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Leaders at Americas Talks: World Economy Top Worry

Leaders from across Latin America and the Caribbean pledged to work together to fend off the effects of the world financial crisis and safeguard the region's growing economies.

Several presidents stressed at the start of a two-day summit Friday that they hope to ride out turbulent times by boosting their local industries and increasing trade within the region.

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Painted Bodies Transformed into Art in Venezuela

Artists used paint, ornaments and glitter to transform the human body into artwork at a festival in Venezuela, showing off designs that ranged from pure fantasy to indigenous myths.

The weekend's annual World Meeting of Body Art included body painting, tattoo art, performances and workshops. Fifty-two artists from 18 countries shared their creations at the gathering in Caracas, joining about 2,000 Venezuelans, organizers said.

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Venezuelan Police Free Major Leaguer Wilson Ramos

The kidnapping ordeal of Washington Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos ended after two days when Venezuelan police commandos swooped in to rescue him in a flurry of gunfire and arrested five alleged abductors.

Ramos said he was happy and thankful to be alive, and that the final moments had been hair-raising as police and the kidnappers exchanged heavy fire in the remote mountainous area where he was being held.

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Chavez Calls for 'Cancer Summit'

Venezuelan president and cancer survivor Hugo Chavez on Sunday announced a summit in early 2012 of Latin American leaders who have beaten the disease including Brazil's current and former presidents.

The 57 year-old Chavez had surgery in June to remove a malignant tumor. After several rounds of chemotherapy, mostly in Cuba, he claimed last month that he was cancer-free.

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Miss Venezuela Wins Miss World Crown

Miss Venezuela, Ivian Sarcos, was crowned the 2011 winner of the Miss World beauty pageant on Sunday at a glittering final ceremony in London.

Wearing a pink dress with diamante studs that had giant frills slashed below the waist, the 22-year-old threw her hands to her face as she was announced the winner.

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Over 80 Dead as Heavy Rain Batters Central America

Heavy rains pounded Central America on Tuesday, where more than 80 people have died in mudslides and flooding over the past week as swollen rivers destroyed bridges and submerged roads.

Authorities have gone on high alert across the mountainous region, home to 42 million people, as the rains have shown no sign of abating.

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Venezuela, Cuba FMs Lead Support Mission to Syria

The foreign ministers of Venezuela and Cuba are leading a delegation of leftist Latin American countries to Syria to meet Sunday with Syria's President Bashar Assad in a show of support.

The eight-member ALBA bloc's talks aim to "reject invasion and political destabilization attempts of the country by the United States and its allies," Venezuelan Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said in state news agency AVN.

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Chavez Backs his 'Brothers' Gadhafi, Assad Against ‘Yankees’

Venezuela's firebrand President Hugo Chavez on Saturday reiterated his support for ousted Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, calling them "brothers."

"I ask God for the life of our brother Gadhafi... No one knows where Gadhafi is, I think he went to the desert," Chavez told official television VTV.

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Chavez to Cuba for Fourth Round of Chemotherapy

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez traveled to Cuba late Saturday to begin a fourth round of chemotherapy to treat his cancer, saying it would "most likely be the last" round in the treatment.

After meeting here with visiting Bolivian President Evo Morales, on an "unofficial" visit to comfort Chavez during his ailment, the Venezuelan leader left for Cuba to begin treatment on Sunday, adding that he expects to return midweek.

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Chavez Expects Visit from Iran’s Leader

Hugo Chavez expects Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad to visit him after this month's U.N. General Assembly, which the Venezuelan leader will be unable to attend because of cancer treatment.

"Ahmadinejad is coming here, at last, after New York," Chavez told reporters Wednesday, without providing further details about the visit.

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