Must-Reads from Around the World

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez dies, thousands flee their homes as violence grows in eastern DR Congo and David Beckham becomes China's soccer ambassador

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Supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez ligth candles while gathering in front of the Venezuelan embassy in Santiago, Chile on March 5, 2013.

Hugo Chávez: 1954–2013 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has died following a long battle with cancerwrites the Buenos Aires Herald. The 58-year old socialist underwent four operations in Cuba to treat a form of cancer that was originally detected in his pelvic area in mid-2011. He was last seen in public on Dec. 11 and had arrived back in Venezuela from Cuba on Feb. 18. “It’s a moment of deep pain,” Vice-President Nicolás Maduro said in a nation-wide transmission announcing the death of the president. “ We call all our fellow-countrymen to militate peace.” According to the Venezuelan constitution, a presidential vote will be held in the next 30 days, with Maduro pitted against Henrique Capriles, the centrist opposition leader who lost the October 2012 election. For more on Chávez, TIME’s Tim Padgett examines the life of this “garrulous and pugnacious leader.”

DR Congo Clashes – Clashes between the DR Congo army and fighters from the APCLS armed group have led to the deaths of 70 people, while thousands more have fled their homes in the eastern part of the country, reports Aljazeera. The violence began last week in the town of Kitchanga, a place known for ethnic tensions and battles over resources. According to the French NGO Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), a hospital filled with wounded civilians was shelled over the weekend, while homes were set on fire. An estimated 1.8 million people have already fled their homes in eastern Congo due to high levels of violence.

Argentine Dictators — Argentina’s former military dictators are on trial for their alleged involvement in Operation Condor, which killed an estimated 80,000 people in the 1970s and ’80s, reports the Daily Telegraph. The 25 defendants include Jorge Videla and Reynaldo Bignone, who were the country’s de facto presidents during the military rule from 1976 to 1983. Videla and Bignone are already serving life sentences for their role in the Dirty War in the ’70s. The trial is expected to last two years and will call on roughly 500 witnesses, writes the paper.

Gaza Marathon — The U.N. agency responsible for organizing the Gaza marathon has cancelled the event after the territory’s governing body Hamas prohibited women from running in the race, notes the BBC. The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) had initially scheduled the race for Sunday to raise funds to operate summer camps for children in Gaza. Hamas had provided security and support for the past two marathons, in which women and men raced together.

Brand It Like Beckham — English soccer star David Beckham has been tapped as an ambassador for Chinese soccer, according to Bloomberg Businessweek. Beckham’s responsibilities include attending games in China and using his star power to help boost the image of Chinese soccer, which is possibly known more for its alleged corruption and embarrassing defeats. In a statement, Beckham said, “I’m excited by the prospect of promoting the world’s greatest game to Chinese sports fans as I’ve seen firsthand the growing interest in football there.” Even with his new role, Beckham will continue to play for Paris Saint-Germain in France.

South Korea Warning – South Korean military general Kim Yong-hyun has warned North Korea that it will respond to any provocation with “resolute retaliations,” if South Korean lives are put at risk, reports the BBC. The warning from South Korea comes in the wake of the North’s third nuclear test in February. As the Koreas have yet to sign a peace treaty, the North and South technically remain at war. North Korea said Tuesday that it would end the truce between the two nations on March 11 due to U.N. sanctions and military exercises in the South.

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