not have any parallel in the contemporary world,” a United Nations panel reported Monday.

North Korean leaders employ murder, torture, slavery, sexual violence, mass starvation and other abuses as tools to prop up the state and terrorize “the population into submission,” the United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in North Korea said in its report.

The commission traced the abuses directly to the highest levels of the North Korean government while simultaneously blaming world leaders for sitting on their hands amid untold agony.

The five-year anniversary Monday of President Obama’s stimulus package has prompted Democrats and Republicans to spar again over the economy and whether the roughly $800 billion in spending created the number of jobs promised.

The White House hailed the measure, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, in a 70-page report released Monday stating it and other fiscal measures saved or created 1.6 million jobs through 2012 and eventually ended the country’s 18-month-long recession in June 2009.

“The recovery act … helped to avert a second Great Depression and made targeted investments that will pay dividends long after the act has fully phased out,” said Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, which produced the report. “The U.S. economy is undoubtedly in a stronger position than when President Obama took office.”

However, Republicans were quick to criticize the spending — arguing that it was rammed through Congress by Democrats and created far fewer than the 3.3 million jobs touted.

It looks like we are at the mercy of many leaders throughout the world. Because of the actions of our leaders, we are suffering. We should not have to be able to justify our leadership in any way through force or through pride. We should be a good leader by example. The leaders around the world are not good at their job. It is clear, but we do not need to let that ruin our life. They are unable to change who we are. That is the truth.