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Chatter: Hugo Chavez battling severe lung infection

Venezuela's president suffers "complications" brought on by a lung infection, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist shot by the Taliban is discharged from hospital, and an Iranian man's hairy eyeball.
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Graphic. (Antler Agency/GlobalPost)
                           
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Need to know:

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez is suffering from "complications" brought on by a severe lung infection, which developed after a cancer operation, officials say.

But despite this update, Chavez's health situation continues to confound his oil-rich country and those watching it

Chavez, 58, who had his fourth surgery for cancer in Cuba on December 11, is due to be sworn in for another term in office in just six days.

He hasn't been seen in public since shortly before the operation. And with rumors continuing to swirl that he is on his deathbed, Venezuela remains on the verge of political crisis.

Want to know:

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl activist shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from a British hospital.

The 15-year-old was transferred to Birmingham's Queen Elizabeth Hospital for specialist treatment following the attack three months ago.

She will continue recovering at her family's temporary home in the area.

Taliban militants shot Malala as she left school on October 9. Malala was a target because of her work campaigning for girls' education in Pakistan. 

Dull but important:

Who gets a chance to write a constitution at the age of 22 — and change the course of history for an entire nation of women?

American Beate Sirota Gordon, who has died at age 89 in Manhattan, was given just that chance when she wrote women's rights into the 1946 post-war Japanese Constitution.

Gordon was born to Russian-Jewish parents and moved to Japan while her father pursued his musical career. Growing up in Japan, she was disturbed by the poor treatment of women — a sentiment Gordon would call upon while writing Japan's Constitution after the end of the war.

Despite this amazing story, she kept quiet about her history-making role for many years.

Just because:

Why is Google's executive chairman Eric Schmidt heading to North Korea this month?

Not surprisingly, Schmidt's planned journey to the Hermit Kingdom — a place where next to no one has internet access — has triggered a great deal of intrigue.

Google says the North Korea trip is a personal humanitarian mission, and won't comment further. But that isn't stopping the speculation.

Strange but true:

Talk about an eye-popping discovery. 

Doctors in Iran have removed a rare tumor that caused hair to sprout from the right eyeball of a 19-year-old man, according to the New England Journal of Medicine.

That's right — an actual hairy eyeball.

The tumor had been present since birth, but recently grew several black hairs and impaired the man's vision. Doctors had to surgically remove the hairy pustule, which measured less than a quarter inch in diameter.

Called a limbal dermoid, such tumors are (fortunately) very rare. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/chatter/chatter-hugo-chavez-battling-severe-lung-infection