Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.
John Kasich has decided to suspend his presidential campaign after struggling to gain traction against Republican front-runner Donald Trump.
The Ohio governor did not have a path to secure the nomination outright, but pledged to lobby for his candidacy during the Republican convention in July.
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead and is closing in on the nomination.
Despite being a popular governor, John Kasich only won his home state.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz dropped out of the race on May 3 after losing to Donald Trump in the Indiana primary.
John Kasich canceled events in Washington and announced an evening event in his home state on May 4.
Earlier, John Kasich released a Star-Wars themed advert describing himself as the “only hope” against Donald Trump.
Blocking from winning the nomination outright, John Kasich and Ted Cruz had hoped to force a contested convention, in which party officials, not voters, choose for the nominee.
Now it is all but certain Donald Trump will have the 1,237 delegates needed to become the nominee before the July convention in Cleveland, Ohio.
John Kasich had been widely seen as the most moderate and electable Republican candidate and polled well against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.
However, John Kasich’s general election strength did not garner him enough support among Republican primary voters.
The Ohio governor promoted an optimistic message while campaigning, shunning negative attacks against other candidates.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who dropped out in March, garnered more delegates than John Kasich during primary elections.
Ted Cruz and John Kasich had announced an alliance to stop Donald Trump and “to ensure that we nominate a Republican who can unify the Republican Party and win in November” prior to the Indiana, New Mexico and Oregon state primaries, but that quickly crumbled.
Republicans are now divided over whether to support Donald Trump as the Republican nominee.
John Kasich’s name has been floated as a possible vice presidential pick but he has denied that he would accept a nomination.
Members of South Africa’s opposition party Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have been removed from parliament after they tried to block President Jacob Zuma from speaking.
EFF lawmakers heckled and chanted “Zuma leave the house” during the president’s first appearance in parliament since two damning court rulings against him.
The speaker ordered security officers to throw them out.
On April 29, a court said that Jacob Zuma should be charged with corruption.
The case is related to a multi-billion dollar arms deal the government negotiated in 1999.
South Africa’s Constitutional Court ruled that Jacob Zuma had violated the constitution when he failed to repay government money used to upgrade his private home in the rural area of Nkandla.
Jacob Zuma denies any wrongdoing, and says he will continue to “shepherd” the nation. His term is due to end in 2019.
Punches were exchanged and parliamentary benches knocked over as plain-clothed security officers dragged the EFF MPs out of their seats and evicted them from the chamber, AFP news agency reports.
The lawmakers had earlier denounced Jacob Zuma as an “illegitimate” ruler who should step down.
The High Court said on April 29 that prosecutors should review their 2009 decision to drop 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering against Jacob Zuma over the arms deal.
After the Constitutional Court ruling, the main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, failed in a bid to impeach Jacob Zuma after the governing African National Congress (ANC) rallied behind him in parliament.
Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana has made him the Republican presidential nominee as rival Ted Cruz has been forced to pull out from the race.
The New York businessman, unpopular with many in his own party, now has a clear path to the 1,237 delegates needed to claim his party’s crown.
That would mark a stunning victory for a businessman few took seriously when he launched his campaign in 2015.
Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders has defeated Hillary Clinton in Indiana’s Democratic race.
Bernie Sanders trails Hillary Clinton in the all-important delegate count but after this victory he said the contest was still alive.
“Clinton campaign thinks this campaign is over. They’re wrong,” he said.
Ted Cruz’s advisers had targeted Indiana as the Texas senator’s best hope of halting Donald Trump’s march to the nomination.
Photo Getty Images
“We gave it everything we’ve got, but the voters chose another path,” Ted Cruz told supporters in Indiana.
Ted Cruz’s departure means Donald Trump is now the presumptive Republican nominee, with plenty of state contests this month and next to reach the 1,237 delegates required to win.
Donald Trump is the first nominee since Dwight Eisenhower in 1952 to lack any previous experience of elected office.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has vowed to remain in the Republican race, but trails far behind Donald Trump in terms of delegates.
“It is a beautiful thing to watch, and a beautiful thing to behold,” Donald Trump said during a victory speech in Indiana.
“We are going to make America great again.”
Donald Trump praised Ted Cruz as a “tough, smart competitor”, which marked a sharp reversal in tone after a day when the two men slung mud at each other from close quarters.
