Chatter: Venezuela mourns Hugo Chavez




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Chavez mourned. The body of Hugo Chavez, carried by weeping supporters through the streets of Venezuela's capital yesterday, now lies in state at the military academy in Caracas. 

There is news of a potential cause of death: the head of Venezuela's presidential guard has claimed Chavez died of a massive heart attack, and in his final moments, was desperate to keep living. 

"He couldn't speak but he said it with his lips ... 'I don't want to die. Please don't let me die,'" General Jose Ornella told the Associated Press.

The state funeral for Chavez is due to take place Friday. But there is no date yet for an election, which under the constitution must be called within 30 days of Chavez's death.


UN peacekeepers kidnapped. The Philippines government is demanding the release of 21 of its citizens working as UN observers who were kidnapped by rebels in Syria.

The Filipinos were seized while monitoring the ceasefire line between Syria and Israel, as UN observers have done since 1974, and the group is being held near the Golan Heights. Negotiations are underway to secure their release.

Real-life 'Black Swan'? One of the Bolshoi Ballet's leading soloists, Pavel Dmitrichenko, has confessed to masterminding an acid attack on the company's artistic director.

Sergei Filin was left disfigured and partially blinded when a masked assailant threw sulfuric acid in his face outside his Moscow apartment building in January. 

Speculation is rife over why Dmitrichenko plotted the attack, though the dancer claims he didn't intend for Filin to be splashed with acid. Curiously, Dmitrichenko made his name playing some of ballet's biggest villains, including Ivan the Terrible and Von Rothbart in Swan Lake.

Rand Paul droned on. And on. In all, the Kentucky Republican senator kept a filibuster going for nearly 13 hours, arguing against the appointment of John Brennan as CIA head in a protest of the Obama administration's policy of using drones in targeted killings.

Paul had vowed to continue speaking until he could no longer, but in the end, succumbed to the most basic human functions. "I've discovered that there are some limits to filibustering, and I am going to have to take care of one of those in a few minutes here," he said to laughter.


Got American milk? Then, ladies, you might also have got a mustache, at least if a Russian animal health official is to be believed. 

And we're not talking about one of those cute milk mustaches. Nikolai Vlasov, deputy head of Russia's agricultural products agency, has warned Russian women that they will grow mustaches if they drink certain types of milk from America. He claims the treatment of dairy cows with synthetic hormones makes women who drink the milk develop male sexual characteristics such as mustaches.

Is Vlasov making this up? Kinda. While it hasn't been proven that American milk causes mustaches, it is true that some dairy cows in the US are treated with synthetic hormones, a controversial practice indeed. 

And while the hipster mustache fad has taken off among American men, mustaches on women hasn't become a thing yet — right?