Category:June 10, 2010

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Today on Wikinews : The Democratic Republic of Congo sentences two Norwegian's to death in a second trial; California newspaper The Valley News retracts a story similar to the famous 'Dewey Defeats Truman' incident; South Korea experiences a setback for its space program and, in history, the king of all wild things is born in 1928.

Today is Thursday, June 10th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and this is Wikinews.


Two former Norwegian soldiers have been sentenced to death in the Democratic Republic of Congo for the second time, having been accused of spying and murder.

Joshua French and Tjostolv Moland were originally sentenced in September 2009, but lost their appeal in December of the same year. The latest trial was held in April after the Congolese Military High Court overturned the original sentences and ordered a retrial. The pair are reportedly intending to appeal their sentence once again.

The two men have been accused of murdering Abedi Kasongo while they were traveling from Uganda to the DR Congo on motorcycles. When their bikes broke down, they hired Kasongo to drive them back to Uganda. The pair claim that during the journey they were ambushed by jungle rebels and Kasongo was killed. The accusation of spying stems from the fact that the pair were carrying Norwegian military identification at the time of the incident.

Both suspects continue to defend their innocence, and Norway and Britian, as one of the accused holds dual Norwegian-British citizenship, both expressed their opposition to the sentence. A Norwegian spokesperson said that "Norway is a strong opponent against the death penalty, and we have been communicating this stance to the relevant authorities. We have received assurances from the authorities that the death sentence won't be carried out and we hold the authorities responsible for the well being of these two."

A spokesperson for Britain's Foreign Office said that "We will be doing everything we properly can to support him in the coming weeks and months. We are committed to supporting any British national who faces the death penalty and our prime concern in this case is to ensure that no execution is carried out."

UK-based charity Reprieve condemned the actions of the Congo courts. A spokesperson said that "Each time the military prosecution changes their theory, the witnesses all obligingly change their story. It is now clear why the DRC's own constitution forbids the military from administering justice."

While the UK attempts to intervene on behalf of one of its citizens accused of murder, police in that nation are seeking the suspect in a murder in Scotland.

Anthony Wright, aged 35, was shot twice outside his household in Lanarkshire, in the rural town of Shotts at approximately 7:00 local time on Wednesday morning. An ambulance transported him to Wishaw General Hospital where he died later that day. A murder investigation has begun outside Wright's house. A completed report is expected to be submitted to the Procurator Fiscal later on. No other injuries were reported as a result of this incident occurring.

A description of the suspect's appearance has not been disclosed by the police and the police have not offered any motive for the crime, though authorities think that Wright was the anticipated target. Reports say that the suspect left the crime scene on foot, going across some wasteland and was last sighted at the rear of Inverkip Drive. One nearby resident, who is remaining unidentified, commented about Wright: "We don't know the man well but he had a boy at the high school and three wee tots. It's shocking really."

Detective Superintendent John McSporran urged individuals who know about the incident to speak with law enforcement, "I would ask members of the public who have not yet come forward and know something about this crime, to speak to police as a matter of urgency."

An election news report in the U.S. features an error hearkening back to the infamous 1948 "Dewey Defeats Truman" incident – reporting the wrong candidate won the California state election primary.

On Tuesday, Candidate Joel Anderson, a member of the California State Assembly, won the Republican Party primary for the California State Senate's 36th District being vacated by termed-out politician Senate Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth. With 100 percent of the election precincts reporting, Anderson won over 45 percent of the total votes cast in the Republican primary.

However, The Valley News, a news publication based in Riverside, California, mistakenly reported that Anderson's opponent, Jeff Stone, had won the Republican primary. The Valley News later deleted its own article and revised the story with the correct information about the election results, without posting a correction.

California political journalist Barry Jantz reported that the mistake was due to the publisher of The Valley News only having examined the election results for Riverside, and not the entire election district. The Republican primary won by Anderson encompasses an election district, which includes both Riverside County, and San Diego County.

Jantz noted, "A new story has now been posted, without a trace of the incorrect report or a correction." He referred to the erroneous article subsequently deleted by the Valley Press as, "the story that was...and wasn't...and now never existed". The San Diego County publication, East County Magazine, commented on the incident, and characterized it as "an error reminiscent of the infamous 'Dewey Defeats Truman' headline."

Dewey Defeats Truman" was an erroneous front-page headline by the newspaper Chicago Tribune published November 3, 1948, a day before U.S. President Harry Truman won the 1948 presidential election against New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey.

Anderson will be the Republican Party candidate in the November general election for California State Senate. His opponent will be Paul Clay, a Democrat and teacher based in Riverside County. The district primarily consists of registered Republicans.

The Valley News and the Chicago Tribune aren't the only news services who makes mistakes,

Corrections (6:14)

in yesterday's story (Noynoy Aquino elected Philippine president) about the election of Noynoy Aquino as the new president of the Philippines, our story implied that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos had shot Benigno Aquino, Noynoy's father, when, in fact, he had been shot while in military custody during the regime of Marcos.

