A worker releases two red parrot cichlid fish in a tank in a fish farm in Pingtung, Taiwan, on Thursday. Pichi Chuang/Reuters
A newspaper seller holds souvenir bags to mark the pope's visit to Britain which contain a bottle of water and a snack and are given free to those who purchase the national newspaper on a street close to Bellahouston Park, Glasgow, Scotland, on Thursday. Pope Benedict XVI arrived in the United Kingdom for a four-day visit, a controversial yet historic state trip that has been overshadowed by the sex abuse scandals that have shaken confidence in the Roman Catholic Church. Scott Heppell/AP
Mexican artists perform a folk dance during Mexico's Pavilion Day on Thursday in Shanghai, China, at the Shanghai Expo site. Eugene Hoshiko/AP
An Indian male ring neck parrot tries to break the padlock of its cage in Calcutta, India, on Thursday. Bikas Das/AP
A large-scale video installation is projected onto Rome's ancient Colosseum by artists Thyra Hilden and Piuz Diaz on Thursday. "City on Fire" is a series of large-scale video projections simulating fire burning down symbolic monuments in the Western world. Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
A French soldier patrols at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Thursday as France faces an elevated threat of terrorism. France's Interior Minister, Brice Hortefeux, pointed to the kidnapping of five French nationals in Africa overnight and a bomb alert Tuesday that led to the evacuation of the Eiffel Tower as the causes of the heightened alert. Francois Mori/AP
Riot police stand guard along the streets of Paquisha, Ecuador, on Thursday. Miners gathered to protest against President Rafael Correa's policies on illegal mining in Ecuador. Guillermo Granja/Reuters
A man cheers while standing in Zocalo Square as Mexico marks the 200th anniversary of its independence in Mexico City. Eliana Aponte/Reuters
Winds play havoc with a woman's umbrella in downtown Erie, Penn., on Thursday. Rob Engelhardt/Erie Times-News/AP
Models display creations by Lebanese international designer Elie Saab during her Autumn-Winter 2010-2011 fashion show at the official opening of "Beirut Souks" a gigantic shopping mall in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, on Thursday. Hussein Malla/AP
Thousands shut down the main highway in Caracas to express their anger with the increasingly embattled administration of President Nicolas Maduro.
ByFabiola Sanchez and Hannah Dreier, Associated Press
Protesters sprawled in lawn chairs, worked on math homework and played cards on main roads around Venezuela's cities Monday, joining in sit-ins to disrupt traffic as the latest slap at the socialist government.
Thousands shut down the main highway in Caracas to express their anger with the increasingly embattled administration of President Nicolas Maduro. They turned the road into a kind of public plaza, with protesters settling in for picnics, reading books and reclining under umbrellas they brought to protect against the blazing Caribbean sun.
In the provinces, protests turned deadly. The public prosecutor announced that 54-year-old Renzo Rodriguez was killed by a gunshot to the chest Monday at a protest in the plains state of Barinas. In the mountain town of Merida, state worker Jesus Sulbaran was fatally shot in the neck at a pro-government rally. In addition, five people were injured at the Merida protest, Venezuela ombudsman Tarek William Saab said.
The two killings raised to 23 the number of deaths linked to unrest that began almost a month ago over the Supreme Court's decision to gut the opposition-controlled congress of its powers.
The Caracas gathering was largely peaceful, though some protesters wrapped bandanas around their faces and threw stones at police, prompting state security forces to release a cloud of tear gas.
Juan Carlos Bautista passed the afternoon playing dominos.
"We want to be free. I'm here fighting for my children and my children's children," he said.
The current wave of protests is the most intense the economically struggling country has seen since two months of anti-government protests in 2014 that left dozens dead. But while those protests were led by young people who built flaming barricades in the street, this month's movement is attracting masses of older protesters, who say they are fighting not for themselves, but for the younger generations.
Protesters in at least a dozen other cities staged sit-ins, with some building barricades to stop traffic. In Caracas, protesters dragged concrete slabs, garbage and even a bathtub into the road. Retired professor Lisbeth Colina said she decided to participate in the sit-in for her grandchildren.