Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez admitted that his cancer has returned and designated Vice President Nicolas Maduro as heir to the socialist dictatorship he has built as he flew to Cuba for further treatment.
U.S. forces rescued an American doctor kidnapped in Afghanistan, but the operation resulted in the death of a member of Navy SEAL Team 6 who had participated in the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. Three workers with Morning Star Development, an aid agency with a long history of work in the region (see “Their future is now,” from WORLD’s Nov. 5, 2011, issue), were kidnapped five days ago. Two staff workers were released after negotiations with the Taliban, then U.S. commanders ordered the rescue mission for Dilip Joseph, of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Sunday after they received intelligence indicating the workers’ lives were in imminent danger. According to Morning Star’s account of events, Dilip has served as a medical advisor for the group for three years and travels frequently to Afghanistan.
Mexican-American singer Jenni Rivera has been confirmed dead after the plane she was traveling on crashed in Nuevo Leon state in northern Mexico.
Iranian authorities are believed to be killing a jailed Christian pastor by medical neglect.
Egyptians say their country’s draft constitution should not be rammed through in the hastily called Dec. 15 referendum but should pass by a comfortable majority to be legitimate. That’s unlikely, given the significant challenges to personal freedom, including religious freedom, according to an analysis by Hudson Institute fellow Samuel Tadros and a new report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.
Natasha Leininger, age 9, and her sister Kendal, age 7, are some pretty amazing young girls who have raised thousands of dollars through read-a-thons to help African orphans. I like Kendal’s definition of bravery in the video (see below) about their work. Their mother, Shantel Leininger, tells me they are launching an organization called From One Child to Another.