FARC guerrillas cease fire unilaterally

Colombia's largest guerrilla group began a unilateral cease-fire Monday that — if it holds — could signal a major turning point in the nation's almost three-year peace talks with the group. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, issued a communiqué ordering their troops to stand down at midnight Monday. The administration has said it will "de-escalate" attacks on the 7,000-strong guerrilla force as long as the cease-fire holds.

New York

Additional charges weighed in limo crash

The man charged with drunken driving in a weekend crash on Long Island that killed four women fled the scene of the crash, the Suffolk County district attorney said Monday. The man, Steven Romeo, 55, initially ignored a police officer's orders to halt, though he eventually stopped, said District Attorney Thomas J. Spota. Romeo has been charged with drunken driving, and prosecutors have said that additional charges are possible. Romeo, who suffered a broken nose, told authorities he had been drinking beer, Spota said.


Shoddy part blamed for rocket failure

SpaceX founder Elon Musk said that investigators believe that the company's rocket disintegrated last month after a steel strut purchased from a subcontractor snapped. The strut was holding down one of many helium bottles on the rocket's second stage, where the explosion occurred. The rockets are grounded as the investigation continues into what caused the unmanned ship carrying supplies to the International Space Station to disintegrate just two minutes after liftoff June 28.


$1.5M fine for taking water proposed

California regulators proposed a first-of-its-kind, $1.5 million fine for a group of Central Valley farmers accused of illegally taking water during the drought. It would be the first such fine against an individual or district with claims to water that are more than a century-old, known as senior water rights holders. Entities with those rights have long enjoyed immunity from cutbacks. The fine reflects the rising severity of California's four-year drought.

Washington state

Stolen ATM falls out of getaway van

Snohomish County authorities say two men who stole an ATM from a business made it as far as the parking lot, but the machine fell out of the getaway van. Deputies who recovered the ATM believe two thieves backed up a white van to a business near Lynnwood Sunday, cut the cables to the ATM and loaded it in to the van. Deputies believe the machine fell out of the van when the men drove too fast over a speed bump.


Vote set Tuesday amid political unrest

Burundi is set to hold a presidential election Tuesday amid unrest over President Pierre Nkuruniziza's bid for a third term. Fears have been rife that the polls may trigger violence. A grenade exploded in Bujumbura, the capital's central business district Monday, but did not wound anyone, officials said. At night, gunfire could be heard in the neighborhood of Nyakabiga. The same neighborhood saw explosions and gunfire on the eve of parliamentary polls on June 26.


Ex-dictator forced to attend his trial

Former Chad dictator Hissene Habre denied the legitimacy of the special court set up to try him in Senegal for the deaths of thousands during his rule, but the head of the tribunal said he would be compelled to participate. Habre is on trial for crimes against humanity, war crimes and torture — an unprecedented case of one African country trying the former leader of another.

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