News briefs:April 23, 2010
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From Wikinews, the free news source, this is the audio Wikinews brief for Friday, April 23nd, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and here are today's top stories:
Bombings in Iraq kill dozens (0:16)
In breaking news, multiple car bombs in Iraq's capital of Baghdad have killed at least 58 and wounded a further hundred. Some media reports put the death toll as high as 69.
Most of the explosions took place near Shia mosques during prayers; the deadliest attacks, meanwhile, were in Sadr City. There were at least six total bombings, although some reports put the figure as high as thirteen.
Baghdad security spokesman Qassim Moussawi told the Reuters news agency the bombings targeted "prayers in areas with a certain majority", referring to Iraq's Shia population. He added that the blasts were "revenge for the losses suffered by al-Qaeda", and that he believes "such terrorist acts" will continue.
A top Iraqi official has accused al-Qaeda as being responsible for the attacks.
Please visit wikinews.org for the latest developments in this story.
The oil rig "Deepwater Horizon" which is located roughly 50 miles southeast off the coast of Louisiana, sank yesterday after an explosion of unknown origins occurred Tuesday night. 115 of the 126 workers on board the time of the explosion have been rescued, however, 11 still remain missing although Coast Guard officials have expressed optimism that they are still alive.
The environmental impact of the accident is unclear. So far the effects have been considered minimal as the oil, up to 13,000 gallons of crude per hour, has been burned off, however, according to David Rainey, vice president of the lessor of the rig, British Petroleum, this could change.
The rig, which was built in 2001 by Hyundai Heavy Industries and owned and operated by Transocean, was completing the construction of a new oil well, and was constructing a layer of cement in the well to reinforce it. This is considered dangerous, as it has the potential to produce an uncontrolled release of fluid, known as a blowout. While the cause of the explosion has yet to be determined, a blowout is considered a possibility.
A 6.2-magnitude aftershock struck a large part of central and southern Chile Friday morning, but it caused no casualties or major damage, according to Chile's National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI).
The aftershock took place at 06:03 local time (10:03 UTC), and according to the University of Chile Geological Survey, the epicentre was located 65 kilometers to the south of Concepción which is roughly 580 kilometers from Chile's capital, Santiago. The Chilean Army's Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service has also ruled out the possibility of a tsunami in the affected area.
In Minas, Brazil, one of that nations largest states, the regional government has stopped the sale of the Toyota Corolla over safety concerns.
The move was made after nine Corolla customers reported that their cars automatically accelerated. The state public prosecutor's office said in an online statement on Tuesday that the problem is blamed on accelerator pedals sticking underneath floor mats.
According to the prosecutor's office, sales of Corollas may resume when Toyota alters the floormats in its current models. Toyota has already recalled over eight million vehicles worldwide due to acceleration problems.
Vice president of the United States, Joe Biden, said yesterday that he expects the United Nations to implement new sanctions against Iran beginning early next month. According to Biden, the latest sanctions would mark the first time the world was unified in its opposition to Iran's nuclear program. He added that China, which had previously been opposed to sanctions against Iran, would take part in these latest actions despite being a close trading partner with Iran.
Biden continued to add that Israel has pledged not to take military action against Iran in the near future, and would instead wait to see what effect sanctions have on Iran. Iran and Israel have long been at odds, and Israel has not ruled out launching a preemptive strike against Iran before it develops nuclear weapons. Numerous Western countries have claimed that developing nuclear weapons is the ultimate goal of Iran's nuclear program, although Tehran claims that the program is for civilian purposes only.
Greece has formally asked for rescue loans by the European Union and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to be activated, aimed at helping the country recover from an economic crisis.
Under the plan, countries in the Eurozone will provide up to 30 billion euros in loans in the first year, while the IMF will contribute ten billion euros.
The bailout will cover Greece's borrowing needs for the immediate future so that it can avoid default. The request still needs to be approved by all fifteen countries using the euro, and will be reviewed by the European Central Bank.
Chilean actor Oscar Garcés was arrested last Saturday morning in Calama, Chile after a 25-year-old woman accused him of sexual abuse.
Prosecutor Pablo Medina reports that Garcés went to the Sonesta Hotel at 5:00 AM local time, and called the reception desk to request room service. Soon after, he was involved in a fight with a female hotel worker. The victim accused Garcés of forcibly attempting to kiss her and groping her with the intent of abusing her.
After the incident the woman called the Carabineros, which is the uniformed Chilean national police force, and later verified her lesions at the Carlos Cisternas Hospital. Prosecutor Medina reported the investigation will take about 80 days and that Garcés is currently free with some restrictions. If convicted, Garcés could be imprisoned from three to seven years.
Ben Shephard, television personality on the UK morning program "Good Morning Television" has announced his departure from the show after 10 years. He is the third presenter to leave GMTV within the last year, after the departures of Fiona Phillips and Penny Smith.
Initially, Shephard only presented an entertainment section of the television programme before being given a promotion to the sofa in 2005. His current contract ends this month, but he is expected to stay on until the end of this summer after which he will then focus on a number of new projects with ITV and other channels.
Australian-born British poet Peter Porter has died at the age of 81 after suffering from liver cancer. The poet was born in Brisbane, Australia in 1929 and moved to London, England in 1951. His first collection of works, entitled "Once Bitten, Twice Bitten", was first published in 1961 and he went on to become a broadcaster, reviewer, journalist and a full-time poet by the year 1968.
Porter won the Forward prize for his work titled "Max is Missing" and was shorlisted for a T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry for the work "Afterburner". He is most well known for his collection of poems titled "The Cost of Seriousness" which he wrote after his first wife committed suicide in 1974.
Anthony Thwaite, another English poet, and friend and colleauge to Peter Porter, said that he would describe Porter as "one of the finest poets of our time".
On this day in history (8:09)
In 1867, William Lincoln patents the zoetrope, a machine that shows animated pictures by mounting a strip of drawings in a wheel.
And those are the top headlines for Friday, April 23nd, 2010
Be sure to check out Diego Grez's interview with Juana Bustamante, a Chilean earthquake survivor from Santa Cruz, who lost her home. This and other original wikinews interviews can be found on our home page, wikinews.org.
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