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."
Japan's already fragile ties with China have soured over their competing claims to a string of uninhabited East China Sea islets
The plaintiffs, all immigrants who are either practicing Muslims or are from predominantly Muslim nations, complain their immigration or naturalization petitions were illegally thwarted
John Tefft will go to Moscow as U.S.-Russia ties are severely strained over Washington's sanctions on Russia due to its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.
Thousands flocked to beaches to celebrate Eid al-Fitr despite meteorological warnings.
The requested military supplies include tanks, sniper equipment, armored personnel carriers, artillery and ammunition, and also body armor, helmets, fuel trucks and ambulances.
Kenya's President Kenyatta said they would discuss the funding issue with American investors on the sidelines of the US-African leaders summit next week.
Over 13 lives were lost and properties were also destroyed.
"Gen. Haftar has not left Libya and is currently preparing for a major military operation in Benghazi," his spokesman Mohamed al-Hegazi said.
The announcement comes after Israel bombed Gaza's only power plant, forcing a continued power outage across the embattled Gaza Strip.
The quake had struck nine miles (14 km) southeast of Algiers and its epicentre was recorded at a relatively shallow depth of 6.2 miles
Israel has attacked homes, schools, hospitals, Gaza's only power plant and U.N. premises in apparent violation of the Geneva Conventions, according to Navi Pillay
White House press secretary Josh Earnest says there is little doubt that the UN school was shelled by Israel.
Egypt underlined the importance of each side's abidance by the ceasefire until the beginning of the negotiations.
Residents said the blast shook buildings like there was an earthquake, toppling small shops and overturning cars.
Nearly 200 people have been killed since the violence erupted two weeks ago in Tripoli and also in the eastern city of Benghazi
The White House described the resupply of ammunition disclosed as the fighting raged this week as "routine."