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."
Kindergarten has turned into orphanage after becoming home to tens of children who lost one or both parents in Syria's civil war
Some 10,000 Somali refugees living in eastern Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp are expected to be repatriated within six months
Human rights groups send open letter to president over prosecution of father accusing soldiers of shooting 14-year-old
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said reports that Saudi Arabia had called certain Hamas officials to voice its displeasure with the visit were unfounded
Parliament urged the government to expedite the process of tabling electoral reforms as lack of quorum derails debates.
28,000 soldiers will be used to secure polling stations while another 8,000 will be deployed for emergency reaction.
Twin bombs in Yemen's western city of Al-Hudaydah resulted in the death of an unconfirmed amount of people and scores were of people were injured.
Conviction against Huugjilt, 18, overturned almost 2 decades after execution for crime which serial rapist confessed to in 2005.
The Egyptian army said Thursday that it had killed nine "terrorists" and arrested 12 others within the past two days in the northeastern Sinai Peninsula.
Some Jewish organizations had called on settlers to storm the Al-Aqsa compound, especially on Sunday and Monday, according to the Palestinian NGO.
The United Nations launched its biggest ever humanitarian appeal for Syria on Thursday, seeking $8.4 billion after only securing about half the funding it asked for in 2014.
The union said that cabinet ministers in the Palestinian unity government had promised the cleaners that it would work on resolving their grievances within the next two weeks
Bosnia lifts visa requirements for citizens of 10 countries, bringing total number to 72.
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini urged Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to radically change his attitude to the rest of the world and be more cooperative.
European Union has 'shot itself in the foot' by isolating Palestinian group, says analyst.
Cheyney's fiscal problems - students who are unable to repay debt and increasing pension costs - were exacerbated by cutbacks in state higher education funding.