Venezuela: Maduro Keeps on Keeping On

Speaking of places where democracy has withered, Venezuela held municipal elections this weekend, in which the ruling PSUV ran the table — in part because the beleaguered opposition boycotted the vote. Now, President Maduro says, they’ll be barred from fielding candidates in next year’s presidential election.


Say what you will about Maduro, but he has confounded his doubters, holding on to power even as his government goes broke, inflation hits triple digits, and his people suffer hideous crises of violence and malnutrition. How do guys like this hang on for so long? The two keys for Maduro — as for a long list of soft and not so soft authoritarians — are the continued loyalty of the military and the chronic fragmentation of the opposition. And the recent rise in oil prices, which account for 95% of Venezuelan exports — can only help Maduro. A little more cash to throw around will reinvigorate the loyalty of senior officers whose commitment to 21st Century Socialism has at least as much to do with financial interest as with revolutionary fervor. This story can go on for quite a bit longer yet.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, but that means it creates a lot of waste in the form of cups and used coffee grinds. Every year, we drink out of 600 billion single-use plastic and paper cups, most of which end up in a landfill or our environment. Could coffee also contribute to a more sustainable future? A German company is now recovering leftover coffee grounds from bars, restaurants and hotels, and it's recycling them into reusable coffee cups. In other words, they're creating cups of coffee made from coffee.

Learn more at Eniday: Energy Is A Good Story

What technology was used to assist Eliud Kipchoge's historic sub two-hour marathon time?

A lot. If you watched the video of him, you saw that he was within a pace group, a whole bunch of runners in front of him cutting the wind. Some runners behind him, actually improving his wind resistance by having people behind him. There was a green laser showing him exactly what time he had to run. He had really high-tech gels that he took, these Maurten gels. I actually like those a lot, too. But the main thing were the shoes. These are the early prototypes of the shoes or the first version. He's now in the third version. But what's most important is there is a carbon fiber plate. You cannot bend this thing. So, Nike introduced these shoes, I don't know, two years ago. Now, there's a new generation. It's very controversial.

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Will the Catalonia question be a big issue in the Spanish election coming up in November?

You bet it will. Passions have been further inflamed now, and the question that has been difficult from the very beginning, by the very heavy prison sentences that was given to those that are accused of sedition, that is organizing the independence referendum. So, passions are heating up. It will be a difficult issue for the entire Spanish political system to handle for years to come.

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You'd think, being the relatively hopeful person that you are, that the nauseating anguish of Brexit would be more or less over now that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally reached a deal with Brussels on how to extricate the UK from the European Union.

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