News briefs:July 15, 2008
|Audio Wikinews News Brief for July 15, 2008|
|Recorded by: Davumaya
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- 1 Media reports: Israeli warplanes training in Iraq
- 2 Three hostages return home to Florida
- 3 IndyMac Bank placed into conservatorship by US Government
- 4 Sixteen killed in Pakistan during Taliban ambush
- 5 Bronisław Geremek, former Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, dies at age 76
- 6 Details emerge on Norway Rock Festival deaths as Motörhead hold minute's silence
Media reports: Israeli warplanes training in Iraq
In contrast with what unnamed source(s) in the Iraqi Defense Ministry told a local news network on Friday, The Jerusalem Post reports that Major-General Mohammad al-Askari, spokesman for the Iraqi Defense Ministry was denying earlier reports that the Israeli Air Force (IAF) has been training personnel and allegedly performing military exercises in Iraq.
On July 11, unnamed Iraqi sources told local news outlets in the country that the IAF was performing military exercises in the country and was using American military bases for places to land. The alleged exercise, claimed the sources, was an exercise aimed at preparing an attack on Iran.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry denied that any such exercise was taking place. The Israeli Defense Force also denied the allegations saying they were "baseless." The U.S. also denied the reports.
Three hostages return home to Florida
Three American hostages - Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes, and Keith Stansell -previously held in Colombia by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are now safely home in Florida after their rescue by Colombian forces with 12 other hostages rescued at the same time. They received care from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio before being sent home to their families.
The men were taken captive when their drug surveillance plane went down in the jungles of Colombia in 2003 - more than 5 years ago. All three of the men were working for a subsidiary of Northrop Grumman Corporation at the time.
Keith Stansell emphasized that while he was grateful to be home, he reminded people that there are still other hostages in Colombia.
IndyMac Bank placed into conservatorship by US Government
In what regulators have described as the second-largest bank failure in the history of the United States, IndyMac Bank has been closed by the w:Office of Thrift Supervision and placed under the conservatorship of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) due to plummeting shares and the start of a run on the bank. This is the fifth FDIC-insured failure of the year.
The FDIC has said that it will transfer all insured deposits and substantial assets, to the new IndyMac Federal Bank which, as the name implies, is controlled by an agency of the federal government. The aim is for the transfer to be completed by Monday.
In a press release, the FDIC attempted to reassure customers. The move by the FDIC is expected to cost the organization at least four billion USD per year.
In the days leading up to the conservatorship, market analysts have predicted the failure of IndyMac due to the fact that it was shedding jobs and closing many of its branch offices.
Sixteen killed in Pakistan during Taliban ambush
At least 16 soldiers and militants - possibly more - were killed in Pakistan Saturday July 12th during an ambush by the Taliban. According to the Pakistan Television Corporation, hundreds of militants stormed a convoy of Pakistani paramilitary forces. An unknown number of civilians were reported to be among the dead. This comes one day after militants took 29 security personal hostage, threatening to kill them if seven of their allies were not released from jail.
Bronisław Geremek, former Polish Foreign Affairs Minister, dies at age 76
Professor Bronisław Geremek, a former Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs, a member of European Parliament and chairman of the Freedom Union, has died at the age of 76 in a car crash near Nowy Tomyśl, Poland. He was a major figure in European politics.
Details emerge on Norway Rock Festival deaths as Motörhead hold minute's silence
Further details have emerged on the deaths of two people at the annual Norway Rock Festival in Kvinesdal, Norway. Eight other people were rescued unconscious from a bus at the site. Meanwhile, it has been reported that British heavy metal band Motörhead opened their performance at the festival with a minute's silence for the deceased. The unmarried couple left behind three children. The police investigation has uncovered that the double-decker bus had been converted into a motorhome for the couple. It is believed the accident occurred due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
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