News briefs:April 27, 2005
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
- 1 Bomb explosion kills two in Myanmar's second largest city
- 2 Kidnapped journalists' execution deadline expires
- 3 Anthrax scare closes Michigan newspaper office
- 4 Air alarm at White House, Bush moved to safety
- 5 Syria: Lebanon pullout is "full and complete", UN to verify
- 6 World's largest passenger airliner makes first flight
Police officials confirmed a bomb explosion at a market in Mandalay, the second largest city in Myanmar, but did not provide any details about the incident. A doctor said one of the women died at the market and the other in hospital.
16 other people were wounded and taken to hospital. Reports indicate there was a single exlosion at the ground of the busy market at 4:15 p.m. In the past there were reported several small bomb explosions without any victims.
Islamic terrorists who kidnapped three Romanian journalists last month extended the deadline for their execution from Tuesday to today. In a tape aired on Al-Jazeera last Friday, the terrorists, who call themselves the Muadh ibn Jabal Brigades, gave the Romanian government until Tuesday, at 14:00 UTC, to withdraw their 860 troops from Iraq, or otherwise the journalists would be killed. On Monday, the Romanian Prime Minister said that his country would not yield to terrorist demands, and it appears that this has caused the extension of the ultimatum by a day.
A Midland, Michigan, USA newspaper office was shut down briefly due a suspicious letter with white powder. The news office, along with restaurants and businesses near the downtown newspaper were quarantined as a safety precaution shortly after authorities were alerted. On-site tests found no evidence of anthrax, and the letter and mail handling machine are undergoing additional tests.
President Bush was whisked to the President's Emergency Operations Center (PEOC) for safety during a false alarm this morning. The alarm indicated an airspace intrusion, which was quickly checked and found to be a technical error. White House press secretary Scott McClellan made clear that the President reached the shelter quickly, to demonstrate that the President is constantly in a safe environment.
After 29 years of occupation, Syrian troops have pulled out of Lebanon. Fayssal Mekhdad, Syria's Ambassador to the U.N., ensured the press the pullout was "full and complete." The U.N. plans to check the withdrawal claims. A U.N. team sent for this purpose has already begun work in Damascus. A spokesman said the group would first gather material in the Syrian capital, then later leave for the Lebanese capital in Beirut.
The Airbus A380, the largest passenger aircraft, made its maiden flight from Toulouse in France. Around 50,000 people watched the maiden flight, many sitting on grass banks lining the runway. More people watched the flight on a giant screen erected in the centre of Toulouse.
The A380, known for many years during its development phase as the Airbus A3XX, will be the largest airliner in the world by a substantial margin when it enters service.
The first A380 prototype was unveiled during a lavish ceremony in Toulouse, France, on January 18, 2005. Its manufacturer's serial number is 001, and it is registered F-WWOW.