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CARACAS - Thursday was supposed to be the day Hugo Chavez was inaugurated for a fourth term as Venezuela's president. But the ceremony has been postponed as he is recovering from a reported "severe" lung infection after his latest cancer surgery in Havana, Cuba.

Though Chavez has not been seen in public for more than a month, Vice President Nicolas Maduro and Speaker of the National Assembly Diosdado Cabello assure the world that he will make a full recovery and return to government.

Others are, well, a bit skeptical. Someone with a long memory for bad movies and little respect for the ailing Caudillo, has even compare the situation to the 1989 cult hit Weekend At Bernie's...

Translation: ""Weekend at Chavez". This corpse is very much alive. Premiering January 10."

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President Vladimir Putin will sign an agreement on the annexation of 18% of Ukrainian territories

Cameron Manley, Chloe Touchard, Sophia Constantino, and Emma Albright

Russian President Vladimir Putin will sign the annexation Friday of four occupied regions of Ukraine to become part of Russia, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced this morning.

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The Kremlin will host a ceremony on Friday where agreements will be signed on the annexation of Luhansk, Donetsk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia. Peskov said the ceremony would take place on Friday at 3 p.m. local time. Taken together the regions in the east and south make up 18% of Ukraine’s territory. The move follows the 2014 annexation of Crimea, which many consider the less violent pre-cursor to Russia's all-out invasion of Ukraine.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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