The verbal attacks reached a new level of intensity when Ted Cruz attacked Donald Trump as a “pathological liar” and “serial philanderer”.
That was provoked by a bizarre claim from Donald Trump that Ted Cruz’s father was linked to one of the most traumatic episodes in US history, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
It is now increasingly likely that Donald Trump will face Hillary Clinton in the autumn in the battle to succeed President Barack Obama, who will be leaving the White House after two terms.
However, Republicans have expressed reservations about Donald Trump’s outspoken remarks, which have offended women and Hispanics.
There are also concerns about some of Donald Trump’s policies on immigration and national security, like building a wall on the southern US border paid for by Mexico, a ban on Muslims coming to the US and the killing of the families of terrorists.
Brazil’s Supreme Court has been asked by Attorney General Rodrigo Janot to authorize the start of corruption investigations against prominent opposition leader Aecio Neves.
Senator Aecio Neves, who narrowly lost the 2014 election to President Dilma Rousseff, was previously included in a list of some 50 politicians thought to have taken bribes originating from state-run companies, including electricity company Furnas.
The case is linked to the huge corruption scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics over the past year.
Aecio Neves denies any wrongdoing.
If the Supreme Court agrees to open an investigation, the senator will be called to testify within 90 days, Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper reported.
The case is based on allegations made by Senator Delcidio Amaral as part of a plea bargain.
A former leader of the Workers’ Party in the Senate, Delcidio Amaral was arrested in November.
Senator Delcidio Amaral had been secretly recorded allegedly discussing plans to help a detained official flee Brazil in return for not implicating him in a major corruption scandal at Petrobras.
He was released in February after he agreed to testify against other suspects.
Delcidio Amaral said that Aecio Neves had received bribes from officials at Furnas.
He said the scheme was similar to that operated at Petrobras: Brazil’s top construction companies paid bribes to politicians, political parties and senior executives at the company in order to secure lucrative overpriced contracts.
Aecio Neves’s office rejected the allegations, with an aide telling reporters: “References to Senator Aecio’s name are all based on hearsay. There is no proof or evidence of any irregularity.
“These are old questions that have already been the subject of previous investigations, which were thrown out, or questions that have no relation to the senator.”
Rodrigo Janot has also requested the opening of a corruption probe against other senior politicians and officials, the Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, and President Dilma Rousseff’s press secretary Edinho Silva.
German police clashed with hundreds of left-wing demonstrators trying to block the access of participants at a far-right party conference in Stuttgart.
At least 400 protesters have been arrested by riot police.
The right-wing populist Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party is expected to re-brand itself as openly anti-Islamic during the meeting.
Police, who surrounded several hundred protesters, fired pepper spray at crowds. Close to 1,000 officers were deployed.
The AfD wants to ban the burqa and outlaw minarets in Germany.
Despite the protest, the AfD conference began as planned on April 30.
Nearly 2,000 members of the AfD are registered to attend the conference. The party achieved gains in all three states taking part in regional elections in March, claiming almost a quarter of the vote in the relatively poor eastern state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The AfD had campaigned against what it called Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “catastrophic” decision to accept a million migrants and refugees in 2015.
In today’s conference, the party must agree a manifesto ahead of next year’s general election.
Proposals include withdrawal from the euro and the reintroduction of conscription, but there are splits within the party, including between its less hardline wing and the leadership.
Before the conference, police encircled groups of demonstrators in a technique known as kettling. Some protesters were seen being dragged away, with others chanting “Shame on you” at officers.
Donald Trump’s speech in Burlingame, California, has been delayed after hundreds of protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police outside a hotel where the GOP front-runner was due to address the state’s Republican convention.
Because of the protest, Donald Trump had to enter the hotel via a rear entrance.
His rallies have been dogged by violence.
On April 28, a police car had its windows smashed as Donald Trump spoke inside a hall in the Orange County Fairgrounds in Costa Mesa. Some 20 arrests were made.
The Trump campaign had to cancel several rallies in March after hundreds of protesters threatened to disrupt events in Chicago and St Louis.
Before his speech on April 29, news helicopters showed Donald Trump and his security detail crossing a motorway before entering the hotel via a side door.
On stage, Donald Trump joked about the protesters, saying “that was not the easiest entrance I ever made.”
“I felt like I was crossing the border,” he said, and that he walked through “dirt and mud” to get to the building outside of San Francisco.
