BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — The demobilized guerrilla group known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia has changed the name of its political party in a bid to perform better with voters in next year’s congressional elections. The FARC’s party will now be known as Comunes, which translates roughly to commoners or commons. Leaders acknowledged that the FARC name “generates resistance in some sectors of society.” As part of a 2016 peace deal with Colombia’s government that ended five decades of war, the FARC was allowed to register a political party and was also given 10 guaranteed seats in Congress for eight years.
President Joe Biden and aides are showing touches of prickliness amid growing scrutiny of his reliance on executive orders in his first days in office.,The president in just over a week has already signed more than three dozen executive orders and directives aimed at addressing the coronavirus pandemic as well as a gamut of other issues, including environmental regulations, immigration policies and racial justice.,Biden has also sought to use the orders to erase foundational policy initiatives by former president Donald Trump.,Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell says Biden’s reliance on executive action in the early going conflicts with the Democrat’s pledge as a candidate to be a consensus builder.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is warning of a growing “cost of inaction” on his $1.9 trillion COVID relief plan. And the White House says the new administration is searching for “creative” ways to garner public support for a package that has gotten a cold shoulder from Senate Republicans. In the age of COVID, it’s not a matter of jumping on a plane to travel the country and try to gin up a groundswell. And at a time of deep polarization, Biden may struggle to convince Republican voters of the urgency at this particular moment after Congress already has approved $4 trillion in aid, including $900 billion last month.
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — A valuable concrete relief by Cyprus’ most avant-garde artist of the 1960s has been rediscovered after lying hidden in the underground recesses of a nightclub. The club is in the abandoned ghost town of Varosha, which has been under Turkish military control since a 1974 war ethnically cleaved the island nation. The nightclub’s 93-year-old Greek Cypriot former owner, who says he commissioned that artwork and others by artist Christoforos Savva, wants to remove them and transfer them to the country’s internationally recognized southern part. But the family that owns the hotel where the nightclub once operated says the artwork is its private property and objects to its removal, warning of legal action.
MASON, Texas (AP) — An official says a suspect has been taken into custody following a massive fire that destroyed all but the rock outer walls of an 111-year-old Texas courthouse. The fire at the Mason County Courthouse in Mason started Thursday night. No one was in the building. Judge Jerry Bearden said the flames could be seen from miles away. He says, “Right now, it’s just a shell. It just breaks your heart to look at it.” He told The Associated Press on Friday that fire investigators suspect arson in both the courthouse fire and a fire around the same time at a house about a mile away.
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) — Guatemala says the U.S. government is ending an arrangement that sent asylum-seekers who reached U.S. borders back to the Central American nation to seek protection there instead. The Guatemalan government said in a statement Friday it welcomed the decision to end the accord, known as a safe third country agreement. Only 20 of 939 Hondurans and El Salvadorans who have been turned back from the U.S. and flown to Guatemala decided to seek asylum there. With so many returning to their home countries instead, the policy instituted by former president Donald Trump became known as “deportation with a layover.”