Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez faces the toughest election of his 14-year rule today when he comes up against Henrique Capriles in a battle for Venezuelan votes.
Chavez, 58, who staged a remarkable comeback from cancer this year and wants a new six-year term, is up against Capriles - who has promised more jobs for the country's people.
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The announcement was hailed as a "momentous step" that will help families facing financial stress as they come to terms with their loss.
Pop Idol's Michelle McManus has joined 10 choirs to record a charity single that they hope will make Christmas Number One.
The decision was met with outrage and anger by UK cities which were on the shortlist for the prestigious award.