Many of the protesters outside Donald Trump’s speech were arguing against his positions on immigration. The billionaire has advocated building a border wall with Mexico which he says Mexico would pay for.
Donald Trump has also referred to Mexicans as “rapists” and criminals responsible for bringing illegal drugs into the US.
The New York businessman is extremely unpopular among Latino voters and California has a large Mexican-American population.
Protests are expected to continue until the California primary is held on June 7.
Donald Trump has called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after a string of primary wins.
In terms of delegate support, Donald Trump is far ahead of his nearest rivals, Texas Senator Ted Cruz and John Kasich, the governor of Ohio.
Kim Dong-chul, a 62-year-old naturalized US citizen born in South Korea, was sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in April 2016 for spying.
Otto Frederick Warmbier, a US student who was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 for trying to steal a propaganda sign from a hotel and “crimes against the state”.
Hyeon Soo Lim, a Canadian Christian pastor of South Korean origin, was sentenced to a life term of hard labor in December 2015, also for “crimes against the state”.
Sandra Suh, an American aid worker, was arrested then expelled in April 2015, accused of gathering and producing anti-North Korea propaganda.
Matthew Todd Miller, an American citizen who was sentenced to 6 years of hard labor in September 2014 for what North Korean state media described as “hostile acts”, but was released in November 2014.
Kenneth Bae, a Korean-American Evangelical Christian Missionary who was arrested in November 2012 and accused of using his tourism business to form groups to overthrow the North Korean government. He was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in May 2013 but was released along with Matthew Todd Miller.
Jeffrey Edward Fowle, an American citizen was detained for five months and charged with “anti-state” crimes. He was released in October 2014.
Merrill Newman, a Korean War veteran who was held in October 2013 on charges of “hostile acts”. He was released in December 2013.
US citizen Kim Dong-chul has been sentenced to 10 years of hard labor in North Korea.
Kim Dong-chul, who was born in South Korea, was arrested in October 2015 after being accused of spying.
In March, the 62-year-old had made an apparent confession in Pyongyang in front of reporters, saying he was paid by South Korean intelligence officers.
The US has previously accused North Korea of using its citizens as pawns in a diplomatic game. The North Korean government denies the accusations.
Last month, US student Otto Frederick Warmbier was jailed for 15 years for stealing a propaganda sign and “crimes against the state”.
North Korea has previously said Kim Dong-chul had a USB stick containing military and nuclear secrets on him when he was arrested in the special economic zone of Rason.
Kim Dong-chul, who used to live in Virginia, had said he was introduced to South Korean spies by US intelligence officers.
Forced public confessions by foreign prisoners are common in North Korea.
Kim Dong-chul’s imprisonment comes amid a period of high tensions. North Korea has recently conducted a series of missile tests following its fourth nuclear test in January, both of which break UN sanctions.
Pyongyang attempted to launch two mid-range ballistic missiles on April 28 which crashed shortly after their launches, prompting an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
It is believed North Korea will attempt a fifth nuclear test soon.
The recent burst in activity is thought to be a ramp-up to a rare party congress due to be held on May 6, where leader Kim Jong-un is expected to consolidate power.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has detailed his foreign policy just one day after winning in five primaries.
In a speech in Washington on April 27, Donald Trump said he would pursue an “America First” policy.
The New York businessman called the foreign policy of President Barack Obama’s administration “a complete and total disaster”.
On April 26, Donald Trump called himself the Republican “presumptive nominee” after his primary wins.
He claimed victories in Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Maryland and Pennsylvania.
Before the speech, Donald Trump promised it would not be a “Trump doctrine”, and that he would retain some flexibility to make changes if elected.
Photo Getty Images
Much of his speech focused on what he called the “weakness, confusion and disarray” of the Obama administration, and his hope of reversing it.
Before the audience in Washington, he vowed to “shake the rust off America’s foreign policy”.
Donald Trump said that, under his administration “their days are numbered – I won’t tell them when, and I won’t tell them how”.
He had previously said he would weaken ISIS by cutting off their access to oil, and supported waterboarding and other strong interrogation methods against them. He did not return to these proposals on today’s speech.
“Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed, the world,” Donald Trump said, adding that he would work closely with US allies in the Middle East to combat extremism.
He also said that new talks would be sought with the US’ allies in NATO to try and reshape the organization’s structure and discuss a “rebalancing” of US financing towards it.
Donald Trump said he would also aim to hold talks with Russia to seek common ground, possibly over Islamist extremism.
