- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 1, 2008


Canadians No. 2 Facebook contingent

MONTREAL — Canadians are the second-largest contingent on Facebook, numbering less than Americans but more than the British and French, according to data from the social networking Internet site.

Of the 60 million Facebook users around the world, nearly 8 million are in Canada — about a quarter of Canada’s overall population of 33 million.

Facebook is so popular that authorities in Ontario province, where Toronto is located, have blocked the site for government employees during work hours.


Government, rebels trade delay charges

VILLAVICENCIO — Colombia’s government and Marxist guerrilla leaders blamed each other yesterday for delays that could ruin a deal to release three hostages held for years by the rebels in jungle camps.

Colombia’s conservative government accused the rebels of lying and dragging their feet. Guerrilla leaders blamed the army, saying it had stepped up its operations in the region, making it impossible to release the three captives.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe denied that his army had begun new operations.


President agrees to opposition talks

LA PAZ — Bolivia’s leftist President Evo Morales agreed Saturday to meet with opposition governors, along with four allies, early in the New Year to seek a way out of a political crisis that threatens to split the country.

Five governors who are deeply opposed to Mr. Morales’ reform agenda and want their regions to receive more funds from his energy nationalization will be among those who meet with the president on Monday.

Mr. Morales has pushed for a new constitution to give indigenous communities more power and to allow the state to take over unproductive land holdings. In response to the draft constitution approved by Morales allies in a national assembly, four provinces declared themselves autonomous in public rallies in December.


Crash survivor leaves hospital

DAVID — A California girl who was the sole survivor of a plane crash in Panama was released from a hospital Sunday but will remain with her parents in the Central American country for a few days and possibly meet some of her rescuers.

Francesca Lewis, 12, was plucked last Tuesday from the plane’s wreckage in Panama’s remote western mountains. Killed in the crash were Francesca’s friend Talia Klein, 13; Talia’s father, Michael Klein, 37, a prominent businessman from Santa Barbara, Calif.; and Panamanian pilot Edwin Lasso, 23.

The family plans to rest in Panama for a few days and possibly meet some of Francesca’s rescuers before returning to their home in Santa Barbara later this week, said her father, Kirk Lewis.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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