World News: Chavez's Cancer Returns; Egypt in Turmoil, Military Threatens Action

By: AP
By: AP

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez during the recent presidential election which he won. This weekend Chavez revealed his cancer had returned. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has announced that his cancer has returned and that he will undergo another surgery in Cuba.
He told a TV audience Saturday night, that he would return to the island on Sunday to undergo surgery in the coming days.
Chavez called it a "new battle." It will be his third operation to remove cancerous tissue in about a year and a half.
Chavez, who won re-election on Oct. 7, also said for the first time that if his health were to worsen, his successor would be Vice President Nicolas Maduro.
The 58-year-old president said tests had shown a return of "some malignant cells" in the same area where tumors were previously removed.
Chavez first underwent cancer surgery for an unspecified type of pelvic cancer in Cuba in June 2011. He had another cancer surgery last February after a tumor appeared in the same area. He has also undergone chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
Chavez made his most recent trip to Cuba on the night of Nov. 27, saying he would receive hyperbaric oxygen treatment. Such treatment is regularly used to help heal tissues damaged by radiation treatment.

CAIRO (AP) -- Members of an Egyptian presidential national dialogue committee have recommended that a referendum on a disputed constitution be held on schedule but that the president rescinds some powers he had given himself.
The statement came after a meeting Saturday that was boycotted by the main opposition leaders who had protested the referendum. It did not suggest that President Mohammed Morsi meet demands for the Dec. 15 vote to be canceled.
Opposition protesters are holding a sit-in outside the presidential palace and are calling for more protests on Sunday.
An Islamist at the meeting says the committee found it would be a violation of earlier decisions to change the date of the referendum.
However, the committee recommended removing articles that granted Morsi powers to declare emergency laws and shield him from judicial oversight. Panel members say Morsi had approved the recommendations.
The decision is unlikely to appease the opposition since it recommends the referendum go ahead as scheduled. Morsi's initial declaration was to be rendered ineffective anyway after the constitution is approved.

CAIRO (AP) -- A sit-in by opponents of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's continues around the presidential palace in Cairo today.
Soldiers have sealed off the palace with tanks and barbed wire, and Egypt's military leaders are wading into the political crisis after protests turned violent this week.
The turmoil began last month after Morsi granted himself authority free of judicial oversight and his Islamist allies rushed together a draft constitution. The move touched off street clashes between the president's supporters and protesters accusing him of becoming a new strongman. At least six civilians have been killed and several offices of the president's Muslim Brotherhood torched in the unrest.
In a statement today, the military warns of "disastrous consequences" if the crisis is not resolved and saying dialogue is the "best and only" way to overcome the conflict. The military says it will not allow the country to fall into "a dark tunnel" of violence.
Morsi too has called for a dialogue, but the main opposition leaders declined to attend a proposed session today. They say talks can only take place if Morsi rescinds his decrees and cancels the Dec. 15 referendum on the constitution.

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea says it's "seriously examining" the possibility of changing a launch window for a rocket it had planned to fire sometime after Monday.
The short statement in state media early Sunday by an unnamed spokesman for North Korea's space agency gave few details.
It says scientists are making preparations for liftoff but "are now seriously examining the issue of readjusting the launching time of the satellite for some reasons."
The United Nations and others call the launch a cover for a test of technology for a missile that could be used to target the United States.
North Korea says it's for a peaceful space program. The previously announced launch window runs from Monday to Dec. 22.
New satellite images indicate snow may have slowed preparations, but that Pyongyang could still be ready for liftoff Monday

NEW BATAAN, Philippines (AP) -- A typhoon that killed nearly 600 people and left hundreds missing in the southern Philippines has made a U-turn and is now threatening the country's northwest
The country's weather bureau raised storm warnings over parts of the main northern island of Luzon today after Typhoon Bopha veered northeast. Forecasters say there's a strong possibility the storm would make a second landfall tomorrow, though it also could make a loop and remain in the South China Sea.
In either case, the storm is moving close to shore and disaster officials are warning of heavy rains and winds and possible landslides in the mountains.
Another calamity in the north would stretch recovery efforts thin. Most government resources, including army and police, are currently focused on the south, where the typhoon struck Tuesday.
Officials in the south say search teams are working without the help of local guides because many survivors there are still in shock.
Soldiers, police and outside volunteers continue to search for bodies or signs of life under the tons of fallen trees and boulders swept down from the steep hills that surround the worst-hit town of New Bataan.

