Venezuelan president arrives in Syria for talks

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Syria Thursday as part of a tour aimed at countering US influence around the globe. Syrian President Bashar Assad received Chavez at the airport for his second visit to the Arab nation in three years. Chavez is on an 11-day trip to Libya, Algeria, Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia. On Tuesday, he attended Libya's celebration of the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Moammar Gadhafi to power. He then visited Algeria. Before beginning his tour, Chavez said the main objective of the trip was building support for what he calls a "multi-polar" world no longer dominated by the United States. The socialist leader said he planned to sign trade agreements with leaders in Syria, Iran, Belarus and Russia.