By Dialogo December 06, 2012 Colombian authorities increased pressure on the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) before resuming the peace talks in Cuba this week, by setting a deadline of less than a year to reach the peace agreement and launching a military attack that could have resulted in dozens of dead guerrillas. On December 3, President Juan Manuel Santos stated on his Twitter account that he felt “positive” about the development in the first round of negotiations with the FARC, which resumed on December 5, in Havana. However, “no one is considering modifying the time frame of negotiations. Months, not years,” said Santos hours after meeting his delegates for the talks in Havana. In a speech on December 2, the Colombian president highlighted that negotiations must be finalized by November 2013 at the latest. Officially, there is no limit for the end of the negotiations, and the guerrillas, who insist on addressing the social causes of the conflict, have already expressed their rejection to “immediate peace.” The talks with the oldest guerrilla group in Latin America were formally initiated in Oslo, Norway, last October, and then transferred to Cuba on November 19. The agrarian problem was the first of five agenda topics to be discussed on the island until both parties took a five-day break on November 29, while sending public messages of hope at the same time. The Colombian government has rejected establishing a truce before reaching a final agreement, while the FARC committed to a unilateral ceasefire for two months, until January 20. The rebel negotiating team was still in Havana before talks resumed late on December 5, and they met with envoys of the International Committee of the Red Cross to request that the talks with the government are recognized under the provisions of the Geneva Convention. This Convention imposes rules and limitations for militants in armed conflict, while protecting prisoners of war and the civilian population.
The Ghana team depart for Rio de Janeiro, Wednesday morning ahead of the start of the World Cup in Brazil.The Black Stars traveled in the early hours of Wednesday morning from the Airport in Washington after completing their preparations in Miami, the United States on Monday.Kwesi Appiah and the rest of the team are aboard a chartered flight for the close to 10-hour trip with take off at 04:00am local time [08:00GMT].After landing in Rio de Janeiro, Ghana will be moved to their base in Maceio before to begin their preparations for the showpiece. Ghana’s campaign starts on Monday 16 June against US in Natal. CREDIT: Homebase
Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error HOUSTON >> One more victory over the Houston Rockets and the Clippers will advance to the conference finals for the first time in franchise history, which dates back to the 1970-71 season when the club was the Buffalo Braves.Clippers coach Doc Rivers didn’t want to talk about that Monday when he held court with reporters at the team hotel, down the street from Toyota Center, where Tuesday the Clippers will take on the Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals. Tipoff is 6:30 p.m., with Los Angeles leading 3-1. “No, no, I think that’s a silly thought,” Rivers said. “We haven’t done it, so for us, we’ve gotta stay focused. We’ve gotta win the series, and that hasn’t happened yet.”DeAndre Jordan, who shot 34 free throws in Sunday’s 128-95 Game 4 victory under the Hack-a-DJ umbrella, tackled that subject in a different way. “It’s a great opportunity, but that’s not what our ultimate goal is,” he said. “That’s not what we want to achieve. (That’s) just making the conference finals. We want to be able to win nine more games.”That would mean an NBA title.Still, Rivers would rather his players think the way they’ve been taught to think.“Honestly, they can say nine more wins and one more win,” he said. “At the end of the day, that’s fine. But once you get to the individual game, to me that’s where you have to have your focus.”Ready to respond Rockets coach Kevin McHale said following Sunday’s lopsided loss, “They beat the hell out of us.” That indicates one thing, Rivers said.“Well, that means they’re going to come after us the next game, to me,” Rivers said. “I read between those lines, for sure.”When the Rockets do, the Clippers need to counterpunch.“We expect that, but we have to hit back,” Rivers said. “We have to play with a force as well. We can’t just get hit.”Pondering Game 5McHale said his team simply must improve its play if it is to stay around past Tuesday.“Look, I say all the time, there’s no magical elixir,” he said. “We’ve got to take it, finish around the rim. … Give the Clippers credit. We’re out of sync, we’re not playing well. We’ve played four games and we’ve only had one half of the second game where I thought we came out and really played well as far as getting our assignments, being aggressive.”Against Hack-a-DJThere was been plenty of talk all season about whether the rule should be changed so the Hack-a-DJ strategy can’t be used. Rockets guard James Harden, for one, is not in favor of the ploy.“I mean, personally, I don’t like it,” he said. “But I guess different coaches have their different philosophies on the game.”Jordan shot 28 of his 34 free throws in the first half, which slowed down the game tremendously. There was a lot of standing around because of it, which is another element Harden doesn’t like.“Yeah, it’s a little difficult,” he said. “That’s why at halftime you’ve got to get a good warm-up in.”Houston trailed just 60-54 at halftime Sunday. Before the Rockets knew it, they were down 75-56 when the Clippers opened the third quarter on a 15-2 run.This and thatRivers, when asked, said the team’s health is good. “Everybody’s in great shape,” he said. That probably means Chris Paul, who missed the first two games with a hamstring strain, is continuing to improve. … Rockets center Dwight Howard on Monday was fined $15,000 for making contact above the shoulders with Matt Barnes in the first quarter Sunday.