Colombia, rebel group to begin peace talks in October

Colombia

peace talks with rebels set for oct.

President Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia and the leader of his country's largest guerrilla group said Tuesday that the two sides would soon sit down to a new phase of peace talks whose goal is to end the longest-running armed conflict in Latin America. Santos, speaking in Bogota at the presidential palace, said the talks with the group, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, would begin in the first half of October in Oslo, Norway, and would later move to Havana.

'Queen of Cocaine' is shot to death

Griselda Blanco, a convicted drug trafficker who was once known as the "Queen of Cocaine," has been shot to death by an unidentified gunman, police in Colombia said Tuesday. Medellin police said the 69-year-old was killed at a butcher shop on Monday. Police hadn't identified a motive for the killing. Blanco was among the first Colombian women to traffic cocaine to the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. She had been deported back to Colombia in 2004 after serving nearly 20 years behind bars in the United States for drug trafficking and three drug-related killings.

JOLIET, Ill.

Jury to deliberate in Peterson case

Prosecutors in Drew Peterson's murder trial implored jurors Tuesday to use common sense in assessing the circumstantial case against him, while the defense said the state fell far short of proving the former Illinois police officer killed his third wife. The attorneys delivered their closing arguments to jurors who will begin deliberating today in the trial for Peterson, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in Kathleen Savio's 2004 death. The former Bolingbrook police sergeant came under scrutiny in Savio's death only after his fourth wife disappeared.

MEXICO

Attack on U.S. car called an accident

High-ranking Mexican security officials are portraying the shooting of two CIA agents by Mexican federal police as a well-intentioned mishap rather than a deliberate attack. A series of military and law-enforcement officials have emphasized in public statements in recent days that the group of 12 federal police was investigating a kidnapping when they encountered the two U.S. agents and a Mexican marine captain and opened fire on their U.S. Embassy car, an armored sport utility vehicle, last month.

NEW YORK

Weight loss groups endorse soda plan

The city's planned crackdown on super-sized sugary drinks got prominent backing Tuesday from Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig and other diet companies that added their influence to the campaign ahead of a vote next week. The announcement — made at a news conference featuring Mayor Michael Bloomberg and a Weight Watchers official — was the latest in a volley of statements from advocates and critics of the plan, which calls for restaurants, movie theaters, sports arenas, food carts and delis to stop selling sodas and other sugary drinks in servings larger than 16 ounces.

Elsewhere

Egypt: Farouk Hosni, who for two decades served as culture minister under President Hosni Mubarak, was charged with corruption Tuesday. He joined other former officials and businessmen accused of using their positions and connections to enrich themselves.

Times wires

Colombia, rebel group to begin peace talks in October 09/04/12 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 4, 2012 10:44pm]

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