News Cuban leader Fidel Castro, right, talks with Spanish journalist, writer and former editor-in-chief of Le Monde diplomatique, Ignacio Ramonet in Havana, Cuba

Fidel Castro was “healthy and alert” during a two-hour discussion about current affairs last week, a Spanish journalist told the Associated Press on Monday.

Venezuela politicians exchange punches in parliament

Venezuelan politicians exchanged punches in parliament yesterday when a fight erupted between members of President Hugo Chavez's socialist party and rivals, in a sign of the nation's political polarisation.

Chavez sees red over TV tales of 'Little Hugo'

In more than a decade in the presidency of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez has brushed off criticism from across the world, and weathered escalating attacks from his opposition at home, but in the end it seems to have been a Colombian soap opera that successfully got under his skin.

Get me Clinton, says Chávez after veto

President Hugo Chávez has sought to end a diplomatic stand-off with the US by suggesting Bill Clinton, the actor Sean Penn or the film director Oliver Stone as America's envoy to Caracas.

Venezuela: Pérez burial delayed over relatives' row

A bitter dispute between relatives of the former Venezuelan president Carlos Andrés Pérez has prevented his body being returned home from Miami.

Carlos Andrés Pérez: President of Venezuela during the oil boom who was later forced out of office

Just as in the case of the current president Hugo Chávez, the Venezuelan presidency of the social democrat Carlos Andrés Pérez was never dull. He first led his nation from 1974-79 at the height of the oil boom when he nationalised the oil industry and the country became a world player with the nickname "Saudi Venezuela."

Former Venezualan president dies aged 88

The former Venezuelan president, Carlos Andres Perez, who survived two coup attempts but was finally forced from office as the first Latin American leader to be convicted of corruption, died on Saturday.

Chavez 'would expel US ambassador'

Tension flared between the US and Venezuela over Washington's nominee for ambassador on Saturday. President Hugo Chavez warned the diplomat would be detained and put on the next flight home if he sets foot in the country.

'Dictator' Chavez to rule by decree

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez has moved to bypass parliament and govern by decree for one year, prompting opposition charges that he was acting like a dictator.

Diego Maradona in line to coach Iran according to reports

It takes little to fuel speculation about the career of Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona but one nod from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was enough for a newspaper to report he is line to coach Iran.

Latin American radicals call for Kyoto renewal

Three radical Latin American leaders may make the difference between agreement and failure at the UN climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, which reaches its climax this week.

Livingstone too cosy with Fidel Castro, said envoy

Ken Livingstone, the former mayor of London, was accused of being "anti-American" in a leaked email from the US envoy to Britain.

Chavez leads fight for rights – and this time it's personal

Trouble lies ahead for graffiti artists in Caracas and other cities and towns across Venezuela whose sole professional mission is to plaster every available façade, fence or broken-down bus with brightly painted portraits of the man they call Comandante: President Hugo Chavez is no longer flattered and wants control of his image rights.

DVD: South of the Border, For retail & rental (Dogwoof)

In this sub-Michael Moore documentary, Oliver Stone schmoozes with South American presidents, and learns that they're not quite the anti-USA Hitlers that Fox News makes them out to be.

Chavez meets Syrian President

The Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez met his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, yesterday on the Middle East leg of an international tour partly intended to counter what he calls US "imperialism".

Chavez promises oil supplies to Belarus

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez promised to provide oil to the former Soviet republic of Belarus for the next two centuries.

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The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
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The comedian, 42, made the controversial comment following the athlete’s sentencing to five years for the culpable homicide of Reeva Steenkamp on Tuesday
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Could you tell the difference between this and an organic alternative?
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Culinary experts in The Netherlands thought it was 'fresh' and 'tasty'

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Six of the 76 Goats' cheese samples contained a significant amount of sheep's cheese
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Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
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JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
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How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
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Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?