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World Briefs: Police blame FARC for grenade attack
BOGOTA — Colombia’s national police director is blaming the rebel group FARC for a grenade attack that injured six people on New Year's Eve, saying the incident breaks a much-publicized truce that the leftist guerrillas unilaterally declared as a goodwill gesture during peace talks.
Police Gen. Jose Roberto Leon Riano said the attack on a police station in the remote Pacific village of Guapi injured four civilians and two officers. He held a news conference Wednesday, declaring that the grenade attack proves the FARC is not keeping its promises.
The FARC said in November that its unilateral truce would last through Jan. 20.
Military admits airstrikes on ethnic rebels
YANGON — Myanmar's military has acknowledged carrying out airstrikes against ethnic Kachin rebels in the country’s north, and says it has captured a hilltop post from where the insurgents launched attacks on government supply convoys.
The statement broadcast on state television Wednesday contradicted government claims two days earlier that the military was not carrying out offensive air attacks on the Kachin, raising questions about how much control the elected government of reformist President Thein Sein has over the army.
The United States said Wednesday the use of air power in Kachin state was “extremely troubling.” In Washington, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland urged the government and the Kachin rebel group to cease their conflict and begin a real dialogue for peace.
Opposition demands details on Chavez’s condition
CARACAS — Venezuela’s opposition demanded that the government reveal specifics of President Hugo Chavez’s condition on Wednesday, criticizing secrecy surrounding the ailing leader’s health more than three weeks after his cancer surgery in Cuba.
Opposition coalition leader Ramon Guillermo Aveledo said at a news conference that the information provided by government officials “continues to be insufficient.”
Mr. Chavez has not been seen or heard from since the Dec. 11 operation, and Vice President Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday said the president’s condition remained “delicate” owing to complications arising from a respiratory infection.
Mr. Maduro also urged Venezuelans to ignore rumors about Mr. Chavez’s condition.
By Brahma Chellaney
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Film Reviews and Articles by Kevin Williams
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!