N Korea fires missiles

SEOUL: North Korea has fired five short-range missiles off its east coast and declared a 'no sail' zone in the area from October 10-20, South Korea's Yonhap news agency quoted a government source as saying on Monday. South Korean government officials were not immediately available for comment. The latest launches come as Pyongyang has said it is ready to return to international talks on its nuclear weapons programme, though it has insisted it holds talks first with the United States. — Agencies

Microsoft’s plan

Seattle: Microsoft will issue its biggest ever security update on 13 October. The update will include 13 bulletins that between them tackle 34 vulnerabilities. Microsoft said that eight of the bulletins were rated as critical - the most serious sort of vulnerability. The security patches will close loopholes in many different programs including different editions of Windows, Internet Explorer and some elements of Office. — Agencies

Columbus Day

New York: Americans are celebrating Columbus Day on Monday. Columbus Day is a federal holiday observed on the second Monday in October, marking the anniversary of arrival of Christopher Columbus to the Americas. Columbus, an Italian explorer sailing under the Spanish flag, led four expeditions to the New World, but never accomplished his goal to find a western ocean route to Asia. Instead, Columbus ushered in a new era by opening up the Americas to exploration. — Agencies

Hillary in NIreland

Ireland: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is meeting with Northern Ireland's political leaders in Belfast on Monday. The talks come a day after one of Northern Ireland's paramilitary groups renounced violence and said its "armed struggle is over." The Irish army said on Sunday that uniting Northern Ireland with Ireland can be "best achieved through exclusively peaceful political struggle." The statement did not make clear when or if the group will hand over its weapons. — Agencies