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Venezuelan officials and opposition foes have held separate secret meetings in the Dominican Republic with a group of ex-world leaders seeking a way out of political crisis, officials said, as an ex-military reserve leader was shot dead. Representatives of both sides of Venezuela's political standoff met former Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, former Dominican president Leonel Fernandez and Panama's ex-president Martin Torrijos "in recent days" under the auspices of the Union of South American Nations, UNASUR, to seek a "framework for a national dialogue," the organization said in a statement.
Moderate conservative Ali Larijani retained the speakership of Iran's parliament Sunday despite major gains for reformists in February elections, benefiting from credit gained by his support for last year's nuclear deal. Several lawmakers from the reformist camp broke ranks to vote against the head of their own List of Hope, Mohammad Reza Aref, who lost by 103 votes to 173. February's election was widely seen as a referendum on last July's nuclear deal with world powers led by the United States, the signature policy of moderate President Hassan Rouhani.
Nameless migrants laid to rest in unmarked scrubland, murder victims dumped in mass graves, desperate searches for the missing after natural disasters. "You cannot close the book on the life of a loved one if you do not know the truth, or what the reasons were, why people went missing," said Salvadoran diplomat Augustin Vasquez Gomez. The numbers are thought to be "staggering" -- between 250,000 and a million in Iraq alone stretching back to the early days of the regime of former dictator Saddam Hussein, said Kathryne Bomberger, ICMP director general.