Most complete dinosaur from Britain goes on display

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Bristol, United Kingdom —The most complete dinosaur to be found in the United Kingdom has recently been put on public display. The scelidosaurus dinosaur was discovered on the Dorset coast, from which it was moved to Bristol City Museum & Art Gallery for public display. The director of Geology for the museum said, before the display was opened to the public, that “this is certainly a coup for Bristol.” He then said that the museum was “pleased to have these outstanding specimens, [as] they are the best-preserved dinosaur remains ever found in England.”

Large numbers of people have visited the museum in the last few days to see the dinosaur, which is believed to have died in a flood. The remains of the dinosaur’s final meal are visible near the neck of the animal.

The children of the dinosaur were also recovered in Dorset, and they have been included in the display at the Bristol museum.

The scelidosaurus was a herbivorous dinosaur that lived in the Jurassic period, almost 200 million years ago.

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12 June

Saudi Arabia fears Hajj swine flu outbreak as four pilgrims die

Sunday, November 22, 2009

As the annual Muslim Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca gets underway, Saudi Arabian authorities have expressed concern swine flu could impact pilgrims. Four, with underlying health issues, have already died.

Two men and a woman in their seventies and a seventeen-year-old girl have died, according to the Health Ministry. The men from India and Sudan, the older woman from Morocco, and the teen from Nigeria. None were vaccinated against the virus.

One died in Mecca, the others in Medina. All had conditions including cancer and respiratory ailments. The World Health Organisation puts the current swine flu death toll at 6,750. Four more people are in Saudi hospitals in critical condition and a further twelve are recovering in hospital.

Each year around three million make the pilgrimage. And, Saudi authorities are concerned about the possible spread of the virus. At least one pilgrimage to Mecca is deemed mandatory for every Muslim capable of doing so. Fifteen thousand extra medical staff are deployed, ports and airports screen incomers with thermal cameras, and hundreds of extra hospital beds have been set aside. Visa requirements specify only those vaccinated against the flu strain can apply.

In September, Egypt forbade hundreds of Muslims from leaving Cairo for the Hajj after an Egyptian woman returning from a more minor pilgrimage last July became the first swine flu fatality in both Africa and the Middle East. For Ramadan, pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia was banned by Iran for the same reason.

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8 June

Israel announces settlement expansion plans

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Israeli Interior Ministry has announced today that 900 new housing units are slated to be built by Israeli officials at the Gilo settlement located in East Jerusalem.

A press release by the Interior Ministry read, “The planning and construction committee has authorised the construction of 900 housing units in the Gilo neighbourhood in Jerusalem.” Annexed after the 1967 war, East Jerusalem is what Palestinians still hope to make the capital of their future state. However, the current Israeli government has made claim to Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and will remain as such,” said government spokesman Mark Regev.

Earlier this month the Palestinian Authority insisted that all negotiations with Israel would be put permanently on hold until settlement expansion and home demolitions were halted. The UN reports that 1,500 home demolition orders in East Jerusalem are currently pending in Israeli courts. At least 600 Palestinians have been displaced from their homes in East Jerusalem since the beginning of this year. Nearly 500,000 Israelis live in more than 100 different settlements located in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

U.S envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, asked President Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel settlement expansion plans, however his request went unheeded. Settlement expansion has soured relations between the U.S and Israel, however Israel is still the largest recipient of U.S aid annually. Responding to requests by the U.S government that settlement expansion be halted Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said that he, “strongly objects to the American demand to halt construction in Jerusalem and will allow construction for Jews, Muslims, and Christians in any part of Jerusalem without prejudice. The demand to halt construction by religion is not legal in the United States or in any other free place in the world.”

Under international law building settlements in occupied territory is illegal. The UN has deemed Israeli settlements to be a violation of the Geneva Convention.

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8 June

Latham quits as Australian Labor leader

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

AUSTRALIA –Following hospitalisation for pancreatitis and ongoing speculation about his leadership, Mark Latham has resigned from his roles as leader of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) and also the Federal Member for Werriwa. He cited as reasons the media harassment, and a desire to put his family and health first.

Mr Latham became leader of the ALP just over a year ago, on 2 December, 2003, leading the party during the October 2004 federal election. He was hospitalised in the run-up to that election, also for treatment of pancreatitis. Following the defeat of his party, his leadership increasingly came under question.

He fell ill a second time almost simultaneously with last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami disaster. His failure to issue a statement on the tsunami drew criticism from the media and calls for his resignation from within his own party, even after it was revealed that he had been incapacitated at the time.

Mr Latham’s resignation sidesteps the possibility of a leadership challenge by other members of the party and leaves no clear successor.

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7 June

Countryside Alliance lose legal case on UK fox hunting ban

Wednesday, February 16, 2005The British Countryside Alliance has lost its legal bid to keep hunting with hounds after the High Court rejected their appeal, which had been made on the grounds that the Parliament Act 1949 was invalid. The High Court rejected this, ruling that the 1949 Act was valid. This means hunting with dogs for foxes, hares and badgers will be illegal from Friday 18 February in England and Wales in accordance with the Hunting Act 2004.

The Countryside Alliance has said it is challenging the decision in the House of Lords (the highest court in English Law) and the European Court of Human Rights.

The RSPCA has said the arguments were “wafer thin”.

However the CA as said that the police would have difficulty in policing the law. The League Against Cruel Sports has said it is setting up a “crimewatch service” to police the ban.