“Some say the Russians can’t be reasonable,” he said.
“I intend to find out.”
Donald Trump said China “respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically like they are doing, we are losing all their respect”. He said he would seek to “fix our relations with China” but did not suggest how.
On US allies, he said: “The countries we defend must pay for the cost of this defense.
“If not, the US must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves. We have no choice.”
Speaking to the New York Times last month about the US-Japan relationship, Donald Trump said: “If we’re attacked, they do not have to come to our defense, if they’re attacked, we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a, that’s a real problem.”
Donald Trump once said he was his own best foreign policy adviser, but, in recent months, has expanded his backroom team. Some of his appointments have proved controversial.
His team is led by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama.
Another member, retired Gen. Joseph Schmitz, resigned from the military in 2005 amid accusations of misconduct. However, Joseph Schmitz was never charged with wrongdoing.
Another adviser, Walid Phares, was criticized when he was named as part of Mitt Romney’s foreign policy team in 2011.
Muslim advocacy groups took issue with Walid Phares’s close ties to right-wing Christian militia groups during the Lebanese civil war.
Turkey’s new constitution will feature the principle of secularism, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced.
Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey’s secular and democratic character was “not up for debate”.
The prime minister’s comments came a day after parliamentary speaker Ismail Kahraman – a key member of the ruling AK party (AKP) – called for secularism to be taken out of the constitution.
Ismail Kahraman, who is overseeing the draft charter, said Turkey was a Muslim country and should have a religious constitution.
Turkey is a NATO member and aspires to join the European Union, which has traditionally regarded the country as a model of secular democracy in the Islamic world.
However, critics of the government fear the modern state’s secular foundations are being eroded.
Opposition parties also fear the new constitution could concentrate too much power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who wants an executive presidency to replace the current parliamentary system.
In a speech on April 27, Ahmet Davutoglu said: “Secularism will feature in the new constitution we draft as a principle that guarantees citizens’ freedom of religion and faith and that ensures the state is an equal distance from all faith group.”
Ismail Kahraman said on April 25: “We are a Muslim country… Secularism cannot feature in the new constitution.”
He later said his comments were “personal views”.
Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the head of Turkey’s main CHP opposition party, condemned Ismail Kahraman’s comments, tweeting: “The chaos that reigns in the Middle East is the product of ways of thinking that, like you, make religion an instrument of politics.”
The AKP, which has Islamist roots, has been pushing to replace the existing constitution, which dates back to a 1980 military coup and does not promote any religion.
Over the past two years, the Turkish government has lifted bans on women and girls wearing headscarves in schools and civil service. It also limited alcohol sales and made efforts to ban mixed dorms at state universities.
The government has pledged that European standards on human rights will form the basis of the new text.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP holds 317 of the 550 seats in parliament. To submit its draft constitution to a referendum, it would need 330 votes , so it will need to win over lawmakers from other parties.
Venezuela has announced it is imposing a two-day working week for public sector workers as a temporary measure to help it overcome a serious energy crisis.
According to Vice-President Aristobulo Isturiz, civil servants should turn up for work only on Mondays and Tuesdays until the crisis was over.
The South American country is facing a major drought, which has dramatically reduced water levels at its main hydroelectric dam.
However, the opposition has accused the government of mismanaging the crisis.
The measures announced on national television by Aristobulo Isturiz affect two million public sector workers.
In the TV address, the vice-president said: “There will be no work in the public sector on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, except for fundamental and necessary tasks.”
President Nicolas Maduro had already given most of Venezuela’s 2.8 million state employees Fridays off during April and May, to cut down on electricity consumption.
He said Venezuela had been badly hit by the El Nino weather phenomenon and would return to normal when it started raining again.
“We are requesting international help, technical and financial aid to help revert the situation,” he said.
“We are managing the situation in the best possible way while we wait for the rains to return.”
“Several countries in the region have been affected by the drought, caused by El Nino. But Venezuela has the highest domestic consumption of energy.”
Venezuela’s government has already adopted a number of other measures to try to deal with the crisis. In February, shopping centers were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.
Earlier this week, the government put the clocks forward by half an hour to reduce demand for electricity in the early evening.
Last week, it announced it was introducing power cuts for four hours a day.
The power shortages have deepened Venezuela’s serious economic crisis.
Many businessmen and opposition politicians blame the energy crisis and shortages of basic goods on government economic mismanagement.
