Category:October 17, 2007

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The time is 4:45 UTC and this an Audio Wikinews Brief for Wednesday, October 17, 2007.

Oil prices at new high on fears of Turkish attack in Iraq

Crude oil has risen to an all-time high during trading in Asia to close at US$86.13 a barrel, up $2.44. In the U.S., crude stock futures were nearing $90.00 a barrel.

The spike is being blamed on fears that Turkey will launch an attack on Iraqi Kurdish Militants of the Kurdistan Workers Party after they killed 13 Turkish soldiers on October 7. On Monday, the Turkish military asked Parliament for permission to lead a mission into Iraq to hunt down militants.

There are at least 60,000 Turkish troops along the Iraq-Turkey border.

China 'furious' at U.S. over Dalai Lama award

The Chinese Communist Party is furious over an awards ceremony for the Dalai Lama, who is to receive the Congressional Gold Medal today. President Bush received him at the White House on Tuesday.

In 1950, the People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet and continues to occupy the territory. However in a January 2007 television interview, the Dalai Lama demanded more autonomy for the Tibetan people but added that they should accept Tibet as a part of China.

Nevada man's execution halted at 11th hour

In the U.S. on Tuesday, the execution of a prisoner in Nevada was suspended just 90 minutes before the execution was to be carried out due to arguments from civil rights activists who believe that the state should wait until the U.S. Supreme Court determines the constitutionality of death by lethal injection.

34-year-old William Castillo was sentenced to death after beating 86-year-old Isabel Brendt to death in 1995. He was convicted of murdering the retired Las Vegas schoolteacher in 1996.

An overwhelming legal uproar over death by lethal injection has compelled the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of a method of execution for the first time since 1878, while also halting capital punishment throughout the country.

Putin promises to complete Iran's nuclear reactor

Russian President Vladimir Putin has assured Iran that Moscow would not back out of a 1 billion U.S. dollar contract to complete a nuclear power plant in the Iranian port of Bushehr. Putin's remarks followed talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at a summit of Caspian Sea nations in Tehran.

The United States and other Western nations oppose the construction of the reactor, and believe that it is part of an effort by Iran to develop nuclear weapons.

Australia Votes 2007: Liberals promise personal income tax cuts

With the election campaign just beginning, Australian Prime Minister John Howard has promised $34 billion in personal income tax cuts over the next three years. That is on top of $31.5 billion announced in May, and $36.7 billion announced in 2006.

The new tax cuts are based on new projections for growth in the Australian economy. The Treasury now estimates that the economy will expand by 4.25% in the 12 months to June 2008, up from growth of 3.75% predicted in May.

The Government has challenged the Labor opposition to announce their tax policy immediately. Australian economists underlined that the tax cuts will boost demand at a time when the Reserve Bank is trying to slow the economy.

Studies: raw fish risky

Studies presented at the 72nd Annual Meeting of the American College of Gastroenterology show that eating raw or undercooked fish, such as sushi or sashimi, can lead to severe intestinal problems caused by parasitic roundworms called anisakis. Symptoms of the infestation include sudden abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and can be severe enough to warrant a visit to the emergency room.

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