VENEZUELA: The country will vote on April 14 to choose a successor to Hugo Chavez, the elections commission announced on Saturday.
Elections Council chief Tibisay Lucena said Venezuela's electronic voting system was fully prepared.
Opposition coalition co-ordinator Ramon Guillermo Aveledo immediately offered his bloc's presidential candidacy to Henrique Capriles, who accepted today.
He will face Nicolas Maduro, Mr Chavez's chosen successor and acting president of the Bolivarian republic.
GERMANY: Around 800,000 state government employees won a 5.6 per cent pay increase over two years on Saturday.
The pay deal covers police officers, firefighters and workers at ministries in all but one of Germany's 16 states. It features a 2.65 per cent pay rise backdated to January 1 to be followed next January by a further 2.95 per cent.
That's above Germany's 1.5 per cent annual inflation rate but well short of unions' initial demand for a 6.5 per cent raise over one year.
GREECE: The head of the country's privatisation agency and the general secretary of the Finance Ministry have resigned after being charged with dereliction of duty while serving as top officials at state electricity company Public Power Corp (PPC).
Takis Athanassopoulos, who stepped down as Greece's privatisation chief on Saturday, is a former PPC chairman and CEO while the Finance Ministry's Georgios Mergos was a board member.
PAKISTAN: Intelligence officials say a US missile strike has killed a foreign fighter near the Afghan border.
A missile hit the suspected militant as he was riding a horse in the town of Datta Khel in North Waziristan.
MALTA: The Labour Party was declared winner of the general election today, returning to power after 15 years in opposition.
Labour leader Joseph Muscat became party leader five years ago.
The election was called after the government collapsed in December when Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi lost his one-vote majority when a dissenting MP voted against a budget bill.
Labour was last in government between 1996 and 1998.
SOUTH AFRICA: Nelson Mandela was released from hospital today after he was admitted for tests.
Presidential spokesman Mac Maharaj that 94-year-old Mr Mandela had undergone a successful, scheduled medical examination at a clinic in Pretoria.
Mr Mandela spent 18 days in hospital in December, undergoing treatment for a lung infection and gallstones.
FALKLAND ISLANDS: Residents went to the polls today in a referendum on the political status of the islands.
The local Falkland Islands government has mobilised an effort to get as many of its 1,650 registered voters as possible to cast their ballots, sending off-road vehicles, boats and seaplanes to remote sheep farms across the lightly populated islands.
IRAQ: Officials say an anti-government protest organiser has been killed in a drive-by shooting in the country's north.
Gunmen shot and killed Bunyan Sabar al-Obeidi today morning as he was driving in Kirkuk.
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