Amid reports that President Hugo Chavez is back in Cuba for further medical tests, the Venezuelan Supreme Court ruled that even if Leopoldo López, a popular opposition leader, beats Chavez in next year’s elections, he will not be allowed to take office. His determination to run anyway, and ineligibility should he actually win enough votes, threatens to further divide the already fractured Venezuelan political opposition.Is the Great Loon dead?China’s credit crunch is hitting the country’s rail networks, forcing railway builders to postpone plans to lay as much as 6,000 miles of track.Italian energy company Eni hit a big natural gas field off the coast of Mozambique, which could make the African country a gas-exporting country in the next few years. Mozambique’s location makes it an ideal exporter of gas to Asia.Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad argues at Foreign Policy that the US government is unintentionally losing Afghanistan to the Chinese. Despite spending $20 million to organize bidding rounds for Afghanistan’s mineral and energy resources, the Pentagon is giving a big advantage to state-owned corporations over private companies which are accountable to shareholders.Remember when start-ups flocked to Silicon Valley for the hottest real estate in the tech business? Nowadays (partly because of the increased cost for business and living in California, we suspect), tech companies and start-ups are popping up all over the US – from Pittsburgh to the South. The Atlantic reports on the phenomenon.