Colombian parliamentarian flees FARC rebels after eight years

Colombian parliamentarian flees FARC rebels after eight yearsBogota - After eight years in captivity, the former Colombian parliamentarian Oscar Tulio Lizcano managed to flee his captors, the left-wing FARC rebels, with the help of his guard, the country's top defence official said Sunday.

Defence Minister Juan Manuel Santos said Lizcano and a FARC member with the alias of Isaza fled three days ago in the jungles of western Colombia and encountered a military unit, which brought them to safety.

Tokyo market opens with light trading

Tokyo market opens with light tradingTokyo - Tokyo's stock market opened Monday morning with light trading amidst a nervous mood among investors.

The Nikkei Index dropped 19.27 points in the first 18 minutes, or 0.25 per cent, to 7,629.81 points.

That was up from the opening figure, which had sunk beneath 7,500 - the lowest point since Japan's own speculation bubble burst in the early 1990s.

Investors were bracing for the release of new projections this week from Sony and other companies that will reduce expectations.

Japanese town gripped by namesake Obamamania

Tokyo/Obama, Japan - Welcome to Obama. Elderly residents in the small port town on Japan's west coast are getting ready for the US presidential elections, playing hula music to support their hero - Barack Obama.

The vast majority of them knows the Hawaii-born senator only from the television screen. And, like most of their countrymen, they did not give a toss about politics at the other side of the Pacific Ocean until recently.

But now, the residents of Obama, Japan, are cheering for the Democratic candidate because he puts their town, 400 kilometres west of Tokyo, on the map.

For Obama: 'It's the network, stupid!'

For Obama: 'It's the network, stupid!'San Francisco - If anyone still questioned the power of the internet to play a key role in the general elections, the recent fundraising figures touted by Barack Obama should put all doubts to rest.

The Democratic presidential nominee raised a staggering 150 million dollars in September - most of which came from small donors who gave less than 100 dollars each through Obama's website.

Russians prefer the more 'approachable' Obama

Moscow - John McCain's US presidential campaign begged at the enemy's door this week when a wayward letter reached the desk of Russia's UN envoy Vitaly Churkin in New York asking for a donation.

The Russians wouldn't spare a ruble for the Republican, and sent McCain a sardonic message saying that unlike the United States, the Russian government does "not finance political activity in foreign countries."

In fact, Russian officials aren't banking on either McCain or Democratic nominee Barack Obama mending relations upturned by Russia's recent war with US-ally Georgia.

PNC gets government funds to acquire National City