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Colombia Rebels, Govt. Head to Norway for Peace Talks

Negotiators for Colombia's government and leftist FARC rebels headed to Norway on Tuesday for peace talks aimed at ending the longest insurgency in Latin America, officials said.

The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) team left from Cuba, according to Carlos Lozano, head of Colombia's Communist party. The government side departed from the Colombian capital Bogota.

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Lebanese Gets 12 Years in Jail for FARC Conspiracy

A U.S. federal court sentenced a Lebanese man to 12 years in prison Thursday for conspiring to provide Colombia's leftist FARC rebels with military-grade weapons in exchange for over a ton of cocaine.

Jamal Youssef, 54, pleaded guilty in May to one count of providing material support to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, Latin America's oldest insurgent group.

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FARC: Colombia Peace Talks to Start October 15

Talks between Colombia's government and the leftist FARC rebels -- aimed at ending one of Latin America's oldest conflicts -- are set to begin on October 15, the group said Monday.

The statement sent to reporters in Havana, Cuba, where the parties met to negotiate the terms of the peace talks also said "the national government and the FARC ... will make a public announcement on October 17 in the city of Oslo, Norway."

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7.1 Magnitude Quake Strikes Southwest Colombia

A strong magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck in the Andes Mountains of south-west Colombia on Sunday, Colombian and U.S. earthquake monitoring services reported.

The quake struck at 1631 GMT some 20 kilometers east of the Colombian town of La Vega and 326 kilometers north-east of Quito, Ecuador, said the U.S. Geological Service, which monitors earthquakes worldwide.

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U.S. Treasury Official to Visit Beirut

Deputy Secretary of the Department of the Treasury Neal Steven Wolin is expected to arrive in Beirut in the coming two days where he will meet senior Lebanese officials, An Nahar newspaper reported on Monday.

Wolin will seek to reiterate his country's decision to control individual cases of financial deception.

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Pope Backs Dialogue between Colombia, FARC Rebels

Pope Benedict XVI expressed his support Sunday for a budding "important dialogue" between the government of Colombia and FARC rebels to end Latin America's oldest armed conflict.

May "those who have joined this initiative be guided by the desire for forgiving and reconciliation in the sincere search for the common good", he said in a message to the faithful written in Spanish.

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Colombia Rebel Chief Confirms Peace Talks with Govt.

Colombia is on course for another try at ending Latin America's last armed conflict, with confirmation Monday from the FARC leftist rebel leader that preliminary talks have taken place with the government on launching a full-blown peace process.

"We come to the table for dialogue without rancor, or arrogance," FARC leader Rodrigo Londono said in a broadcast on the Caracol radio station.

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Colombia Drug Treatment Center Plans Spark Debate

A proposal to open treatment centers in the Colombian capital for drug addicts is causing a stir in this cocaine-producing Latin American country.

The project, the brainchild of Bogota mayor Gustavo Petro, is aimed at curbing drug-related crime. Petro's office says it is similar to programs in Canada, Portugal, the Netherlands and Switzerland.

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Sticker Book of Criminals a Hit in Colombia

A sticker book dedicated to notorious Colombian criminals has become a sales hit in a city that was once the headquarters of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar.

The 16-page album, which has been on the market for about 10 days, focuses on Escobar, the Medellin cartel chief who was killed in 1993, as well as other drug-traffickers and killers such as Gonzalo Rodriguez Gacha or John Jairo Vasquez.

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Chavez: American ‘Mercenary’ Detained in Venezuela

President Hugo Chavez announced Thursday that security forces arrested a U.S. citizen and suspect he is a mercenary who could be involved in an alleged plot to destabilize Venezuela if the opposition's candidate loses the upcoming presidential election.

Chavez said the Hispanic man was detained Aug. 4 while crossing into Venezuela from Colombia. The president said the man was carrying a U.S. passport with entrance and exit stamps from countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya as well as a notebook containing geographical coordinates.

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