INT'L NEWS in brief
Delta cutting back flights to Venezuela
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP):
Delta Air Lines is reducing service to Venezuela amid a dispute with the government over revenue trapped in the country.
Delta spokeswoman Sarah Lora confirmed yesterday that the carrier is reducing service by 85 per cent, replacing its daily round-trip flight between Atlanta and Caracas with one round-trip weekend flight as of August 1. She declined to say how much money Delta has stuck in Venezuela because of the government's hold on repatriation of airline revenue.
Other airlines are locked in similar disputes. American Airlines reduced service to Venezuela by 80 per cent last week.
The International Air Transport Association says Venezuela has prevented the repatriation of US$4 billion in airline money because of currency-control problems.
Iraqi parliament delays next session
Iraq's deadlocked parliament yesterday postponed its next session until mid-August, prolonging the country's political impasse despite urgent calls for a new government that can confront Sunni extremists who have overrun a large part of the country.
The new legislature held its first session since April elections last week but failed to make any headway on selecting a new prime minister, president, and speaker of parliament.
Lawmakers had been expected to meet Tuesday for a second session, but they called off that meeting since no progress was made over the past week in untangling the political situation.
Under an informal system that took root after the 2003 United States-led invasion that ousted Saddam Hussein, the prime minister's job goes to a Shiite, the president's post to a Kurd, and the speaker of parliament's chair to a Sunni.
The main point of contention right now is the post of prime minister, which holds most of the power in Iraq.