LIBYA: New U.S. envoy is nominated
A veteran of service in Syria, Kuwait and Turkey will return to the Middle East as U.S. ambassador to Libya, President Barack Obama announced Wednesday. If confirmed by the Senate, Deborah K. Jones will fill a post vacant since Ambassador Christopher Stevens died along with three other Americans in the Sept. 11 attacks in Benghazi. Her nomination coincided with the first visit to Washington by Libyan Prime Minister Ali Zeidan, who said Libya remains committed to bringing the perpetrators of the attacks to justice. The embassy Jones would lead is in the capital, Tripoli; there has been no U.S. diplomatic presence in Benghazi since the deadly assault.
VENEZUELA: Embalming Chávez ruled out
Acting president Nicolás Maduro said Wednesday it is highly unlikely Hugo Chávez will be embalmed for permanent viewing because the decision to do so was made too late and the socialist leader's body was not properly prepared on time. "The decision should have been made much earlier," Maduro said during a speech at a government-run book fair. "The decision, or really the proposal more than a decision, was made as a product of love." Chávez died March 5. His embalmed body was to be put on display at a military museum on a hill a mile from the presidential palace. Maduro suggested the body would still be placed there. "The world's best" experts, Russian and German, were brought in and consulted on the embalming and advised that it was probably not possible, he said.
MALAYSIA: No talks for Sabah invaders
Malaysian authorities will not let armed members of a Filipino royal clan who are being hunted in Borneo meet with Philippine officials who might seek to negotiate their safety, the foreign minister said Wednesday. Clashes sparked by the clansmen's intrusion into Sabah state have killed 56 Filipinos and nine Malaysian police officers.