PAKISTAN

Terrorists on track

to be executed

Pakistan's government fast-tracked warrants of execution for convicted terrorists Thursday, moving swiftly on its promise to crack down on militants after a Taliban massacre of 132 schoolchildren Tuesday in the northern city of Peshawar.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had lifted a six-year moratorium on capital punishment Wednesday.

On Thursday, the country's ceremonial president, Mamnoon Hussain, rejected 17 mercy petitions that convicted terrorists on death row had filed earlier. The army chief of staff, Gen. Raheel Sharif, also signed six so-called "black warrants" for the execution of soldiers convicted of terrorism offenses by military courts.

Officials said those 23 terrorists would be executed within days, and they're likely to be followed by dozens more hangings.

    - McClatchy Newspapers
EUROPEAN UNION

Obesity a disability

Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday - a decision that could have consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. The ruling, which is binding across the European Union, has such profound implications for employment law that experts expect EU nations to challenge it. The court ruled in the case of Danish child-care worker Karsten Kaltoft, who weighed 350 pounds and said he was unfairly fired for being fat.

- AP
COLOMBIA

Rebel truce rejected

Colombia's government on Thursday rebuffed a unilateral truce declared by the country's largest rebel group, saying the conditions are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached. Still, President Juan Manuel Santos said he values the rebels' gesture as a step toward de-escalation. - AP