Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 7th 2014 Contents A29
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
ISLAMABAD---Peace talks between the
Pakistani government and representa-
tives of the Taliban began yesterday
after a short delay, the first test for the
government s controversial initiative
of seeking a peaceful resolution to the
country s bloody insurgency, officials
The talks were originally to be held
Tuesday but were postponed after the
government negotiators sought "clari-
fication" about the identities of the Tal-
iban s negotiating team. The request
angered prominent pro-Taliban cleric
Maulana Samiul Haq, the leader of the
Taliban team, who accused Islamabad
of not taking the peace offer from the
But the dispute was subsequently
resolved, and state-run Pakistan Tele-
vision showed negotiators from the two
sides exchanging smiles as yesterday s
meeting got under way in the capital,
The health of the castaway who claims
he spent more than a year adrift in the Pacif-
ic has deteriorated, delaying his repatria-
Jose Salvador Alvarenga has returned to
hospital in the Marshall Islands, where he
was found a week ago.
Alvarenga said he left Mexico for a trip in
a fibre-glass boat in December 2012 with a
friend who died on board.
The family of his younger friend say they
want to speak to Alvarenga to find out more
about how their son died.
Doctors at Majuro Hospital in the Marshall
Islands capital said Alvarenga was too dehy-
drated to travel.
"We must consider his health, that he is
fit to travel, and get the doctor s recommen-
dation. We re hoping in the next three or four
days," said Mexican embassy official Christian
Alvarenga made a brief public appearance
yesterday, and correspondents say he looked
weaker than when he made his first media
appearance on Monday.
An unnamed official told AP that he looked
much less animated.
"He looked exhausted, frankly. Like some-
one who has run two or three marathons."
He was rescued on yesterday by people
living on the island of Ebon Atoll.
Alvarenga apparently survived the 5,000-
mile ordeal by catching fish, birds and turtles
with his bare hands. BBC
CONCORD---Officials at a Northern California
private school are apologising after a lunch menu
option to celebrate Black History Month angered
some parents and students with stereotypically
Students at Carondelet High School for Girls in
Concord wanted to come up with ways to observe
the occasion during a lunchtime celebration today.
But when the school announced a menu of fried
chicken, cornbread and watermelon, other students
and parents became offended.
KNTV-TV reports that school officials held an
assembly Wednesday to discuss the issue and also
sent a letter apologising to parents. Principal Nancy
Libby wrote that the items were taken off of the
menu and that the school doesn t perpetrate racial
PARIS---Pope Francis Harley-Davidson is hitting
the road after an unspecified European buyer
agreed to pay $327,000 including taxes and fees
for the motorcycle at a Paris auction to benefit
The Bonhams auction house said the telephone
buyer agreed to pay far more than the expected
pre-sale price of more than $16,000 at the auction
at Paris Grand Palais.
A Harley-Davidson leather jacket signed by Pope
Francis sold for 57,500 euros including fees.
It s unknown whether the pontiff ever rode the
custom 2013 Dyna Super Glide that was a gift
from Willie Davidson, a retired Harley-Davidson
designer and grandson of the company s co-
Money from the sale will be donated to charity
Caritas Roma, which runs a soup kitchen and
hostel for the homeless in Rome. AP
Italy s navy has rescued 1,123
people from inflatable boats in
the space of 24 hours, as clan-
destine migration from North
Africa reaches record levels.
The latest migrants were
found in eight boats and a barge
about 120 miles south-east of
They included 47 women,
four of them pregnant, and 50
children, all probably from sub-
Saharan Africa, the navy said.
Meanwhile, at least seven
migrants have drowned trying
to reach the Spanish enclave of
Ceuta in North Africa.
All of the victims were from
sub-Saharan Africa, Spanish
news agency Efe reports.
Some 2,000 migrants landed
on Italian shores last month,
nearly 10 times the number
recorded in January 2013.
According to the government,
last year saw an "incessant and
massive influx of migrants" with
a total of 42,925 arrivals by sea,
or more than three times as
many as in 2012.
The true number of migrants
who died attempting the per-
ilous crossing is unknown, but
in October more than 400 peo-
ple drowned in two shipwrecks
near Lampedusa, the closest
Italian territory to North Africa.
Wednesday saw better than
usual weather conditions for the
time of year.
Navy ships and helicopters
began the rescue in the morning,
continuing after darkness fell.
The migrants were put aboard
an amphibious assault ship, the
San Marco, and are due to arrive
at the Sicilian port of Augusta
Once in Italy, the migrants
will be assessed to see if they
have legitimate grounds for
They have to satisfy the
authorities that they are fleeing
persecution and would face
harm or even death if sent back
to their country of origin.
Nearly three out of four asy-
lum applications in EU states
were rejected in 2012. BBC
Alvarenga's boat washed up on Ebon Atoll in the Marshall Islands.
1,100 migrants rescued
off Italy in one day
Castaway's health worsens
Migrants were pulled off their inflatable boats.
Pope's Harley sold
School apologises for
black history menu
Peace talks start between Pakistan, Taliban team
Links Archive February 5th 2014 February 8th 2014 Navigation Previous Page Next Page