Taliban agree to peace talks
KARACHI, Pakistan -- The Pakistani Taliban said Tuesday that they have accepted a government offer to hold unconditional talks about ending a six-year insurgency, but the move comes amid national public revulsion at a two-week wave of bombing attacks that has killed 300 people.
The spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, the official name of the Pakistani Taliban, said they would declare a cease-fire if the military also suspended operations against it in the northwest tribal areas bordering eastern Afghanistan, where 150,000 troops are currently deployed.
The decision to accept the government's offer was taken at a conference of militant faction leaders in the North Waziristan tribal area.
Politician sentenced to hang
NEW DELHI -- A Bangladeshi court sentenced a top opposition politician to hang Tuesday after he was found guilty on charges of murder, arson and crimes against humanity linked to the country's 1971 war of independence against Pakistan.
The ruling prompted police and paramilitary forces to step up security across the country.
The verdict against Salauddin Quader Chowdhury of the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party is the sixth death sentence handed down against Islamist opposition leaders. A seventh defendant received a sentence of life imprisonment. Chowdhury, 64, denies committing any crimes.
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President Nicolas Maduro said Tuesday Venezuela will not have cordial relations with the U.S. as long as its diplomats continue what he alleges are attempts to destabilize his country. His tough talk came a day after the expulsion of the top U.S. diplomat in Venezuela, Charge d'Affaires Kelly Keiderling, and two other embassy officials, alleging they conspired with "the extreme right" to sabotage the economy and power grid. ... The outgoing commander of U.S. forces on the Korean peninsula said Tuesday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has consolidated power. Army Gen. James D. Thurman, who is retiring as commander of 28,500 U.S. troops in South Korea, said: "We've got to keep a close watch on him, every day." He will hand command to Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, a former high-ranking commander in Afghanistan who most recently served as director of the Joint Staff at the Pentagon.
-- Compiled from news services