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Palestinian prisoner to end hunger strike

JERUSALEM (AP) -- A Palestinian member of a violent Islamic militant group that advocates killing Israeli civilians agreed to end his 66-day hunger strike to protest his imprisonment without charge after reaching a deal with Israel that will free him in April, the Israeli Justice Ministry said Tuesday.

The agreement ended a tense standoff that left Khader Adnan, 33, clinging to life and drew international attention to a controversial Israeli policy of holding suspected Palestinian militants without charge.

The hunger strike also turned Adnan, a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group who has openly called on members to carry out suicide bombings, into a hero for Palestinians.

Under the deal struck with military prosecutors, Adnan agreed to resume eating immediately, the Justice Ministry said.



Yemenis elect leader to replace Saleh

SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Yemenis voted Tuesday to instate their U.S.-backed vice president as the new head of state tasked with steering the country out of a crisis created by an anti-government uprising that has raged for a year.

The vote can hardly be called an election, as Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is the only candidate. It is, however, a turning point for the impoverished Arab state, ending President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 33-year authoritarian rule.

Despite the vote's predetermined result, voting was brisk in the capital and some other cities, prompting election officials to keep the polls open two extra hours. Many Yemenis hope the breakthrough will bring stability to their country, even if it does not bring a radically different government.

Saleh is the fourth ruler to lose power in the Arab Spring uprisings. But to the chagrin of many protesters, he will likely remain in Yemen, where nothing bars him from political activity.

As part of a U.S.-backed deal brokered by Yemen's Gulf neighbors, Saleh is stepping down in exchange for a blanket immunity from prosecution.



New lesion detected at site of Chavez tumor

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- President Hugo Chavez announced Tuesday that doctors in Cuba found a new lesion in the same place where he had a tumor removed last year and said he will require surgery.

"It is a small lesion of about 2 centimeters [less than 1 inch] in diameter, very clearly visible," Chavez told state television.

The announcement thrust Venezuelan politics into new uncertainty because the socialist leader is seeking re-election this year, hoping to extend his more than 13 years in power with a new six-year term.

He did not say when he would undergo the surgery, other than "in the coming days."

Chavez, 57, said the new surgery should be less complicated than what he underwent in Cuba last June, when doctors removed a cancerous tumor from his pelvic region. From July to September, he received four rounds of chemotherapy, both in Cuba and in Venezuela, and he has since said that tests show he is free of cancer.