World Briefs: Colombian rebels to abandon arms

Colombian rebels to abandon arms

BOGOTA • Colombia's government and the country's largest rebel group have reached a deal to end more than 50 years of conflict, paving the way for an end to the longest-running war in the Americas.

The deal, announced on Wednesday, outlines a timetable under which the rebels, known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or Farc, will abandon their arms.

The deal also sets out a pathway by which former fighters can re-enter civilian life. It will be put to a referendum on Oct 2.


Charged with backpacker's murder

SYDNEY • A Frenchman was charged yesterday with stabbing to death a young British female backpacker in Australia, but police found that the man showed no signs of radicalisation despite saying "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) during the attack.

Smail Ayad, 29, is accused of stabbing Ms Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, multiple times late on Tuesday at a hostel in Home Hill, a rural town in Queensland. He has no known links to radical groups but there was evidence that he had consumed cannabis before the attack, police said.


Fashion designer Sonia Rykiel dies

PARIS • French fashion designer Sonia Rykiel, the so-called Queen of Knitwear, died yesterday at the age of 86 after a long battle with Parkinson's disease, her daughter said.

Rykiel was a fixture in the industry for half a century, launching her own fashion house in 1968 buoyed by the Swinging Sixties craze in London.

She made her breakthrough in 1962 with the so-called Poor Boy Sweater, a garment designed for women that had long sleeves and a shorter, fitted shape.


WhatsApp to share phone numbers

SAN FRANCISCO • WhatsApp, Facebook's popular messaging service, has said it will start sharing users' phone numbers with its parent company to allow for more relevant ads and friend recommendations on the social network.

The move is WhatsApp's first update to its privacy policy since it was acquired by Facebook in 2014. WhatsApp will also explore ways for businesses to send messages using its platform, it said in a blog post.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 26, 2016, with the headline 'World Briefs'. Subscribe