They say tough currency controls introduced in 2003 by the late president, Hugo Chavez, have only made this worse.
Meanwhile, Venezuela’s economy has also been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export, oil.
North Korea has announced its ruling Workers Party will hold its first congress in 36 years in May.
The North Korean Workers Party congress, which will take place in Pyongyang from May 6, will be only the seventh in the party’s history and the first under leader Kim Jong-un.
The gathering will be closely watched for signs of major policy shifts, movement among senior officials or comment on North Korea’s nuclear program.
The announcement comes as North Korea is believed to be preparing a fifth nuclear test.
North Korea has often timed its controversial tests to coincide with big political occasions.
Its fourth test, in January, was followed by the launch of a satellite.
Both were violations of existing sanctions and resulted in the UN imposing further measures limiting trade and contact with North Korea.
The last North Korean congress was in October 1980, before the current leader Kim Jong-un was born.
The congress lasted four days and among other issues saw Kim Jong-il formally named as the intended successor to then leader Kim Il-sung.
Expectation has been growing for months that the leadership was about to announce the seventh congress.
The statement from North Korea’s KCNA news agency on April 27 gave no details of the event, and did not specify how long it would last.
However, it is widely expected that Kim Jong-un will use the party’s congress to both reinforce his role as Supreme Leader and to push his agenda of economic development coupled with nuclear progress.
South Korean President Park Geun-hye said on April 26 that North Korea had finished preparations for its fifth nuclear test and could carry it out it any time.
North Korea also claimed last week to have used “cold launch” technology to fire a missile from a submarine, while South Korean officials say it also appears to be preparing another test launch of its medium-range Musudan ballistic missile.
Republican presidential hopefuls Ted Cruz and John Kasich have announced they will now co-ordinate strategies against rival Donald Trump.
Ted Cruz has said he will cut campaigning in the Oregon and New Mexico primaries to help John Kasich, while the latter will give Ted Cruz a “clear path” in Indiana.
Donald Trump responded to his rivals saying they were “totally desperate” and “mathematically dead”.
The New York businessman has a clear lead in delegates but may still fall short of the 1,237 needed to win outright.
If Donald Trump does not reach the target, the vote will go to a contested convention – where a different nominee may emerge through negotiations among party figures.
John Kasich and Ted Cruz announced their move in near-simultaneous statements.
Ted Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said: “Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans. Not only would Trump get blown out by [Hillary] Clinton or [Bernie] Sanders, but having him as our nominee would set the party back a generation.”
John Weaver, John Kasich’s strategist, said in a statement released on the candidate’s site: “Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee.”
Some Republican strategists have been urging this deal for weeks but analysts say it may now have come too late to stop Donald Trump.
In response, Donald Trump tweeted: “Wow, just announced that Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are going to collude in order to keep me from getting the Republican nomination. DESPERATION!
“Lyin’ Ted and Kasich are mathematically dead and totally desperate. Their donors & special interest groups are not happy with them. Sad!”
Donald Trump has frequently said the GOP nomination process is “rigged” to favor establishment figures against him.
However, the Republican frontrunner did last week promise to change his image, in a closed-door meeting with GOP leaders.
The Indiana primary is on May 3, Oregon is on May 17, with New Mexico on June 7.
However, before those comes voting in five north-eastern states where Donald Trump is heavily favored.
Maryland, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Delaware all vote on April 26.
Campaigning in Maryland on April 24, Donald Trump said he was confident of avoiding a contested convention.
On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders spoke to a rally of 14,000 supporters in New Haven, Connecticut, on April 24, again accusing rival Hillary Clinton of earning money through “speeches behind closed doors on Wall Street”.
Hillary Clinton retains a clear lead in delegates and will hope the north-eastern state votes will effectively put an end to Bernie Sanders’ dogged campaign.
Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have traded increasingly hostile remarks in recent weeks.
However, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said: “Regardless of the intensity of what’s played out here… we are going to be unified.”
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump has promised to change his image, in a closed-door meeting with GOP leaders.
Donald Trump, who leads the Republican race to be presidential nominee, delivered his message via aides, the Associated Press news agency reports.
The New York businessman’s success in primary elections so far has set off alarm bells among those in the party anxious that his tone and policies will turn off voters.
Five states go to the polls on April 26 to pick their presidential candidates.
