Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said Thursday the shooting death of an opposition leader appeared to be a gangland score-settling, dismissing claims it was politically motivated ahead of key elections. Authorities were investigating the killing of Luis Manuel Diaz and "the interior ministry has evidence that suggests it was a contract killing to settle a score between rival gangs," Maduro said in a speech to supporters. An attacker shot Diaz dead on Wednesday evening in the central Guarico region at a campaign rally for the December 6 legislative elections, party officials said.
By Dmitry Zhdannikov and Guy Faulconbridge LONDON (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin will survive Western sanctions and lower oil prices but the Kremlin chief has brought such stagnation that Russia could eventually collapse, former tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky said on Thursday. Russia's richest man, who was arrested in 2003 after falling foul of Putin and released in 2013, told Reuters that Putin could survive oil prices of $45 per barrel but that the longer he stayed in power the greater the risks for Russia.
Polish supermarket chains say the government's proposed turnover tax needs major changes if it is to act as a weapon against foreign competitors dominating the Polish market. The eurosceptic Law and Justice (PiS) party that won last month's general election has not explicitly said that the new tax is meant to handicap Britain's Tesco, France's Carrefour and Auchan or Germany's Kaufland and Metro, and other foreign players. The party has said the tax revenue will fund generous family benefits and a lower retirement age -- campaign promises that helped it defeat the liberal Civic Platform (PO) party at the ballot box.