News briefs:March 04, 2008
Wikinews News Brief, March 04 2008 
- Revision: Publication
- Script by: User:NicholasTurnbull
- Read by: User:NicholasTurnbull
- Link to recording: Image:Audio_Wikinews_Brief_2008-03-04.ogg
Please note: this script may differ slightly from the content of the spoken recording.
[Jingle] This is Wikinews News Brief, summarising the current news on Tuesday the 4th of March 2008 at 05:00 hours UTC. I’m Nicholas Turnbull. [Jingle]
Events of worldwide notability, military action, disasters etc. 
The national police chief of Columbia, Oscar Naranjo [pr: na-ran-HO], stated at a press conference yesterday that documentary evidence has been obtained that links Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez [pr: oo-go cha-vez] with the far-left Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, commonly referred to as the FARC [pr: f-a-r-c]. The documents were apparently found on computers belonging to FARC rebels who were killed in recent Columbian military attacks on the Marxist-Leninist guerrilla organisation. Naranjo told press sources that the evidence suggests that Chávez had recently paid $300 million US dollars to the rebels, and declared a suspicion that the money may have been part of an arrangement to secure the release of several hostages held by the organisation. The evidence also allegedly suggests that the Venezuelan government has offered to supply the organisation with uranium and firearms and that a member of the Ecuadorian government had ties with them. The Ecuadorean government has denied allegations by Columbia of complicity in the activities of the FARC.
Dmitry Medvedev [pr:der-mee-der-ree mid-vay-dev] has won the presidency of the Russian Federation in Sunday's election, winning 70.21% of the overall vote, in which turnout amongst registered voters was 69.65%. Medvedev replaces current president Vladimir Putin, who has served two 4-year presidential terms since his election in 2000. Medvedev is Putin's chosen successor, and has made promises to continue the strategies employed by the current Russian government. Medvedev is considered as more pro-democratic and less nationalistic in his political stance as compared to Putin, and is currently Putin's chief of staff. The fairness of the election has been called into question, with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe refusing to monitor the election on the basis that restrictions imposed by the Russian government would have made the assessment meaningless. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe considered the elections to be neither free nor fair. It is thought that Vladimir Putin will assume the role of Prime Minister.
In north-west Pakistan, over 40 people were killed and several were injured on Sunday, in a bomb attack on the outskirts of Dara Adamkel. The town is near to the country's border with Afghanistan and is approximately 40 kilometres away from the provincial capital of Peshawar. The explosion occurred during a tribal meeting on the subject of security. A spokesman for the Pakistan Interior Ministry stated that the Ministry was currently trying to gather information on the incident and added that initial reports suggested a suicide attack, which remain unconfirmed by official sources.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, expressed consternation at Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, whilst also calling for the immediate cessation of rocket attacks by Palestine, in an address to the United Nations Security Council on Sunday. Israeli troops killed 61 people on Saturday, including eight children, in an offensive attack carried out in response to a spate of Palestinian rocket attacks on locations within Israel. Libya has requested agreement to a draft to condemn Israel's killing of Palestinian civilians, although diplomatic sources believe that it will not be passed unless a similar condemnation is made of Palestinian rocket fire on Israel.
Non-disastrous local events with notable impact and dead celebrities 
Canadian Musician Jeff Healey, aged 41, died in Toronto on Sunday following a long battle with cancer. Healey became internationally known for his 1988 album entitled See the Light and for his appearance the following year in the movie Road House with Patrick Swayze. His hits included "Angel Eyes". Blind from the age of 1, Healey learned how to play the guitar by positioning it on his lap. He is survived by his wife and two children.
The controversial "living goddess" of Nepal, 11-year-old Sajani Shakya, has retired from her status as the Kumari of Bhaktapur at the request of her family, according to Dipak Pandey, a senior official of the state-run Trust Corporation of Nepal's cultural affairs. According to Pandey, Shakya's family desires to carry out a religious ritual involving a symbolic wedding with a bael fruit, that is intended to ensure the girl will not be treated as a widow if their husband dies before she does. Nepal, a deeply religious nation, believes that Kumari are living incarnations of the goddess Kali, and they must be chosen by the indigenous Newa people by passing ritual tests and having certain physical attributes.
And now for the sports news. Seven games were played in the National Hockey League on Sunday the 2nd of March. The scores are as follows:
- 1st match: Philadelphia Flyers 4, New York Rangers 5, in a shootout.
- 2nd match: Vancouver Canucks 1, Chicago Blackhawks 4.
- 3rd match: Florida Panthers 1, New York Islanders nil.
- 4th match: Atlanta Thrashers 2, Pittsburg Penguins 3, in a shootout.
- 5th match: Detroit Red Wings 4, Buffalo Sabres 2.
- 6th match: Los Angeles Kings 1, Minnesota Wild 2, in overtime.
- 7th match: Columbus Blue Jackets 3, Edmonton Oilers 4, in a shootout.
Thank you very much for joining me, Nicholas Turnbull, for this Wikinews News Brief. [Intro music] Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, and can be accessed at the following URL: http://en.wikinews.org. This recording is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License, available at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5/. Goodbye. [Outro music] [END]