Colombian government, FARC to resume peace talks Jan 26

Bogota : Colombian government representatives and members of the lefist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrilla rebels will begin their next round of peace negotiations Jan 26.

The resumption of talks will be preceded by a technical preparatory meeting that begins Jan 18 and could last three to four days, government sources said Sunday.

A similar meeting held in December was seen as the first step towards resuming negotiations that were suspended after the guerrillas captured a Colombian general in November.


Sri Lanka verdict a slap for Tamil extremists

By M.R. Narayan Swamy,

It may sound bizarre but the defeat of Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka's presidential battle is a huge slap for LTTE supporters who had called for an election boycott by Tamils.

Hardcore supporters of the militarily vanquished Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in the West wanted Tamils living in the north and east of the island to stay away from the Jan 8 election.

Voice recorder of crashed AirAsia plane spotted

Jakarta : Indonesian searchers have spotted the cockpit voice recorder, the second part of the black box of the crashed AirAsia flight, a top official said Monday hours after the flight data recorder was retrieved from the Java Sea.

Based on pings from its emergency transmitter, the cockpit voice recorder has also been spotted by the search teams but it has not yet been retrieved from the sea floor, Xinhua quoted Mardjono Siswosumarno, chief of the National Transportation Safety Committee of Indonesia, as saying Monday. "We will soon retrieve it."


UN chief welcomes Paris march against terrorism

United Nations : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Sunday welcomed the march in Paris, held in memory of the victims of last week's terrorist attacks in France and to protest against terrorism anywhere in the world.

Ban, in a statement issued by his spokesperson, renewed his condolences to the families of the victims of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a kosher supermarket, and of the policewoman who was murdered in Paris, according to a Xinhua report.

US to hold summit on countering 'violent extremism'

Paris : A security summit will be held in the US capital Washington next month, which will discuss ways to deal with violent extremism across the globe, US Attorney General, Eric Holder said here Sunday.

The security summit will be held Feb 18, Holder said, according to a Xinhua report.

Holder participated in Sunday's march in Paris on behalf of US President Barack Obama to express solidarity with a grieving France, following terror attacks in the European country last week, in which 17 people were killed.


Marchers denounce terrorism at Paris rally

Paris: It was the first ever for France! An unprecedented flood of people, headed by leaders from Europe and other countries, streamed in Paris Sunday to protest indignantly against terrorism and racism after 17 people were killed during three days of attacks in the French capital.

"I'm Charlie", "We are not afraid", wrote protesters on banners, waving flags of France and many other countries, who took the capital's streets in an unprecedented tribute to the shootings' victims.


'Polio-free status for Gujarat an important milestone'

Gandhinagar: The achievement of a polio-free status by India, including Gujarat, was an important milestone in health indicators for the South-East Asia region, Ban Soon-taek wife of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Sunday.

Ban Soon-taek congratulated the national, state and local governments for their strong will and painstaking efforts to drive out polio at a function to celebrate Gujarat's polio-free status.

Modi, Kerry pay tribute to Paris terror victims

Gandhinagar : With Parisians gearing up Sunday to hold a massive solidarity rally in France against the terror attack on French magazine Charlie Hebdo, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US Secretary of State John Kerry paid tributes to the victims of the attack.

Modi started his speech at the seventh Vibrant Gujarat global investment summit here by paying tributes to the victims of last week's terror attack in Paris.

He said all the countries in the world had to show that they were determined to fight terror in all forms.

German paper attacked for carrying Charlie Hebdo cartoons

Berlin : A German newspaper became the target of an arson attack early Sunday following a terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, media reported.

Stones and a burning object were thrown into the building of Hamburger Morgenpost from its backyard shortly after 2:00 a.m. (0100 GMT), said the paper in the northern port city of Hamburg, Xinhua reported.

Some documents were damaged, but no one was injured. According to the police, two young men who behaved suspiciously in the area were arrested.


Muslim hailed for saving people in Paris

Paris : A Muslim man was hailed as a hero by the French media for saving hostages during a hostage crisis in a Paris supermarket.

Lassana Bathily, an employee at Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Vincennes, helped to guide a group of hostages into a downstairs walk-in freezer while the gunman was preparing to kill them, CNN reported.

Bathily, a practicing Muslim, says he entered the freezer with some people, then switched off the freezer and the light, and told everyone to stay calm.