Chatter: FARC frees final police, military hostages




Antler Agency

Need to know:
The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as FARC, have released their final police and military hostages – all of whom had spent at least 12 years in jungle prisons. 

The 10 remaining captives were collected by a Brazilian military helicopter yesterday and flown to safety. 

The rebel group announced in February that they would be released and it would no longer kidnap for ransom – part of its efforts to persuade the Colombian government to negotiate an end to one of the world's longest-running conflicts. But the guerrillas still have hundreds of civilian hostages, and President Juan Manuel Santos says that until they are freed, these latest releases are not enough.

Want to know:
The man who shot dead seven people on a college campus in Oakland, California, yesterday has been identified. 

He is 43-year-old One L. Goh, a former nursing student at Oakland's Oikos University. He's in police custody after surrendering at a nearby shopping center an hour after the shooting.

Police say they don't yet know why he chose to open fire on college students, seemingly at random. "Get in line," he reportedly told them. "I'm going to kill you all."

Dull but important:
Egypt's army controls a far-reaching but shadowy economic empire that accounts for between 5 and 40 percent of the national economy. Analysts say the military makes a windfall on everything from bottled water and olive oil to computer chips and cotton underwear.

Built up over the years to keep the ranks loyal, the army's business holdings are closely guarded by the officers and generals who benefit from its profits. 

The Muslim Brotherhood says that situation will no longer be tolerated in post-revolution Egypt, and is pressing for greater transparency. But they face an uphill battle to bring the army's money under civilian control.

Just because:
The US is offering a $10-million bounty for Hafiz Saeed, the Pakistani militant who founded terror group Lashkar-e-Toiba.

India asserts that he remains in charge of LeT and was among the masterminds of the November 2008 attacks in Mumbai. But in Pakistan, the official line is that Saeed has renounced his terrorist connections and now heads a charitable organization – in which capacity he makes frequent public appearances.

So what does it mean when the US declares a bounty on his head – and will it help anything?

Strange but true:
Well, this is awkward: an Irish priest "inadvertently" projected gay porn during a school presentation last week. 

The images were shown during a meeting for parents in preparation for their children's First Communion. The priest in question, one Father Martin McVeigh, denies all knowledge of how they found their way into his PowerPoint slides. Witnesses described him as "flustered" when the unexpected pictures appeared on the big screen.

Ireland's Catholic Church says it is investigating.