Current affairs 21/11/2012

Colombia's left-wing FARC rebels have declared a unilateral two-month ceasefire as they start peace talks with government negotiators.
The announcement was made by the FARC delegates in Cuba's capital Havana, the venue of the landmark talks.The first face-to-face meeting is aimed at ending five decades of conflict in which some 600,000 people have died. The top government negotiator earlier said the army would continue fighting the FARC until it signed a peace contract.

Rwanda-backed DRC rebels in the streets of Goma
Rebels in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo claimed they had captured the key, mineral rich eastern city of Goma, as witnesses described seeing columns of troops advancing unopposed through the streets of Goma. Scores of heavily armed rebels were walking through the city unchallenged as United Nations peacekeepers watched and small groups of residents greeted them. The claims and counter-claims came as both mortal fire and small arms clashes erupted around Goma on Sunday, and fighting continued between M23 rebels and the Congolese government army. Rwanda's invasion of Congo in 1996 sparked a decade of conflict that killed about five million people, mostly from hunger and disease.

Spain plans to offer foreigners residency permits if they buy houses worth more than 160,000€, in a desperate attempt to reduce the nation's glut of unsold property. The plan, aimed principally at the Chinese and Russian market, was announced on Sunday by the secretary of state for trade, who insisted it was necessary to reduce Spain's housing stock in a stagnant market. Although the details are yet to be agreed, the measure is expected to imitate agreements established in Portugal and Ireland earlier this year where residency papers are issued in return for property investments of 400,000€ and 500,000€ respectively. Hungary last month offered permanent residence to non-EU nationals if they bought at least 250,000€ worth of a special issue bond.

In a bus bombing last week, over 29 people were killed and injured in Tel Aviv. This lead to armed conflicts in the Israel/Gaza region. Althugh a ceasefire has been reached, the country is still on alert and real stability won't be reached so soon. 

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