VENEZUELA – Coalition has taken 99 out of 167 parliamentary seats. This means they have a simple majority in parliament – short of a qualified majority of 102. An absolute majority of 112 would have given them the power to call a referendum on the future of socialist president Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s export led economy has been hit hard by the plunging oil price. Rising inflation has meant queues outside supermarkets. John Kerry has welcomed the result. The Coalition is expected to call an end to wasteful spending – including a halt to programmes helping the poor.