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U.S. State Department

John Kerry, the longtime Democratic U.S. senator representing Massachusetts from 1985 until this week, was confirmed on Tuesday as the next secretary of state. He assumes the post today, and has some pretty big shoes, or heels, to fill after Hillary Rodham Clinton’s tenure. 

United States officials asked former president of Haiti, Jean Bertrand Aristide, to delay his return to the country until after the March 20 elections amid fears that his presence will influence voters.

The long-running debate over how to deal with the irrational and impulsive strongman, Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, has reached feverish pitch this winter.