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) -- A group of Vietnamese have demonstrated against China amid rising tensions over Beijing's claims to the South China Sea.
The protest Sunday by about 150 people was watched over by police.
Anger at China is a sensitive issue for Vietnam's fellow communist rulers, which are worried that popular ire at Beijing could also be directed at them.
Vietnam and China have long sparred over who owns the South China Sea, but America's diplomatic tilt to Southeast Asia and China's growing assertiveness has focused attention on the issue.
Vietnam last week alleged that Chinese shipping vessels sabotaged one of its seismic survey vessels in the South China Sea.
China's recent issuing of new passports containing a map showing the sea as belonging to it has also caused anger in Hanoi.

MOSCOW (AP) -- "Men in Black" agents K and J may be about to recruit a new Russian assistant: Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Medvedev has spoken about top secret files on aliens that may have landed in Russia.
In footage recorded Friday after a television interview, the former president joked that each Russian leader gets two folders with information about extraterrestrials that visited our planet -- and stayed here.
Unseen on camera footage, he is heard telling a Ren TV journalist he could not tell "how many of them are among us, because it may cause panic." He said more details could be found in Barry Sonnenfeld's "Men in Black" films.
During his 2008-2012 presidency, Medvedev showed a sense of humor slightly more subtle than Putin's sometimes brutal jokes.

LONDON (AP) -- Pakistan's president has visited a British hospital where a 15-year-old schoolgirl is being treated after being shot in the head by a Taliban gunman.
Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital says Asif Ali Zardari met with doctors treating Malala Yousafzai during a visit Saturday.
It said that the leader was briefed about Malala's medical progress, before having a private meeting with the girl's father and brothers.
Malala was airlifted to the hospital after she was targeted on Oct. 9 by militants in the northwest Swat Valley.
The Taliban targeted Malala for criticizing the militant group and promoting secular girls' education, which is opposed by the Islamist extremists.

Iran police confiscate over 11 tons of narcotics
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's state TV says the country's border police have confiscated over 11 tons of narcotics after fierce clashes with drug traffickers in southeastern Iran, the biggest single consignment ever seized in Iran's war against drugs.
It quoted provincial border police chief, Gen. Qolam Nabi Kouhkan, as saying Saturday that the various narcotics were seized from traffickers Friday night.
One of the drug traffickers was killed and several others injured in the armed clashes that took place on Iran's border with Pakistan.
Kouhkan said the operation was helped by tips from locals, and that traffickers had carried the drugs on camels from Pakistan.
Iran lies on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Persian Gulf states, where the confiscation of large amounts of narcotics is common.

Thousands protest Tunisian union amid tensions
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- ?Tens of thousands of hardline Muslims took to the streets across Tunisia to show support for the ruling party and protest a general strike called by the country's most powerful labor union.
The moderate Islamist Ennahda party and the UGTT union are at loggerheads, a dispute that descended into days of riots recently as Tunisians vented their frustration over the country's stagnant economy. Many blame Ennahda for doing too little to reduce unemployment and curb police abuses -- the same complaints that drove Tunisia's revolution.
On Saturday, protests led by imams called for a purge of the union and for the implementation of Sharia law.
While the protesters were showing support for Ennahda, the party has also been under pressure from hardline Muslims who think it is too moderate.

Yemen: 8 soldiers killed in militant ambush near oil pipeline
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemen's defense ministry says eight soldiers including a senior officer were killed in an ambush by militants today.
The soldiers had been visiting a main oil pipeline that had been destroyed in an earlier attack.
Security officials said earlier that they believed the militants in the attack were from al-Qaida.
The army began an offensive last week in the restive, oil-rich province east of the capital to target militants who had repeatedly attacked the pipeline and power lines in recent weeks. A defense ministry statement confirms that the chief-of-staff for Yemen's central military region was killed in the attack.
The militants stole six military vehicles in the ambush.
The U.S. considers the al-Qaida branch in Yemen to be the world's most active and has helped Yemen's government intensify its campaign against militants.

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