April 5th, 2012
01:32 AM ET

Mali postpones convention addressing nation's political woes

Military leaders who overthrew Mali's president postponed plans to hold a national convention Thursday aimed at addressing political woes and determining the direction of the country.

The reason for the postponement was unclear. Military leaders planned to invite political parties and civilian representatives to the convention, said Capt. Amadou Sanogo, the junta leader.

The delay comes amid a widening crisis after renegade soldiers in the capital of Bamako overthrew the nation's democratically elected leader late last month, plunging the country into chaos.

The international community, including West African states, the African Union and the United States condemned the military coup  and called for the immediate restoration of constitutional rule.

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April 5th, 2012
01:13 AM ET

Chavez returns to Venezuela after radiation treatment

President Hugo Chavez returned to Venezuela early Thursday morning, after a second round of radiation treatment in Cuba.

Appearing healthy and walking unaided, Chavez held court on the tarmac of the airport in Barinas, telling well-wishers who had gathered to welcome him that his treatment went well.

Chavez has been in Cuba since March 25. He began a phase of radiation treatment the next day. Doctors in the Caribbean island nation have operated on him twice to remove cancerous tumors, Chavez has said.

The 57-year-old president has not specified the type of cancer he is battling, and the government has released few specifics, fueling widespread speculation about his health and political future.

The outspoken, flamboyant socialist leader has led Venezuela since 1999 and has pledged to run for re-election in October.

Venezuela's foreign ministry said Wednesday that Chavez spoke about his health in a lengthy phone conversation the day before with former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, who recently announced that his own cancer had gone into remission.

"President Chavez told his brother Lula that the treatment is going very well, and so is the political and economic situation of Venezuela," Venezuela's foreign ministry said in a statement summarizing the phone conversation.

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Filed under: Venezuela • World
April 5th, 2012
12:33 AM ET

Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout faces long prison sentence

The convicted Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout faces the possibility of life in prison at his sentencing in a federal court in New York on Thursday.

Last year, Bout, who's been dubbed "the merchant of death" by his accusers, was convicted on four counts of conspiracy to kill Americans, acquire and export anti-aircraft missiles and provide material support to a terrorist organization.

At the trial, the prosecution said that during a 2008 sting operation by U.S. drug enforcement agents in Thailand, Bout believed he was selling weapons to Colombian guerrillas.

Bout, whose life is considered to have inspired the 2005 Nicolas Cage movie "Lord of War," faces 25 years to life in prison.

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Filed under: New York • Russia • Thailand • U.S.
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