#AceNewsDesk : ” World News – Latest Headlines – 21 January 2014″

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Syrian opposition forms delegation for Geneva 2 peace conference

The National Coalition for Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (NCROF) of Syria has formed a ten-member delegation for the Geneva 2 peace conference set to begin on Wednesday, Itar-Tass reports, citing the opposition groups official press service. NCROF leader Ahmed al-Jarboe will reportedly lead the delegation, with vice presidents Nur al- Amir and Abdel Hakim, along with Syrian national council board member Badr Dzharmus, set to participate. Louay Safi, chairman of the Syrian American Council, will also be present at Montreux.


​Pakistan militant bus bombing kills at least 18

A bomb, detonated near a convoy of buses in western Pakistan, has killed at least 18 Shiite pilgrims, according to initial reports. However, local officials told Reuters that at least 22 had died as a result of the blast. The groups on the bus were returning from an excursion to Iran, and were passing through the city of Quetta when the bomb detonated. A police officer, Mohammad Aslam, told AP that the likely death toll of 18 could rise as several of the 24 others injured were in a critical condition.


Spain retakes number three spot in world tourism

Spain announced on Tuesday that it retook the number three position in world tourism in 2013. The country overtook China by luring a record 60.6 million international visitors, AFP reported. Foreign tourist arrivals surged by 5.6 percent in the year, the government said, boosting the euro zone’s fourth largest economy. “The new figures for 2013 allow our country to retake the number three position in this indicator after having overtaken China,” Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said. Spain stood behind only France with 83 million international tourist arrivals and the US with 67 million.


Syrian opposition to demand removal of Assad in peace talks

Syria’s opposition group, the National Coalition, warned on Tuesday it would demand the removal of “criminal” President Bashar Assad. On his arrival in Switzerland ahead of a peace conference, Badr Jamous, secretary-general of the National Coalition and member of its negotiating team, said: “We will not accept less than the removal of the criminal Bashar Assad and changing the regime and holding the murderers accountable.” The regime in Damascus “does not deserve less than being sent to stand trial in front of the International Criminal Court,” he told Reuters.


Obama to visit pope in March

US President Barack Obama plans to visit Pope Francis at the Vatican in March during a trip to Europe, Reuters reported. The president is scheduled to meet with the pope on March 27, the White House said on Tuesday. The trip will include stops in the Netherlands, Belgium and Italy.


Senegal releases Russia’s trawler

The authorities in Senegal have released the Oleg Naidyonov trawler which was detained by Senegalese servicemen and convoyed to Dakar’s port in early January. Yury Parshev, director of the Murmansk company Phoenix that owns the ship, told Interfax that the authorities were ready to stand bail for the detained trawler. The Russian Foreign Ministry had demanded immediate release of trawler.


Gunmen briefly hold 60 Afghan de-miners hostage

Armed men briefly held about 60 de-miners hostage in the northwest of Afghanistan on Tuesday before an operation by security forces freed them, AFP reported. The mine clearance workers, all Afghans, working for the British Halo Trust, were taken by gunmen from a camp in the Pashtun Zarghun district of Herat province. Halo said the kidnappers were not Taliban members. Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the interior ministry said that all the abducted de-miners have been freed.

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