Chavez given initial OK to enact laws by decree

Venezuela's National Assembly, filled entirely with allies of President Hugo Chavez, gave initial approval Thursday to a measure that would grant the leftist leader sweeping powers - a key moment in what Chavez calls an accelerating push for socialism. The law is expected to easily win final approval in a second session before the National Assembly next week. It would allow Chavez to enact laws by decree for a period of 1 years. The measure was approved unanimously in its first reading after a four-hour discussion by lawmakers, National Assembly President Cilia Flores said.