News briefs:April 26, 2010
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For Monday, April 26th, 2010, this is the audio Wikinews brief, your free news source. The current time is 22:30 UTC. I'm Dan Harlow and here are today's top stories:
At least 55 people have been killed in the city of Darfur, Sudan after clashes between the Rezeigat tribe, a Muslim and Arabic tribe of nomadic Bedouin's, and the Southern Sudanese army.
Mohammed Issa Aliou, a spokesman for the Rezeigat tribe, said they had been looking for water and new pastures when they were attacked by armed forces near the border with the partially autonomous South Sudan. The South Sudanese army, however, responded by saying that the tribal members were the ones who had started the attacks.
The United Nations reports that so far this year, nearly 500 people have been killed in this region over cattle raiding and revenge violence. This is the largest outbreak of violence in the region since elections were held in the nation earlier this month.
A 6.5 magnitude earthquake struck off the southeast coast of Taiwan today at 10:59 local time according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake's depth was at ten kilometers, which is considered relatively shallow, and the epicenter was 269 kilometers east of T'ai-tung, Taiwan.
Both the Taiwanese Central Weather Bureau and the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said no tsunami warning was issued as there is no threat of a Pacific-wide tsunami. According to the Associated Press, some buildings in the capital Taipei swayed for about twenty seconds, although there were not any immediate reports of damage, injuries, or deaths.
A protest on the Japanese island of Okinawa calling for the closure of a United States military base attracted almost 100,000 people on Sunday, after speculations that the Japanese government may back out of an election promise to force it off the island entirely.
The base, Marine Corps Air Station Futenma, has been long criticized by the Japanese people, as it and other bases on the island have served as the location for most of America's 47,000 troops stationed in Japan. The US military presence on the island is seen by some as a legacy of Japan's defeat in World War II by the US.
Japan's current prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, pledged to move the base off of Okinawa entirely, and transfer 8,000 military personnel to Guam, superseding a 2006 agreement between the Japanese and American governments to move the base to a less urbanized part of Okinawa. Hatoyama said that he would make a decision about the matter by the end of May, and on Friday told Parliament that he would "stake his job" to do so. Opposition leaders in Japan have demanded that Hatoyama should resign as Prime Minister if he does not make a decision by the end of May.
Last week, Japanese Foreign Minister Katsuya Okada met with U.S. Ambassador John Roos but the content of their conversation has been disputed. Media reports stated that Okada told the American Ambassador that Tokyo was in favor of most of the 2006 deal, but Okada has denied the statement, saying that while he had met with Roos, no concessions on the matter had been made. The reports inflamed Okinawans, and the mayor of Nago, Okinawa said that the government was "playing with the Okinawans' feelings."
Support for Hatoyama's government has fallen sharply in recent months to a 30% approval rating, down from 70% late last year. He has been criticized both in Japan and in the US for his handling of the situation as he has been unable to gain support for alternate sites for the naval base, and has thus far been unable to conduct talks with local officials about the matter.
The United States is pushing Japan for compliance with the original 2006 agreement, saying that it is the most viable solution.
Singer Bret Michaels of the rock group Poison, was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital on Friday with complaints of a severe headache and has remained in critical condition after suffering a brain hemorrhage.
The singer rose to fame in the 1980's during the Los Angeles era of chart topping hair bands and is most famous for the songs “Every Rose Has Its Thorn”, "Nothin' but a Good Time" and “Talk Dirty to Me”. The band still records and releases music after 25 years together and Michaels recently recorded a song with the teen singer Miley Cyrus.
Michaels is also one of the favorites to win the current season of The Celebrity Apprentice, a reality show that pits contestants against each other in an elimination-style competition to become an apprentice to real estate mogul, Donald Trump. Trump, who also hosts the show, has sent Michaels his best wishes.
On this day in history (5:21)
In 1986, the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant near Chernobyl in the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, suffered a steam explosion resulting in a fire, a nuclear meltdown, and the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people around Europe.
And those are the top headlines for Monday, April 26th, 2010
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