Chelsea, the London based football club and current Premier League champions, have confirmed that Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will be leaving on free transfers during the summer transfer window.

The team reportedly stated they did not wish to offer Cole, an English international currently with the country's national team at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, another contract for next season. They also declined to offer a new deal to the 33-year-old German captain Michael Ballack, who has been missing out on the World Cup with injury.

Cole has been at the club since joining from West Ham United in 2003, while Ballack's previous club was Bayern Munich of Germany, arriving under José Mourinho.

Ballack was claimed to be "extremely surprised" by the news, having been on holiday in Miami, United States at the time of being informed, according to agent Michael Becker. Ballack had previously rejected a reduced-wage, one-year contract, and was once the highest-earner at Chelsea, with a weekly wage of £121,000.

Several sources believe that many top finishers in the Premier League, including runners-up Manchester United, are keen to speak to 28-year-old Cole, as he has been free to initiate negotiations since January. However, no deal has yet been confirmed to have started.

Finally, in science,

South Korea has lost contact with its Naro-1 rocket, just 137 seconds after take-off. The rocket apparently exploded when a flash was seen from an on-board camera and communication was lost. The loss of communication occurred when the rocket had achieved an altitude of around 70 kilometers and television cameras captured a white speck, presumably part of the rocket, falling into the sea.

South Korea had initially postponed a launch on Wednesday due to problems with the rocket's fire extinguisher system, but the mission was cleared and at 5:01pm local time today, the rocket lifted off from Goheung's Naro Space Centre.

Korea had hoped to use a Naro-1, South Korea's first carrier rocket, to launch a STSAT-2B scientific research satellite. The payload was intended to demonstrate technology for future spacecraft and carried an instrument called the Dual-channel Radiometer for Earth and Atmosphere Monitoring, or DREAM, which would have measured the brightness temperature of the Earth in an attempt to examine climate change and its effects.

This would have been the first Naro-1 launch to reach orbit and the launch cost South Korea an estimated US$400 million. The incident is seen as a major setback for South Korea's space program, which had been aiming to become the 10th country to achieve the capability to launch satellites, and the fourth Asian country, after China, Japan, and India. A successful launch would have helped South Korea to become a player in commercial space launches, an industry valued at around US$250 billion.

On this day in history (10:21)

Maurice Bernard Sendak, an American writer and illustrator of children's literature, best known for his 1963 book Where the Wild Things Are, was born in 1928.

Sendak was born in Brooklyn, New York to Polish Jewish immigrant parents Sarah and Philip Sendak, a dressmaker. He decided to become an illustrator after viewing Walt Disney's film Fantasia at the age of twelve, however, his love of books came at an early age when he developed health problems and was confined to his bed. In addition to Disney, Sendak has said of his other influences, "My gods are Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Mozart. I believe in them with all my heart." Elaborating further, he has explained that reading Emily Dickinson's works helps him to remain calm in an otherwise hectic world.

One of his earliest memorable influences was actually his father, Philip Sendak. According to Maurice, his father would relate tales from the Bible - however, he would embellish them with racy details to jazz them up. Not realizing that this was inappropriate for children, little Maurice would frequently be sent home after retelling his father's "softcore Bible tales" at school.

One of his first professional commissions was to create window displays for the toy store F.A.O. Schwarz and his illustrations were first published in 1947 in a textbook titled Atomics for the Millions by Dr. Maxwell Leigh Eidinoff. He spent much of the 1950s working as an artist for children's books, before beginning to write his own stories.

Sendak gained international acclaim after writing and illustrating Where the Wild Things Are, although the book's depictions of fanged monsters concerned some parents when it was first released, as his characters were somewhat grotesque in appearance. Sendak's seeming attraction to the forbidden or nightmarish aspects of children's fantasy have made him a subject of controversy. The monsters in the book were actually based on relatives who would come to weekly dinners. Because of their broken English and odd mannerisms, they were the perfect basis for the monsters in Sendak's book.

His book In the Night Kitchen, first published in 1970, has often been subjected to censorship for its drawings of a young boy prancing naked through the story. The book has been challenged in several American states including Illinois, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Texas. In the Night Kitchen regularly appears on the American Library Association's list of "frequently challenged and banned books." It was listed number 21 on the "100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-1999."

In an interview on NPR's Fresh Air, Sendak said that his depiction of the cooks in In the Night Kitchen (they had Hitler-esque mustaches) and the fact that they tried to cook the boy in their ovens were references to the Holocaust, a subject high in his thoughts especially due to his Jewish heritage.

Sendak was also an early member of the National Board of Advisors of the Children's Television Workshop during the development stages of the television series Sesame Street. He also wrote and designed an animated sequence for the series, Bumble Ardy, based on his own book, and with Jim Henson as the voice of the main character.

In terms of influencing others, Sendak has been a massive influence over the decades. While his books certainly have roused much controversy, on the other hand they have also charmed scores of parents and children alike with their unique illustrations and lovable characters.


And those are the top headlines for Thursday, June 10th, 2010

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