World News

Eight Colombian soldiers killed in clash with rebels

Bogota - Eight Colombian soldiers were killed Wednesday in a clash with leftist rebels of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in the northeastern Perija mountains on the Venezuelan border.

"Unfortunately eight military officers died today in ... the province of La Guajira. The events took place in the early hours as the soldiers were ambushed by FARC," said La Guajira Interior Minister Jose Ballesteros.

Army reinforcements were sent to the site of the clash in the town of Villanueva, Colombian Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said.

Colombian media reports said the rebels escaped to Venezuelan territory following the encounter with the military.

WHO raises swine flu alert to phase 5 - pandemic imminent

WHO raises swine flu alert to phase 5 - pandemic imminentGeneva - World Health Organization Director General Margaret Chan raised the pandemic alert for swine flu by one level to phase 5 Wednesday night in Geneva.

The declaration of Phase 5 is a strong signal that a pandemic is imminent. It is characterized by human-to-human spread of the virus into at least two countries in one WHO region.

"Based on an assessment of all available information and following several expert consultations, I have decided to raise the influenza pandemic alert from phase 4 to phase 5,," Chan announced at WHO headquarters.

EU calls on Iran to respond to US overtures

EU calls on Iran to respond to US overturesLuxembourg - European Union foreign ministers Monday called on Iran to respond positively to the United States' recent diplomatic overtures and help find a negotiated solution to the nuclear standoff. "The EU warmly supports the new direction of US policy towards Iran, which opens a window of opportunity for negotiations on all aspects of Iran's nuclear programme," ministers said in a joint statement issued during talks in Luxembourg.

Five candidates throw hat in ring to lead nuclear watchdog

Five candidates throw hat in ring to lead nuclear watchdogVienna - A total of five candidates have put themselves foward to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei as head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), it was announced Monday, as the deadline for nominations drew to a close. With a deadline of midnight on Monday, diplomats said there was little likelihood of a last-minute sixth candidate coming forward.

The five come from Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Japan and South Africa.

Brown, Gilani resolve to jointly fight against terrorism

Brown, Gilani resolve to jointly fight against terrorismIslamabad, Apr 27: Britain and Pakistan on Monday expressed a firm resolve to jointly fight against terrorism.

Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani addressing a joint press conference along with his British counterpart Gordon Brown, said Pakistani is united in the battle against terrorism.

“Britain and Pakistan will jointly fight the menace of terrorism,” The News quoted him, as saying. Gilani said Pakistan will continue to play its part toward stabilizing Afghanistan.

Zardari snubs Brown, cancels joint press conference

Zardari snubs Brown, cancels joint press conferenceLondon, Apr 27: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has cancelled a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as he arrived in Islamabad for talks with the Pakistani leadership.

Brown, who arrived in Pakistan this afternoon after talks in Afghanistan, told reporters on the plane that he would hold a meeting with President Zardari.

But instead of a joint press conference with Zardari in Islamabad, it has emerged that Brown will appear alongside Pakistani premier Yusuf Raza Gilani.