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Leftist President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela raised tensions with the US higher still Sunday, announcing that he'd accepted a Russian offer to help build a nuclear reactor. Chávez already has stoked those tensions by buying more than $4 billion worth of advanced Russian-made weapons and by arranging for Russian warships to participate in joint naval maneuvers in the Caribbean later this year. The latter will be Russia's largest presence there since the cold war.Skip to next paragraph
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Less than two weeks after his election as Thailand's new prime minister, Somchai Wongsawat was under investigation Monday for owning stock in an Internet services provider that does business with the government. The Election Commission took up the case on the basis of a complaint by the same opposition senator whose filing began the process that toppled Somchai's predecessor, Samak Sundaravej. If the Constitutional Court determines that Somchai is guilty, he would be disqualified from serving in parliament and ineligible to continue as prime minister.
Two right-wing parties rocked Austrian politics by winning almost one-third of the seats in parliament that were at stake in Sunday's national election. The Freedom Party and the Alliance for the Future, combined, took 29 percent of the vote. The outcome makes it difficult for the biggest mainstream party, the Social Democrats, to cobble together a new ruling coalition that doesn't include either of them, analysts said. They projected negotiations on the matter that could drag on for months.
Cadbury PLC, a world leader in chocolate candies, ordered a recall of its Chinese-made products after announcing that traces of the industrial chemical melamine had been discovered in preliminary tests. A spokesman said the findings "cast doubt" on the safety of the products. Cadbury's plant in Beijing ships candy and other items to Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Australia. At the same time, Burma became the latest nation to bar the importation of Chinese-made dairy products, and authorities in the Philippines warned that exporters who do not disclose the origin of their food products would locked out of that market.