News briefs:April 08, 2008
It is Thursday, April 8 2008 at 19:00 UTC and this is Wikinews.
The jury of the inquest into the death of Princess Diana has returned a majority verdict, by 9 to 2, saying that the Princess was unlawfully killed through "grossly negligent driving" or "gross negligence manslaughter" on the part of Henri Paul who was driving and the paparazzi who were following the Mercedes before it crashed.
The jury also specified that Henri Paul's driving, and the fact that all the passengers were not wearing seat belts, were also contributing causes to their deaths, additionally returning the same verdict for Dodi Al Fayed.
133 women and 401 allegedly abused children have been taken into state custody after officials received a call from a distressed 16-year-old girl in Eldorado, Texas. The children were found in a 1700-acre compound belonging to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints during a raid which started on Saturday. Children as young as 6 months have been removed from the compound.
The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, a polygamist sect founded by Warren Jeffs – jailed last year for the rape and forced marriage of a 14 year old girl – is a breakaway branch of the Mormon Church, which abandoned the practice of polygamy in 1890. The church believes that men need a minimum of three wives in order to ascend to heaven.
United States General David Petraeus, the Commanding General of the Multi-National Force - Iraq (MNF-I), and Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker, testified today before the United States Senate Committee on Armed Services on the security and political conditions in Iraq.
In General Petraeus' opening statement he said, "I recommended to my chain of command that we continue the drawdown of the surge combat forces and that, upon the withdrawal of the last surge brigade combat team in July, we undertake a 45-day period of consolidation and evaluation."
General Petraeus further told the Senators that the security gains that have been made in Iraq are "fragile and reversible". He said that Iran is supporting the insurgents.
Ambassador Crocker spoke about the recent fighting that took place in southern Iraq, centered around Basra. "Taken as a snapshot, with scenes of increasing violence, and masked gunmen in the streets, it is hard to see how this situation supports a narrative of progress in Iraq," he said.
Committee chairperson Carl Levin, Michigan, criticized Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki, saying that the government of Iraq was at risk due to "incompetence and the excessively sectarian leadership."
That's all for the news this hour. I'm Gabriel Hurley. Thanks for listening.