Thailand, Muslim militants agree to peace talks
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
Thai authorities have agreed to hold peace talks with Muslim militant leaders based in neighboring Malaysia to help ease nearly a decade of unrest in southern Thailand.
Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary general of Thailand’s National Security Council, and a Malaysian-based senior representative of the National Revolution Front signed an agreement aimed at starting the talks. No schedule was immediately given for future meetings.
The agreement was signed in Kuala Lumpur ahead of a meeting later today between Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his Thai counterpart, Yingluck Shinawatra.
More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces since an Islamic insurgency erupted in 2004.
Malaysia, whose northern states border Thailand’s south, is acting as a facilitator to bring some of the insurgents to peace talks.
Obama unveils Rosa Parks statue
The nation’s most powerful politicians honored Rosa Parks on Wednesday by unveiling her statue in a permanent place in the U.S. Capitol. President Barack Obama praised Parks as an enduring reminder of what true leadership requires, “no matter how humble or lofty our positions.”
Parks became the first black woman to be depicted in a full-length statue in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. A bust of another black woman, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, sits in the Capitol Visitors Center.