BY Wire reports
Friday, December 14, 2012
12/14/12 at 2:20 AM
Caracas, Venezuela: Chavez had bleeding, complications in surgery
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez suffered bleeding during his cancer surgery in Cuba that required "corrective measures" to stanch the flow, his government said Thursday.
But in the latest of a series of unusually frank reports about the president's delicate condition, Information Minister Ernesto Villegas also said Chavez has been making a "progressive and favorable" recovery after the complications from Tuesday's surgery.
"This recovery process, nevertheless, will require a prudent period of time as a consequence of the complexity of the surgery performed," Villegas added.
The latest details about Chavez's health came as supporters held church services to pray for him and as Venezuelans increasingly acknowledged that their country might be on the verge of political change if the leftist leader cannot be sworn in for his fourth term early next year.
Havana : Cuba announces more small business support
Cuba's economy czar said Thursday that the government is planning more measures to support and increase the ranks of independent workers and small business owners, including the authorization of new areas of private employment.
Real estate broker, delivery person, antique dealer and produce vendor will be among the newly legal private professions, Marino Murillo told lawmakers at the second of their twice-annual sessions.
Economists have long said Cuba needs to expand the number of allowable private enterprises, with an emphasis on legalizing more independent white-collar work. Real estate has been a particular concern. Cuba legalized the buying and selling of property 12 months ago but has yet to allow agents to facilitate transactions.
Currently some 400,000 people are working in the private sector in 180 legally approved jobs, Prensa Latina said. That's up from 156,000 in late 2010.
Vatican City : Vatican rejects China's move against bishop
The Vatican is refusing to accept the decision by Chinese authorities to revoke the title of Shanghai's auxiliary bishop. Bishop Ma Daquin was jointly named for the post in a rare consensus between Beijing and the Vatican. He has been confined to a seminary since announcing his intention to drop out of the government agency that oversees the officially sanctioned church, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, in front of a congregation during his July 7 ordination as auxiliary bishop.
The No. 2 official in the Vatican's missionary office, Hong Kong Monsignor Savio Hon Tai-Fai, said Thursday that Ma remains auxiliary bishop and that the "so-called" Chinese Catholics bishops' conference has no authority to change that.
Baghdad : Baghdad, Kurds reach deal to ease standoff
Iraq's central government and Kurdish leaders have reached a deal aimed at easing a military standoff that began last month, the country's president announced Thursday.
The agreement calls for both sides to eventually withdraw their military forces from disputed areas in Iraq's north, though there is no timetable for how soon the drawdown might take place.
Tensions have been rising in recent months between Baghdad and the Kurds, who have considerable autonomy in their northern self-rule region.
Under the plan announced by President Jalal Talabani's office, local residents in the contested areas would oversee their own security. Committees will be set up to form the security forces according to the percentage of ethnic groups in each area, after which Iraqi and Kurdish military forces would start to pull back.
Springfield, Ill.: Illinois legislators to seek to legalize gay marriage
Two Illinois lawmakers said Thursday that they will seek to legalize gay marriage when the General Assembly reconvenes early next year - a push that comes just 18 months after the state started allowing civil unions for same-sex couples.
Rep. Greg Harris and Sen. Heather Steans, both Chicago Democrats, declined to detail the status of roll-call votes in each chamber during a conference call with reporters. But Harris has previously said he wouldn't bring a bill to the floor without assurances that there are enough votes to pass it.
"We're in striking distance of being able to get it done," Stearns said.
A girl looks out from under a banner during a demonstration against the latest government cutbacks in education in Madrid on Thursday. DANIEL OCHOA DE OLZA/Associated Press