Wikinews:Briefs/August 1, 2006

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The time is 18:00 (UTC) on August 1st, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.



President Fidel Castro of Cuba has temporarily handed power, including command of the military forces, to his brother, Raúl Castro. Fidel Castro is undergoing intestinal surgery for gastrointestinal bleeding, and is temporarily unable to govern. 75-year-old Raul Castro has been the Vice-President of Cuba and number two in the Communist Party of Cuba. Fidel Castro is 79 years old and has ruled since the 1959 revolution.


North Korean and South Korean border guards exchanged fire yesterday across the border, the first such incident in about a year. The exchange occurred on July 31, 2006 at sundown, when North Korean soldiers fired two shots at a South Korean guard post in the eastern Korean de-militarised zone, according to Major Kim Tae-hoon of the Joint Chiefs of Staff office.

United States

The massive surge of hot air that has plagued the West and Midwest during last week has now moved over the eastern seaboard of the United States. Residents are bracing themselves for what could be record breaking temperatures.


Extreme heat alerts have been issued in Hamilton and in Toronto. Temperatures are expected to go into the mid 30s Celcius (80s-90s Fahrenheit).

New Zealand

A new report released by the New Zealand Ministry of Health titled "Suicide Trends" shows that the suicide rate in New Zealand has decreased 15% since its peak in the late 1990's, but the attempted suicide rate is increasing.

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