Category:April 27, 2010

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From wikinews, the free news source, this is the audio wikinews brief for Tuesday, April 27th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and here are today's top stories:


Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, has been declared the winner of this month's elections, after the first multiparty polls in 24 years. In a separate election, Salva Kiir, a former rebel leader, was declared president of the semi-autonomous southern Sudan.

According to the Sudanese election commission, al-Bashir won 68% of the vote, while Salva Kiir obtained 93% of the vote out of slightly more than 2.5 million total votes.

Two of al-Bashir's main opponents withdrew before the voting began, accusing the polling process of being rigged and observers along with the opposition have complained of fraud.

Al-Bashir is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, although al-Bashir denies the allegations.

Officials are using a robotic submersible vehicle to stop an oil leak after an explosion destroyed the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last Thursday.

An estimated 42,000 gallons of oil a day have been leaking from a pipe on the ocean floor called a riser, which is a spring tensioned pipe that runs between the sea floor and the rig. The remotely operated submersible is attempting to engage a device known as a blowout preventer, which is a large valve which can seal the well shut to prevent a sudden release of pressure within the well, such as the one that may have caused the rig to explode. According to BP, the company that operates the well, the attempt is the first of its kind in the world.

The environmental impact of the spill on wildlife is currently unknown; there have been no reports of animal casualties, though whales were seen in the vicinity of the spill yesterday. Officials say an oil slick on the surface of the ocean is estimated to cover an area about 48 by 39 miles at its widest points and that it could begin to impact coastal regions by Thursday.

Should the submersibles fail in their attempt to close the blowout preventer, two other possible ways to contain the oil spill are possible. One option would be to install a large dome over the leak and send the collected oil to the surface, where it would be collected by ships. This has been done before, although only in shallow water. The second option is to drill an entirely new well that would intersect the original, although this could take months to complete.

115 of the 126 workers on board the rig at the time of the explosion were rescued, however, 11 still remain missing.

A snap election on the island nation of Nauru in Micronesia, has failed to end a political deadlock with all eighteen members of parliament having been re-elected. President Marcus Stephen called this early election in the hopes that he could gain a clear mandate in Parliament which is currently evenly split with nine Members of Parliament representing both political parties. Because neither side can decide who should be speaker of the house, a government cannot be formed.

President Stephen has attempted to revitalize Nauru, but during his term in office, he has been faced with numerous issues. Nauru was once one of the richest countries in the world due to its phosphate mineral deposits, but because of bad investments, the nation has become one of the poorest and now relies upon aid from Russia. For the time being, Stephen will remain in power with a caretaker government.

The conservative party of Hungary, known as Fidesz, a Hungarian acronym which translates into "Alliance of Young Democrats", has won a two-thirds majority in parliament, according to official results.

With about 99% of all votes counted, Fidesz is projected to have won 263 seats in the 386-seat parliament, ending eight years of Socialist government.

The incumbent Socialists placed a distant second, obtaining 59 seats, while the far-right Jobbik took 47 seats. A new Green party, called Politics Can Be Different, received sixteen seats, and an independent candidate took the remaining seat.

With this power change, Fidesz now has the ability to unilaterally alter the constitution, having more than the required two-thirds majority - or 258 seats - needed to do so.

Viktor Orbán, the leader of Fidesz, is widely considered to take office as Prime Minister.

Chaos broke out in the Ukrainian parliament as several smoke bombs were thrown during a debate about the extended lease on a Russian naval base in Ukraine. Members of parliament were seen fighting on the chamber floor while opposition MPs threw eggs at the speaker of the house.

It is not clear who threw the smoke bombs, although opposition MPs were thought to be responsible, but the debate continued despite the lingering smoke and chaos. The speaker had to be protected by two aides holding umbrellas and politicians held handkerchiefs to their mouths.

Along with the brawling MPs, thousands of people waited outside the parliament building protesting the extended lease.

The Russians have offered Ukraine cheaper supplies of Russian natural gas in exchange for a further 25 years on the lease of the naval base which was currently set to end in 2017.

After the chaos had calmed down, MPs voted on the agreement and the deal extending the lease was backed 236 to 214. The deal was then put forward in the Russian lower house of parliament, where all 410 Russian MPs voted in favor of the deal.

In sports today, 29-year-old William Trubridge from New Zealand set a new freediving record on Sunday, reaching a depth of 116 meters (380 feet) in the Atlantic Ocean, holding his breath for four minutes nine seconds — breaking the world record for the deepest free immersion dive.

Trubridge wore a silicon-coated wetsuit and used the breaststroke and a set of fins to plunge into world's deepest blue hole, a submarine cave, in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, in the Bahamas.

Trubridge already holds nine world records, and the dive put him into first place in the "Vertical Blue Suunto Dive-Off" competition.

On the other side of the planet, at Morwell, Victoria, in Australian rules football, Traralgon cemented the top spot in round three of the 2010 Gippsland Football League with a thirty-three-point win over Morwell.

Traralgon are on top in the series with three wins, ahead of Maffra on percentage and a game clear of Sale and Morwell. Drouin rounds out the top five a game further back.

Be sure to check out Mike Morales' interview with 2010 California gubernatorial candidate, Dale Ogden. In today's wikinews feature article, Mike presses the Libertarian on the issues of fixing California's ailing economy, immigration and his views of global climate change.

Wikinews features many original and bias free interviews with the people who shape the world we live in. And since wikinews is a free and open news source, you're free to contribute as well. Want to interview a local politician in your home town? Will there be a rally or demonstration in your city? Do you know someone famous? If you do, then stop by and join our team of volunteer journalists.

On this day in history (8:12)

In 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven composes his famous piano piece, Für Elise. While it is uncertain who Elsie was, perhaps a mistress or a friend whom rejected his marriage proposal, whoever she was, his love for her has endured for two centuries through this beautiful composition.


And those are the top headlines for Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

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