Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has died after a two-year battle with cancer, ending the socialist leader’s 14-year rule of the South American country, Vice President Nicolas Maduro said in a televised speech.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s adoring supporters prayed and wept on Tuesday over a serious setback in his battle against cancer that threatens to end his 14-year rule of the South American OPEC member.
“There is so much sadness and confusion,” said one die-hard “Chavista,” Marisol Aponte, a community worker in the slums of Caracas, her voice choking with emotion. “But we must be strong and put into practice all that he has taught us.”
In one of the gloomiest announcements to date on Chavez’s health, the government said on Monday night that his breathing problems had worsened and he was suffering from a “severe” new respiratory infection in a Caracas military hospital.
A mystery man dressed as Batman demonstrated the same crime-fighting skills as the caped crusader when he handed over a suspect wanted for burglary in Britain.
Closed-circuit television footage showed a portly figure wearing an ill-fitting costume including gloves, cape and mask, bringing a 27-year-old man to a police station in Bradford in northern England.
The suspect was arrested and charged with handling stolen goods and fraud-related offenses, said the force. But the costumed crime-fighter disappeared into the night without leaving his name.
Introducing Connected China, the culmination of an 18-month project to explain the social and professional networks of China’s leaders, highlighting the interpersonal relationships that drive business, move markets and shape the political landscape in the world’s most populous nation.
VIEW IT HERE: Connected China on connectedchina.reuters.com
Secretary of State John Kerry offered a defense of freedom of speech, religion and thought in the United States on Tuesday telling German students that in America “you have a right to be stupid if you want to be.”
“As a country, as a society, we live and breathe the idea of religious freedom and religious tolerance, whatever the religion, and political freedom and political tolerance, whatever the point of view,” Kerry told the students in Berlin, the second stop on his inaugural trip as secretary of state.
“People have sometimes wondered about why our Supreme Court allows one group or another to march in a parade even though it’s the most provocative thing in the world and they carry signs that are an insult to one group or another,” he added.
“The reason is, that’s freedom, freedom of speech. In American you have a right to be stupid - if you want to be,” he said, prompting laughter. “And you have a right to be disconnected to somebody else if you want to be.”
From a billboard bearing his face, to a giant inflatable doll and posters hawked on the street below, there is no shortage of images of Hugo Chavez at the Caracas military hospital where he has been since returning from Cuba.
Yet there has been no sight of the 58-year-old Venezuelan president since he came home - during the night and without photos or fanfare - a week ago.
His surprise return to Caracas raised supporters’ hopes of a recovery after December surgery in Havana that was his fourth operation in 18 months. But other than the government saying Chavez’s breathing problem has worsened, there have been no new details about the patient on the well-guarded ninth floor.
“We don’t even know if he’s really here,” said Marlene Vegas, 51, a housewife who lives near the military hospital. “We have only seen cars with dark windows going in and out.”
U.N. human rights investigators called on Israel on Thursday to halt settlement expansion and withdraw all half a million Jewish settlers from the occupied West Bank, saying that its practices could be subject to prosecution as possible war crimes.
A three-member U.N. panel said private companies should stop working in the settlements if their work adversely affected the human rights of Palestinians, and urged member states to ensure companies respected human rights.
READ ON: U.N. rights inquiry says Israel must remove settlers
The group of Islamist rebels occupying this dusty northern Malian town at the gateway to Timbuktu had been slaughtering a cow to eat at a small hotel.
The next instant, they were caught in an explosive blizzard of flying concrete and shrapnel.
“They ate no meat. Many were killed, maybe 40,” said Hamidou Dicko, a neighbor who had peered over his mud-brick wall at the hotel - used by the rebels as a base - after the French warplanes attacked late on January 12.
The French air strike against the Hotel N’douli, which once served tourists visiting the Dogon hills or the fabled desert trading town of Timbuktu some 200 km (125 miles) to the north, left scattered limbs and shattered bodies in the courtyard.
The attack was just one of hundreds of French strikes that have characterized the 18-day offensive; sudden, devastating fire-power rained down from the skies that left surviving rebels little option but to flee into the desert.
“The few survivors gathered the dead, put them in trucks and fled,” said Dicko.
Video: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and U.S. Senator Ron Johnson clash over Benghazi consulate attack (via Talking Points Memo)
More than 100 people were shot, stabbed or possibly burned to death by government forces in the Syrian city of Homs, a monitoring group said on Thursday, and fierce fighting raged across the country.
The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said women and children were among the 106 people killed by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad forces who stormed Basatin al-Hasawiya, a poor district on the edge of Homs, on Tuesday.
The massacre in the central city came the same day twin explosions killed over 80 people at Aleppo’s university in the north, according to the group.
Reuters cannot independently confirm reports due to reporting restrictions in Syria.