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WORLD
December 14, 2009 | By Chris Kraul
In a vote that could signal the end of the center-left coalition that has governed Chile since the end of the Pinochet military dictatorship, right-wing billionaire Sebastian Pinera came out on top in Sunday's presidential election, setting the stage for a runoff with former President Eduardo Frei next month. FOR THE RECORD: Chile's election: An article in Monday's Section A about the presidential election in Chile said three communists were elected to Congress for the first time since Salvador Allende was elected in 1973.
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WORLD
December 13, 2009 | By Chris Kraul
As Chileans vote today for the first time since the death of dictator Augusto Pinochet, analysts say the expected victory of a conservative billionaire says more about voters' craving for better education and infrastructure than a return to authoritarian days. Sebastian Pinera, a Harvard-educated economist who owns a TV station, a soccer team and a chunk of the LAN-Chile airline, is projected to get the highest number of votes but probably not the 50%+1 he needs to avoid a runoff.
WORLD
December 13, 2009 | Times Wire Services
The Cuban government has arrested a U.S. contractor working for the United States Agency for International Development who was distributing cellphones and laptop computers to Cuban activists, State Department officials and congressional sources said Saturday. The contractor, who has not been identified because of federal privacy rules, works for Development Alternatives Inc., based in Bethesda, Md. Jim Boomgard, company president and chief executive, said in a statement that his firm was awarded a government contract last year to help USAID "strengthen civil society in support of just and democratic governance in Cuba."
WORLD
December 10, 2009 | By Alex Renderos
Deposed Honduran President Manuel Zelaya is negotiating plans to leave the Brazilian Embassy in the Honduran capital, where he took refuge 2 1/2 months ago, and head to Mexico, an associate said late Wednesday. The de facto government, which has threatened to arrest Zelaya, issued a safe-passage document to allow him to leave the country, said Victor Meza, who served as Zelaya's interior minister. But the plans still could go awry. Zelaya refuses to seek the political asylum that would allow him to make the trip safely, Meza said.
WORLD
December 10, 2009 | By Tracy Wilkinson
In the middle of his country's worst economic crisis in a generation, Mexican President Felipe Calderon on Wednesday nominated a close political ally, Finance Minister Agustin Carstens, to replace the well- respected head of the central bank. Carstens, a University of Chicago-trained economist, has serious creds in the financial world too. But he is also seen as someone willing to be more collaborative with the president than the fiercely independent outgoing Bank of Mexico director.
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