Mr. Obama said the U.S. is concerned that actions by President Hugo Chavez's government “have restricted the universal rights of the Venezuelan people, threatened basic democratic values, and failed to contribute to the security in the region.”
Paroled activist Berenson can leave Peru: Father
LIMA — The father of paroled U.S. activist Lori Berenson said Monday that Peruvian migration officials have given her permission to leave the country with her toddler son to spend the holidays with her family in New York City.
Mark Berenson told the Associated Press by phone from New York that his daughter called with the news on Monday afternoon.
Despite a court’s approval for her to leave the country for the first time since her 1995 arrest, authorities barred her from boarding a flight to New York on Friday night.
When she was paroled last year, Lori Berenson had served three-quarters of a 20-year prison term for aiding leftist rebels.
Girl dies after split from conjoined twin
SANTIAGO — A 10-month-old girl who was surgically separated from her conjoined twin died Sunday after suffering general organ failure, said the director of a Chilean children’s hospital.
Doctors at Luis Calvo Mackenna Hospital had separated Maria Jose Paredes Navarrete from her twin sister Maria Paz late Tuesday at the thorax, abdomen and pelvis in a marathon 20-hour surgery.
A hospital statement said Maria Jose had suffered “a flaw in the right side of the heart as a consequence of pulmonary hypertension that afflicted her since her birth.”
The statement said Maria Paz was in a stable condition, with her kidneys starting to function.
Chileans have closely followed news about the twin girls, with updates about their condition making online and newspaper headlines.
“We are conscious that we made every effort,” Mr. Artaza said. “It’s a moment of deep pain, of deep grieving.”
The twins were born in the town of Loncoche, about 470 miles south of the capital of Santiago, and had spent their entire lives under hospital care.
The Venezuelan leader also expressed “confidence in the ability of Koreans to conduct their own future to prosperity and peace,” noting his desire for Pyongyang to pursue its “struggle for self-determination and world peace.”
North Korean state media announced that Mr. Kim, 69, died of a heart attack, plunging the nuclear-armed and deeply isolated nation into a second dynastic succession and urging people to rally behind Mr. Kim’s youngest son, Kim Jong Un.
South Korea put its military on emergency alert but urged its people to stay calm and swiftly closed ranks with its close ally the United States.
Analysts said there likely would be little turbulence in the North - at least for now.
Neighboring China and Russia, both influential players in Pyongyang, sent their condolences, and observers said Beijing would beef up its all-important patronage to prevent an implosion in the communist North.
• From wire dispatches and staff reports
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