Colombian voters spurn FARC peace accord: In a crushing blow to hopes for a standing peace, Colombian voters rejected Bogota’s accord with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) in a nationwide referendum to certify four years of negotiations with the rebel group.
With 37 percent of voters turning out, the measure failed by less than half a point.
Opposition to verifying the deal is believed to revolve around resistance to FARC guaranteed legitimacy as a political group and for its members to escape justice for crimes committed during the 52-year civil war.
Following the defeat of the accord, both President Juan Manuel Santos and FARC leader, Rodrigo Londoño Echeverri, agreed to continue observing the ceasefire and return to the negotiating table.
Estonia elects first female president: In a first, the Estonian state assembly, the Riigikogu, has elected Kersti Kaljulaid to become its next president.
Elevated through a parliamentary vote of 81-0, Kaljulaid, who was Estonia’s representative to the EU’s Court of Auditors, became president after a failed vote to choose the next president led to the six major political parties’ decision to choose a a candidate outside the Riigikogu.
Kaljulaid will begin her term on Monday, Oct. 10.
U.S. suspends direct negotiations with Russia over Syria: Frustrated over the collapse of a third truce, the bombing of an aid column and Russia’s intensifying bombing campaign targeting Aleppo, the Obama administration halted direct talks with Russia related to Syria on Tuesday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest described the end of contact with Moscow as “tragic.”
Responding to Washington breaking talks, the Kremlin stated the U.S. did not do enough to uphold its end of the negotiated agreement by driving a wedge between U.S.-backed rebel groups and militant groups linked to al-Qaeda.
Portuguese diplomat will become next UN Secretary-General: Described as a “clear favorite,” former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres is expected to succeed Ban Ki-moon as the next UN Secretary-General.
With “humility” Mr. Guterres accepted his nomination on Thursday after the 15-member UN Security Council voted in his favor. Likely headed for a vote this week, the 193-member General Assembly is expected to confirm his nomination.
Guterres’ selection emerged from 13 candidates chosen for consideration, seven of which were women.
Guterres is expected to assume the position in January.
The amnesty proposal came after a two-week bombing campaign by Russian and Syrian forces over Aleppo in which hundreds have been killed, which has led rights groups and the UN to push for a resolution demanding the bombing be stopped, and Western calls for Russia to be targeted for investigation over alleged war crimes.
Rebel groups inside Aleppo dismissed the amnesty offer, saying it was a rouse to purge Sunni Muslims.
Saudi airstrike kills 125 in Yemen: The UN and local media outlets are reporting an airstrike carried out by the Saudi Air Force has killed 140 civilians and injured over 500 attending a Sanaa, Yemen, funeral.
Reports conflict as to whether it was a missile attack or bombs which struck the building hosting the mourners, but the Saudi government denied responsibility and released a statement declaring no Saudi-led air operations had been conducted in the vicinity of the blast.
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