Opposition leader to run for president

CARACAS - Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles announced Sunday night that he will run in elections to replace Hugo Chavez, setting up a make-or-break encounter against the late president's hand-picked successor.

Capriles slammed the government in his announcement for using Chavez's death to push the candidacy of Nicolas Maduro, who was sworn in as acting leader Friday. He also called top military brass an "embarrassment" for publicly supporting Maduro, although the constitution forbids the military from taking political sides.

"Don't fool yourselves that you're the good and we're the bad," the 40-year-old candidate said to the government. "No, you're no better than us. I don't play with death. I don't play with pain."

Capriles, who is governor of Venezuela's biggest state, also acknowledged that he faces tough odds against an official candidate in control of vast public resources who he said has the backing of the country's electoral commission.


Police: Delhi gang rape suspect kills self in jail

NEW DELHI - The main suspect in the gang rape and fatal beating of a woman on a New Delhi bus, an attack that horrified Indians and set off national protests, committed suicide in jail early today, police officials said.

Ram Singh, who is accused of driving the bus on which the 23-year-old student was raped and fatally assaulted by a group of six men in December, hanged himself with his own clothes, said G. Sudhakar, the top police official at Tihar jail.

Singh, along with four other men on trial with him on rape, murder and abduction charges, had been under a suicide watch.


Gov't to allow offshore oil exploration drilling

NASSAU - Offshore oil exploration will be allowed off the Bahamas, the environmental minister said Sunday, adding that a voter referendum on whether to go forward with full production will be held only after it is determined whether the island chain has commercially viable reserves.

The exploratory drilling will not likely produce enough information to make a decision until late 2014 at the earliest and the referendum could be held the following year, Environmental Minister Kenred Dorsett said.

Offshore drilling is sensitive in the Bahamas, where many fear a spill could devastate the fishing and tourism industries.

The previous Bahamian government had delayed issuing exploration permits. Prime Minister Perry Christie, who was voted back into office in May, has said he supported exploration.

The Associated Press