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Photo: FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images

Officials in Venezuela said on Wednesday that they have called a presidential election for April 22, per the AP, after negotiations between the ruling socialist party and opposition politicians broke down.

Why it matters: President Nicolas Maduro has already launched his campaign for a second term, and is currently the only candidate in a race the opposition says could be a sham, per the AP. Maduro's nearly five-year tenure has largely been marred by economic crises, food shortages and civil unrest.

The backdrop: This comes as the Trump administration is deciding whether to impose restrictions on Venezuelan crude oil exports and the exportation of U.S. refined products to the country. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who made the announcement this week during his a seven-day tour in Latin America and the Caribbean, said it’s part of an attempt to punish the Maduro’s regime, which he said has turned Venezuela into a dictatorship.

Go deeper: Venezuela's economic collapse, by the numbers

Go deeper

22 mins ago - Health

First known U.S. case of the Omicron variant identified in California

PhotoL Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The first known U.S. case of the Omicron variant was detected in California, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: The confirmed case was detected in a traveler returning from South Africa who was fully vaccinated and has mild symptoms, according to the CDC.

Supreme Court appears likely to roll back abortion rights

Abortion rights advocates and anti-abortion protesters demonstrate in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Wednesday seemed likely to weaken abortion rights and perhaps to let states ban the procedure altogether.

The intrigue: The court seemed likely to throw out the framework established in Roe v. Wade, but it wasn't clear whether a majority of the justices were inclined to overturn the court's precedents entirely.

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

How to meme a painting

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

How can a physical artwork become an NFT? One new company has just spent $12.9 million on a Banksy in an attempt to try out a new way of converting the real into the virtual.

Why it matters: The art market globally sees volume of about $60 billion per year, almost all of which is trade in physical objects. Art-world insiders including former Christie's c0-chair Loïc Gouzer are on the lookout for ways to monetize physical paintings without necessarily giving up physical ownership of them.