World Bulletin / News Desk
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez named Foreign Minister and former bus driver Nicolas Maduro as his new vice president on Wednesday in a Cabinet shake-up following his comfortable re-election.
Maduro, 49, replaces Elias Jaua, who will run for the governorship of Miranda state against defeated presidential candidate Henrique Capriles in the South American OPEC member's December gubernatorial elections.
An ex-union leader on the public bus service and foreign minister since 2006, Maduro has long been seen as a possible successor to Chavez along with several other senior allies.
He was frequently at his side in the most critical moments of Chavez's year of cancer treatment since mid-2011.
The possibility of a recurrence of the disease hangs over Chavez despite a surprisingly vigorous campaign before his convincing 11-point win on Sunday.
Should Chavez's cancer reappear and force him out of office within the first four years of his six-year term, the vice president would serve temporarily as president before a new election. If Chavez left office in the final two years, the vice president would serve out the rest of the term. Chavez, 58, has ruled Venezuela since 1999.
"I don't recommend anyone for the vice president's job," Chavez joked, naming Maduro during the formal proclamation of his presidential win by Venezuela's election board.
"Putting up with me is not easy!"
The affable Maduro's working-class background gives him more appeal than other officials among Chavez's supporters. He was elected in 2000 to parliament, where his combative defense of Chavez's socialism turned him into a favored protégé.
"He was a bus driver. How they mock him, the bourgeoisie," said Chavez, who depicts his socialist government as a protector of the masses against an evil capitalist elite.
In other changes, Interior Minister Tareck el Aissami, Presidential Office Minister Erika Farias and Indigenous Peoples' Minister Nicia Maldonada all left the Cabinet to fight for state governorships, the ruling Socialist Party said.
Replacements were not named.
Last week, Shaimaa's 23-year-old mother arrived dead to central Gaza Strip's Deir al-Balah hospital when doctors found out that her unborn girl had still been alive inside her womb.
When the war turn into barbarism. When hospitals, disability centres , schools are not safe it is not a humanitarian crisis.
Violence in China’s far-western Xinjiang province continues as its Muslim Uighur population face religious and cultural restrictions.
Separately, U.S. lawmakers were working in Congress to provide millions of dollars in additional funding for Israel's "Iron Dome" missile shield.
The Ukranian parliament has rejected the resignation of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk.
Twenty eight migrants, mostly Bangladeshi, were wounded when foremen at a strawberry farm opened fire on about 200 immigrant workers who were protesting for back pay in the southwestern town of Manolada in April last year.
Corey Robin, a Jewish professor of political science at Brooklyn College and a longtime critic of Israel, was also arrested at the protest.
The government increased fuel prices after spending about $3 billion on energy subsidies last year, nearly a third of state revenue.
Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine intend to take part in talks with Moscow, Kiev and the OSCE security and rights organisation in Belarus.
“We brought dolls to refer to the children of Gaza,” Neta Golan, a spokesperson for the group, told Anadolu Agency outside the court.
France, the Philippines and the U.S. also decided to pull out staff this week.
The United Nations relief agency’s Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl condemned the killing children in their sleep.
In the absence of a deal, Israel has ordered its ground forces to focus on locating and destroying a warren of tunnels.
To get aid into Gaza, Iran has to fly it to Egypt and then take it across the Rafah border crossing. The only other option would be to go through Israel, unthinkable for Iran.
A joint rescue team is searching for those missing after a fishing vessel capsized with 48 on board in North Sumatra.
It is likely that the losses sustained by Morganti Development LLC, which owns a stake in the Gaza power plant, will be paid for by U.S. taxpayers, who ironically also help fund the Israeli army.