Donald Trump has a clear lead in the number of delegates but may fall short of the 1,237 threshold required to win the nomination without a contested convention – where the nominee is chosen through negotiations among party figures.
In a recording of April 21 meeting obtained by Associated Press, Donald Trump’s senior aides told Republican leaders that he has been “projecting an image” so far and “the part that he’s been playing is now evolving”.
In it, Donald Trump’s newly hired senior aide, Paul Manafort, told the Republican National Committee (RNC) members that the presidential hopeful has a campaigning personality and a private one.
“When he’s out on the stage, when he’s talking about the kinds of things he’s talking about on the stump, he’s projecting an image that’s for that purpose,” Paul Manafort said.
Donald Trump knows he needs to moderate his personality, Paul Manafort told the meeting. “The negatives [unfavorable ratings in polls] will come down. The image is going to change.”
His standing among female voters is particularly low, after a series of controversial remarks about women, abortion and rival Ted Cruz’s wife.
According to analysts, Donald Trump’s decisive win in the New York primary this week seemed to signal a new, softer side in his victory speech.
Meanwhile, he told a rally in Pennsylvania on April 21: “At some point, I’m going to be so presidential that you people will be so bored.”
On one of the key social issues currently engulfing the GOP, transgender rights, Donald Trump took a stance out of step with his key rival Ted Cruz on April 21, when he said transgender people should be allowed to use a toilet assigned to a gender of their choosing.
Ted Cruz criticized this as politically correct but former candidate Ben Carson praised Donald Trump for “trying to moderate”.
Donald Trump has accused the RNC of conspiring against him and of rigging the way delegates are awarded in a way that is unfavorable to him.
Venezuela will cut power for four hours a day from next week to deal with a worsening energy crisis.
The power cuts will last for 40 days as the country struggles under a severe drought limiting hydroelectric output.
It is the latest setback to Venezuela’s economy which has been hit by a sharp fall in the price of its main export, oil.
Venezuela’s main brewer, Polar, also says it will stop production because it has no dollars to buy grain abroad.
Polar, which produces 80% of Venezuela’s beer, says 10,000 workers will be affected by the stoppage.
Announcing the restrictions on April 21, Energy Minister Luis Motta Dominguez said the hours of suspension would be published on a daily basis in newspapers and on ministerial websites. He added that the cuts would not happen between 20:00 and midday.
Venezuela’s energy crisis has been deepening all this year, in February, shopping malls were told to reduce their opening hours and generate their own energy.
President Nicolas Maduro has accused Venezuela’s business elite of colluding with the US to wreck the economy.
He has accused Polar President Lorenzo Mendoza of being allied to the opposition which now dominates the Venezuelan parliament against him.
Many businessmen and opposition politicians blame the energy crisis and shortages of basic goods on government economic mismanagement.
They say tough currency controls introduced in 2003 by the late president, Hugo Chavez have only made this worse.
The country’s economy is in dire straits, suffering from spiraling inflation, shortages of some basic goods and dwindling revenue from oil.
Venezuela’s almost exclusive relies on oil, the price of which has fallen sharply.
At least three people were killed and other 136 injured after a large explosion hit an oil plant in the south-east Mexican state of Veracruz.
The facility is owned by Mexico’s state oil company, Pemex, in the port city of Coatzacoalcos.
Hundreds of people have been evacuated and schools closed. Footage showed a large fire and vast plumes of smoke.
The cause of the explosion is unclear. Several blasts have been reported at Pemex facilities in recent years.
The latest incident occurred at around 15:15 local time, Pemex said in a statement. Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte told a radio station the blast was felt 6 miles away.
The fire was under control by early evening, Pemex said. Residents were told to stay indoors because of the possible toxic nature of the smoke from the blast, but Pemex said the smoke dissipated quickly, lessening any possible toxic effects.
According to Pemex, of the 136 people injured, 88 remain in hospital, 13 of whom are in a serious condition.
Video posted on social media purporting to show a local hospital showed scenes of chaos and patients suffering heavy blood loss.
Pemex said the part of the factory hit by the explosion was managed by a sister company, Mexichem.
Associated Press reported that the plant produces vinyl chloride, a dangerous chemical used to make PVC pipes and packaging materials.
Exports of oil from the plant, one of the largest terminals for oil distribution in Mexico, would not be affected, the company added.
Pemex’s own headquarters in Mexico City was hit by a large gas blast in January 2013, killing 37 people.