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5 June

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2 June

U.S. General McChrystal submits plan on Afghanistan to President Obama

Monday, August 31, 2009

With the War in Afghanistan approaching its eighth year, the newly appointed U.S. ground commander in Afghanistan, General (Gen.) Stanley McChrystal, is making his case for a new strategy in the recent submission of classified recommendations to U.S. President Barack Obama. A focal point for discussion is Gen. McChrystal’s recommendation for troop levels in the country of which he is expected to recommend an increase by the end of this year. The classified report was submitted this Monday morning, August 31, 2009 and will eventually find its way onto the desk of President Obama serving as the likely basis upon which he will make decisions about the future of the U.S. engagement in the country.

At this time the 20-page report is being reviewed by Gen. McChrystal’s superiors to include Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of U.S. Central Command, Admiral Mike Mullen, U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Gen. Egon Ramms, the senior North Atlantic Treaty Organization Commander before going to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and on to the President. A public release of the report is not currently scheduled.

Although the report does not include requests for troop increases, it is possible that such a request will occur in the coming weeks or shortly thereafter. Gen. McChrystal reportedly described the situation in Afghanistan as “serious” which has caused some concerns about the overall progress of the war, driving the need for the strategy assessment. The White House has signaled its concern with Afghanistan as the Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, described the Afghan War as “under-resourced politically, militarily and economically”.

While there have been some leaks about other content in the report, none have been officially recognized by Gen. McChrystal or the U.S. government. Even still Gen. McChrystal remains resolved to ensure the maximum utilization of resources he already commands with reports that he ordered his subordinates to evaluate the need for high numbers of administrative positions vice utilizing those troops in combat roles. Additionally, the U.S. Army is considering whether or not they will utilize contractors to conduct guard duty at certain bases as well as convoy duty.

Gen. McChrystal stated, “The situation in Afghanistan is serious, but success is achievable and demands a revised implementation strategy, commitment and resolve, and increased unity of effort”. This report will likely be the first step in what will be many of significant changes in U.S. strategy.

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27 May

Swedish nuclear reactors shut down over safety concerns

Saturday, August 5, 2006

 Correction — August 14, 2006 This article reports that the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant reactor cooling systems failed. This is incorrect. Two of the four emergency diesel generators supplying power to the plant failed to start as expected, during a reactor shut down. The emergency cooling system, which functioned normally was sufficient to meet the reactor’s needs. Wikinews apologises for the error 

Three of Sweden’s ten nuclear reactors have been shut down due to safety concerns following an incident last week at the Forsmark Nuclear Power Plant, in which the reactor cooling systems failed. The reactor has since been shut down there. After the incident, the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate, SKI asked all the nuclear power plants to demonstrate that the same failure could not happen in them. On Wednesday, two more reactors at Oskarshamn were shut down after the operator said their safety could not be guaranteed.

Last week’s incident at the Forsmark plant was triggered by a short circuit that cut power to the reactor cooling system. Two of the four backup generators also failed to start, but the remaining two worked and were sufficient to meet the plant’s needs. Greenpeace reports that the fault in the backup power systems were traced to new equipment installed in 1993.

The spokesman of the Swedish Nuclear Power Inspectorate Anders Bredfell denied that there was any danger of a meltdown, adding that there was also a backup gas turbine to power the cooling system in an emergency.

However, Lars-Olov Höglund, who was responsible for the nuclear plant Forsmark for many years, said the incident was the most dangerous one since Chernobyl and Three Mile island, and that a meltdown was avoided only by pure luck. His views have however been questioned as he is involved in litigation with the Swedish nuclear industry and is known as an outspoken nuclear critic. Researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology as well as the personnel at the power plant were critical of Höglunds’ view.

Speaking to BBC News, SKI spokesman Anders Bredfell said that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was informed of the incident as required and that the incident classes as a ‘2’ in the 0-7 scale used by the IAEA to assess the severity of the incident.

Another reactor in Forsmark and a fifth at Ringhals nuclear power plant have been offline due to planned maintenance work. With five of its ten reactors down, Sweden’s power generation capacity is down by almost a fifth.

The environmental group Greenpeace called on the government to shut down all reactors and probe whether the fault was a generic one. The Green Party has called for an independent investigation of the incident. Sweden is scheduled to retire all its nuclear power plants in the next few decades, as decided by a referendum in 1980.

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27 May

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26 May

Dead children found in car in Sussex, UK

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The bodies of two children were found this morning in a car in Heathfield, East Sussex, in the United Kingdom. A 43-year-old woman has been arrested on suspicion of the murders.

The boy and girl were both less than five years old, and were discovered at 11:46 this morning (GMT) when Sussex police officers forced their way into the vehicle, which was parked on Mill Close in Heathfield. The woman, who has yet to be identified, had visited Heathfield police station earlier this morning to report “an incident”, and was later arrested on suspicion of murder. The police say that they have identified the bodies. The identities will be revealed when the post mortem examinations take place, which is scheduled for next Thursday.

I would like to reassure people that it is fully contained and there is no threat to anyone in the area

The woman was taken to Eastbourne District General Hospital, and has not yet been interviewed by the police. She is believed to be from Surrey but have connections with the Heathfield area. Mill Close, the road on which the incident occurred, has been closed, according to a police spokeswoman, who said, “An investigation is now under way and the area around the scene is cordoned off.” Chief Inspector Julia Pope, Wealden district policing commander, said, “This is a very tragic incident, but I would like to reassure people that it is fully contained and there is no threat to anyone in the area. We will move to restore normality and access to Mill Close as quickly as possible.” A spokesman for the South East Coast Ambulance Service said, “We sent an ambulance and two response cars but sadly two young children were pronounced dead at the scene.”

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23 May