- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 15, 2001

Colombia peace talks with rebels resume

BOGOTA, Colombia FARC, the main rebel force in Colombia, resumed peace talks with the government yesterday after a three-month break, with both sides signaling an interest in reducing the war's impact on civilians.

Negotiators from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Latin America's oldest and most powerful guerrilla group, sat down with government officials in a southern demilitarized enclave for closed-door talks for the first time since November.

In conjunction with the new beginning, FARC turned over 62 child guerrillas to Colombian authorities. The children, ranging in age from 12 to 16, had spent up to three years with the group.

Torture prohibited, China retorts

BEIJING China yesterday denied claims by Amnesty International that torture is regularly carried out by Chinese officials, maintaining that the practice is strictly prohibited.

Even though a new Amnesty International report on torture cited examples from state media, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao said, the London-based group "often made irresponsible remarks concerning China according to rumors and hearsay."

The press spokesman said China prohibits torture and promised that "those who torture will be punished in accordance with law." He noted that China ratified a U.N. agreement against torture in 1988.

Andress' bikini brings $60,000

LONDON The bikini worn by original Bond girl Ursula Andress in the James Bond film "Dr. No" sold for more than $60,000 at Christie's auction house yesterday.

"This is the most important piece of memorabilia ever sold at auction," said new owner Robert Earl, a co-founder of the restaurant chain Planet Hollywood, who placed a bid for the ivory-colored bikini by telephone. He said he plans to display his prize in the chain's new restaurant in Times Square in New York City.

In the first Bond film, Miss Andress emerged from the sea in the bikini, defining the sexy image of the Bond girl and achieving screen immortality.

U.S., Britain huddle on Libyan sanctions

NEW YORK Hours before a U.N. Security Council meeting on Libyan sanctions, envoys from the United States and Britain met Tripoli's U.N. ambassador yesterday to discuss ways to lift the embargoes at an unspecified date.

No action is expected in the council, where developing countries have been pushing for an end to the embargoes, now that the trial is over for two Libyans accused in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988.

All 259 persons aboard the Boeing 747 were killed along with 11 persons on the ground.

Militants attack three Kashmir patrols

JAMMU, India Separatist militants attacked three army patrols in the disputed territory of Kashmir on Tuesday, killing two soldiers and injuring three others. Nine separatists died, the Indian military said.

The three patrols were operating in Poonch district, about 130 miles northwest of Jammu, Kashmir's winter capital, following the massacre of 13 villagers in the area last week, Gen. P.C. Das said.

In a separate clash yesterday, a soldier was killed and nine persons, including policemen, were injured when they were ambushed by militants in Baramullah, just north of Srinagar, Kashmir's summer capital.

Trinidad settles appointments dispute

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad A two-month political and constitutional impasse in Trinidad and Tobago ended yesterday with President Arthur Robinson relenting and agreeing to appoint seven senators and ministers who were defeated as parliamentary candidates.

But in a letter to Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, the president warned of the dangers of making such appointments.

"I have strongly advised and warned against the option that you have exercised," Mr. Robinson said in a letter.

The impasse developed after Mr. Panday's ruling United National Congress (UNC) was returned to power narrowly Dec. 11 in the southern Caribbean nation of 1.3 million people.

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