The top negotiator for Colombia's main rebel group announced a unilateral cease-fire on Monday, before heading into peace talks with government counterparts in Havana. Ivan Marquez said the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) would cease military operations until Jan. 20. Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzon told reporters in Bogata, the Colombian capital, that he hoped FARC would keep its promise, but "history shows that this terrorist organization has never kept its word." Cuba is playing host to the talks in Havana following an initial round of discussions in Oslo, Norway, last month. The FARC has been at war with the Colombian government for nearly half a century.


President-elect of Mexico will visit

President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto of Mexico will visit President Obama at the White House on Nov. 27, the White House announced. When he takes office Dec. 1, Pena Nieto will succeed President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa.


Home blast is now homicide probe

Authorities began a homicide investigation into the house explosion that killed a young couple and left numerous homes uninhabitable in an Indianapolis neighborhood on Nov. 10. Search warrants have been executed and official are looking for a white van that was seen in the subdivision the day of the blast. Up to this point, officials have said they believe natural gas was involved in the explosion.


Nurses to go on strike at Bay Area hospitals

For the second time in three weeks, hundreds of registered nurses will walk off the job at San Francisco Bay Area hospitals beginning Tuesday morning in their lengthy contract dispute. Even though the strike is occurring during the Thanksgiving week, hospital spokeswoman Bev Mikalonis said they have been able to hire enough replacement nurses to care for patients.


Anglicans to vote on female bishops

Two decades after it supported the introduction of women priests, the Church of England began three days of deliberations that will include a vote on the ordination of women as bishops -- a notion that still splits its members into rival camps. To approve ordaining women as bishops, all three houses of the church's National Assembly must vote in favor by a two-thirds majority.


New leader warns party of corruption

China's new leader Xi Jinping is highlighting corruption as a scourge that could bring down the Communist Party, though he has yet to offer any specific new proposals to stop it. In a weekend speech, Xi told the new 25-member Politburo that the party must be vigilant against graft, noting that corruption in other countries in recent years has prompted major social unrest and the collapse of governments.


War court is closed until next year

Hurricane Sandy forced closure of the court at a makeshift compound called Camp Justice. Now scheduling conflicts mean the war court will remain dark until mid-January.