Voices President Obama urged members of Congress to make 2014 a 'year of action' in his State of the Union address

Institutional flaws have held the President back

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez 'in good mood' after surgery

Vice President Nicolas Maduro surprised Venezuelans with a Christmas Eve announcement that President Hugo Chavez is up and walking two weeks after cancer surgery in Cuba, but the news did little to ease uncertainty surrounding the leader's condition.

Christmas thins are great to place on the table at the end of Christmas lunch or dinner

Christmas thins

Serves 4-6

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Arsenal manager admits interest in re-signing record goalscorer on loan in January

Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated: Fidel Castro proves he's alive...and gardening

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Hammond: to him 'education' meant leading people from darkness

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Roger Hammond, who has died of cancer at the age of 56, was an environmental educator for whom "environment" meant everything, and "education" meant leading people from darkness. He trained as a teacher in Birmingham, and then rose swiftly to become head of science at a large secondary school. He was meanwhile involved in setting up the Urban Wildlife Group and enrolled for a doctorate in plant sociology, acquiring knowledge that would one day give rise to many native hedges and wildflower meadows.

Lionel Messi scores for Argentina

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Argentina's world class forwards were instrumental in a 2-1 away win over Chile last night that gave the visitors a three-point lead in the standings as the South American World Cup qualifying campaign takes a break until March.

Nicolás Maduro with Hugo Chávez earlier this month

Nicolás Maduro: waiting in the shadow of President Chávez

As he languished in his jail cell 20 years ago, failed coup plotter Hugo Chávez must have been grateful for every friend he could get. It was during that brief nadir that his close political and personal friendship with Nicolás Maduro, a 29-year-old bus driver-turned-union leader was forged.

Nicolás Maduro with Hugo Chávez earlier this month

Waiting in the shadow of Hugo Chavez

Behind the ailing Socialist President is a likely successor who is even more anti-American

Supporters of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez celebrate in downtown Caracas

President Hugo Chavez wins re-election in Venezuela

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez promised to deepen his socialist revolution after a comfortable election victory that could extend to 20 years his polarizing leadership of the South American OPEC nation.

With 90% of votes counted, Mr Chavez had more than 54% of the vote to 45% for challenger Henrique Capriles, an athletic 40-year-old former state governor who unified and energised the opposition while barnstorming across the oil-exporting nation.

Hugo Chavez wins re-election in Venezuela

Henrique Capriles was probably the most serious threat to Chavez's presidency since he first came to office in 1999, but Capriles too has been seen off.

A mural depicting Venezuelan President and presidential candidate Hugo Chavez

Two candidates, one divided country – but will the election make any difference to Venezuela?

Owen Jones reports from Caracas on the differences – and similarities – between Chavez and his challenger

Venezuelans full of energy invade the streets close to the Venezuelan Consulate in London, where they cast their vote for the presidential elections

Decision time for Venezuela as Capriles faces down Chavez

Venezuelans are today voting in what is predicted to be the country's closest presidential election in a decade.

Henrique Capriles
Capriles studied law at university, but has spent almost his entire adult life in politics, working as a local mayor, member of congress and, since 2008, governor of Miranda, the wealthiest of the country's 23 states. Capriles was charged and cleared – twice – with orchestrating violent protests outside the Cuban embassy during the 2002 coup. He has always denied the accusation and claims he was
mediating between the ambassador and the mob.

Chávez battles it out with young rival in presidential election

Judging by the heated rhetoric, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez could not be taking the challenge from opposition candidate Henrique Capriles more seriously. Even by his own strident standards, the president's recent warning to Venezuela's moneyed classes to vote for him or face "civil war" was inflammatory.

The News Matrix: Thursday 4 October 2012

Riots as police round up money changers

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