Guaidó's arrest 'will come,' Maduro says

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said Friday that authorities haven’t detained opposition leader Juan Guaidó because the courts haven’t ordered it, but he warned: “It will come.”

Maduro made the remark in a meeting with members of the international media three days after Guaidó returned from a tour to the U.S. and Europe, a trip he made in defiance of a court order prohibiting him from leaving the country.

Despite the order, migration officials let Guaidó into the country after he arrived on a commercial flight at Venezuela’s main international airport.

Maduro said that the day Venezuela’s justice system decides Guaidó should be imprisoned “for all the crimes he’s committed,” he will be jailed. Venezuela’s judicial system is stacked with pro-Maduro officials who routinely issue decrees in accordance with the president’s viewpoints.

Guaidó did not respond to Maduro’s threat Friday.

— Associated Press


Deaths in Idlib exodus blamed on bitter cold

An offensive by Syrian government forces against the final rebel stronghold in the country’s northwest has sent hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing, and a bitter winter is increasing their pain.

The freezing temperatures have contributed to the deaths of at least 10 people, including four who suffered from hypothermia, a family of four that died of suffocation in their tent and two who burned to death when their tent caught fire, said Mohammed Hallaj of the area’s Response Coordination Group.

“It’s cold, it’s snowing and our life is terrible, we can’t take this cold and neither can the kids,” said a woman in a tent camp near the Turkish border. Other families are sleeping in open fields and under trees.

The government assault in Idlib province has uprooted over 830,000 people since Dec. 1, a U.N. spokesman said Friday. At least 143,000 have been displaced in the past three days.

— Associated Press


Fire at orphanage run by U.S. group kills 15

Fifteen children died in a fire that swept overnight through an orphanage in Haiti run by a U.S. Christian nonprofit group, officials said Friday, triggering new criticism over the hundreds of unlicensed orphanages in the poorest nation in the Americas.

Two children were burned to death and 13 died of smoke inhalation in the blaze that ravaged the Pennsylvania-based Church of Bible Understanding’s orphanage in Kenscoff, outside the capital, Port-au-Prince.

The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear. One of the orphanage residents said they had been using candles because the power in the block was out and a generator wasn’t working.

Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, director of the Institute for Social Welfare, said the religious group did not have a license to operate the institution, which housed about 60 children.

Attempts to contact the group brought no official response.

Orphanages, which house not just orphans but children whose parents can’t afford to look after them, proliferated in Haiti after the devastating 2010 earthquake.

— Reuters

New attack in Mali leaves 21 dead or missing: At least 21 people were dead or missing after an attack on a village that was the scene last year of Mali's worst civilian massacre in recent memory, the government said. A government statement did not say who carried out the attack Friday morning on Ogossagou, a village of Fulani herders in central Mali. Moulaye Guindo, mayor of the nearby town of Bankass, said at least 20 people had been killed. In the attack on Ogossagou last March, suspected militiamen from a rival group killed more than 150 civilians, part of spiraling ethnic and Islamist violence in West Africa's vast Sahel region.

— From news services