Topic: Top stories of the day
A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours
* The health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has been stabilizing in recent days as he recuperates at a clinic in Havana from a fourth operation to remove cancerous tissue, the Venezuelan vice president said
* An online petition to make Russian lawmakers, who voted in favor of the US adoptions ban, accountable under the Magnitsky Act, has gained the required number of signatures to be considered by the US administration, the US White House announced
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.