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In brief: Death sentence sparks multiple violent protests

Dhaka, Bangladesh – Protesters clashed with police for a second day Friday as the death toll rose to at least 44 from violence triggered by a death sentence given to an Islamic party leader for crimes linked to Bangladesh’s 1971 independence war, police said.

The latest fighting broke out in northern Gainbandha and Chapainawabganj districts, killing two people, police officials said.

At least 42 people were killed Thursday in rioting triggered by the death sentence given to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, a top leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, the country’s largest Islamic party.

Jamaat, a key ally of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, campaigned against independence from Pakistan, but denies it was behind any atrocities.

In Dhaka, dozens of Jamaat supporters smashed several vehicles in central Malibagh district on Friday.

Sayedee was sentenced to death for mass killings, rape and atrocities allegedly committed during the bloody nine-month independence war more than 40 years ago. He is the third defendant to be convicted of war crimes by a special tribunal set up in 2010.

VP discloses that Chavez is receiving chemotherapy

Caracas, Venezuela – Venezuela’s government revealed for the first time Friday that President Hugo Chavez has been receiving chemotherapy as he “continues his battle for life” since undergoing a fourth cancer surgery in Cuba.

Vice President Nicolas Maduro told reporters after a Mass for Chavez that doctors began the treatment after the socialist leader recovered in mid-January from a respiratory infection that followed his Dec. 11 operation in Havana.

Chavez has not been seen or heard from since going to Cuba, except for a set of “proof of life” photos released Feb. 15.

He first revealed an unspecified cancer in the pelvic region in June 2011.


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