News briefs:February 24, 2007

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The time is 21:00 (UTC) on Saturday February 24, 2007, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Headlines[edit]

Virgin Train crashes in England[edit]

A 9 Carriage Class 390 Pendolino train operated by Virgin Trains, with as many as 180 people onboard, has derailed and crashed in Cumbria, United Kingdom.

All but one carriage have slid down the embankment. Hospital reports early on Saturday morning indicate 1 death, an 80 year old lady. Witnesses said that several passengers had broken bones.

Virgin owner Richard Branson came to the site from his holiday in Switzerland and held a press conference at a safe distance, roughly 200 meters from the site. Branson stated that the Virgin Train Pendolino was "built like a tank". Also investigators have announced that some points may be critical in their investigation, Branson repeated their words.

Italy: President Napolitano dismisses Prodi's resignation[edit]

The President of the Italian Republic, Giorgio Napolitano, has asked Romano Prodi to stay on as Prime Minister, but Prodi will need to pass a confidence vote as soon as possible.

Napolitano stated that Prodi's party l'Unione is ready to support unanimously its Prime Minister, above all after the drafting of the twelve points agreement about the main political issues. The President rejected the proposal from the centre-right opposition to call for fresh elections, because Italy needs a new electoral law, and there was no consensus to form a broad interim government.

U.S. apologizes for detention of Iraqi lawmaker's son[edit]

The U.S. ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, apologized today to Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the largest political party in the Iraqi Council of Representatives, for the detention of his son.

The ambassador said: "I am sorry about the arrest. We don't know the circumstances of the arrest and we are investigating ... but he is being released."

Al-Hakim's party SCIRI suggested on affiliated TV stations that protesters might be sent out onto the streets to show opposition to the arrest.

UN Security Council approves African Union peace keepers for Somalia[edit]

The U.N. Security Council has approved the deployment of an African Union-led peace keeping force in Somalia for a period of six months.

The unanimously authorized Resolution 1744 allows African Union member states to establish a mission in Somalia "...to support dialogue and reconciliation in Somalia by assisting with the free movement, safe passage and protection" of those involved in the national reconciliation congress, including the federal transition government led by Ali Mohammed Ghedi.

Other goals will be to create the "necessary security conditions for the provision of humanitarian assistance", and to secure key infrastructure. The mission has been designated as AMISOM, an acronym that stands for African Mission in Somalia.

Son of former Canadian PM, Justin Trudeau wants to run for office[edit]

Justin Trudeau, 35, the son of late former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, of Canada, will seek the federal Liberal party nomination to run for office in the riding of Papineau in Montreal, Quebec.

Minnesota to require 25% renewable energy production[edit]

In the United States, governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota signed a bill into law on Thursday that requires the state to generate a significant amount of its energy needs from renewable sources. The bill signed requires energy companies to provide 25 percent of power from renewable sources by 2025.

Snow hits southern parts of Norway[edit]

A major snowfall has disrupted transport in Norway this week. Several roads and all railway services have been reported as closed due to the heavy snowfall. Snow storms are also causing problems in other parts of Southern Scandinavia, such as Denmark and Southern Sweden

Closing statements[edit]

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