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In Upcoming Venezuelan Vote, Hugo Chavez Looms Large

With Chavez gone, his handpicked successor is in the spotlight. Nicolas Maduro has adopted Chavez's style and anti-imperialist rhetoric. That should help boost his appeal as he faces opposition leader Henrique Capriles in a special election April 14.
NPR

North Korea Severs 'Hotline' Communication With The South After Sanctions

North Korean authorities cut off their "hotline" communication with South Korea on Monday as part of their announced withdrawal from the armistice agreement that ended the Korean War in 1953. The move came amid a flurry of bellicose North Korean threats, coinciding with the beginning today of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises. The White House also vowed anew to protect U.S. forces and South Korean allies against any threats from the North. Analysts say it is among the most dangerous moments on the Korean peninsula in several years.
NPR

No Clear Frontrunner For Next Pope On The Eve Of Cardinals' Conclave

There's a growing sense excitement and trepidation among visitors to St. Peter's Square on the eve of the conclave to elect a new pope. The 115 Catholic cardinals who will cast ballots break down into two groups: the so-called Roman party, members of the Vatican administration known as the curia, and the so-called reformers, cardinals from outside Rome. The cardinals have said there is no strong consensus around any one candidate so there will probably be several rounds of voting over several days. A cardinal must receive two-thirds of the vote to become pope.

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