World Bulletin / News Desk
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez declared himself fully recovered from cancer on Monday, three months before an election in which he is seeking another six-year term.
"Free, free, totally free," he told reporters when asked if he was free of the disease that struck a year ago.
The 57-year-old socialist leader was first diagnosed with cancer in the pelvic region in mid-2011. He wrongly declared himself cured at the end of that year before having a recurrence of the disease in February.
But after repeated cycles of treatment in Cuba and Venezuela, Chavez is once again declaring himself fully fit at a crucial time when his health is the main wild card before the Oct. 7 presidential vote.
Perceptions of Chavez's ability to campaign for the election, and govern afterwards, are crucial among voters in what could be one of Venezuela's tightest elections of recent times.
At a four-hour news conference that offered more evidence of Chavez's increasing energy levels, he promised to begin campaigning on the streets with a series of caravans in provincial Venezuela from Thursday.
"Now is when I'm stepping into the action. Our offensive begins right now!" said an ebullient Chavez, who disappeared for long periods during treatment over the last year but has been back dominatingVenezuela's airwaves in recent weeks.
"Chavez is back in the street, the Bolivarian hurricane!" he added, referring to his spiritual idol and Venezuela's independence hero, Simon Bolivar.
Despite Chavez's optimism, doctors say it is impossible to be sure someone is completely cured until at least a couple of years have passed since the last recurrence of cancer.
The former soldier is leading most opinion polls by double digits.
Capriles, a 39-year-old, center-left former governor, has been criss-crossing Venezuela on a "house-by-house" tour in a show of youth and energy that the opposition has been using to contrast with the ailing Chavez, 57.
The president, though, who was famous for his whirlwind on-the-street campaigning of the past, appears to be recovering his energy levels just in time.
"Every day, I feel in better physical condition and I strongly believe ... it is not going to be a determining factor in this campaign," he told reporters. "I'm a veteran of 100 battles and I feel in great moral, spiritual and physical conditions for this fight that is starting."
The prime minister had asked General Sharif to "play his role" in resolving the conflict.
Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in a statement that President Hussainleft for Turkey accompanied by Adviser to the Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Mr. Sartaj Aziz.
The ECOWAS countries and airlines will make their own decisions on flight bans and borders
The deal will include shipments of weaponry, ammunition as well as ground equipment, spare parts and pilot training
The United Kalavrvta tanker, carrying about $100 million worth of Kurdish crude, has been anchored in the Gulf of Mexico for weeks
Finland scrambled jets to identify the Russian plane it suspected of crossing over, which it called a state aircraft -- a term that refers to those used in military, customs and police services.
An open letter from 200 businessmen and women put forward the economic argument for independence from the United Kingdom.
The confrontation occurred in the mountainous border zone just outside the town of Arsal, which was held for five days by militants including fighters affiliated to ISIL
Catherine Samba-Panza insists she harbors no ill will towards predecessor Michel Djotodia, who has been based in Benin since his January 2011 resignation.
The United Nations is supervising the audit of votes from a run-off ballot between the two candidates, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani
Hundreds have been killed in the past year in clashes pitting the semi-nomadic, cattle-herding Fulani people against settled communities
Separatists backed by Russian soldiers have entered the town of Novoazovsk in southeastern Ukraine, a pro-government militia fighter said
Poroshenko, standing at Kiev's airport in light rain with his back to the presidential plane he was to have boarded for Turkey, referred specifically to the worsening military situation near Amvrosiyivka and Starobesheve
Mursi is being questioned in connection with his secretary's daughter who is suspected of leaking sensitive security documents to Al Jazeera, the security sources said.
The party denied that the move is related to a possible decision to contest Egypt's upcoming parliamentary elections.
The move, by Douglas Carswell, a prominent Eurosceptic, will trigger a high-profile election for his parliamentary seat in southern England as he tries to get re-elected to represent UKIP