Wikinews:Briefs/June 9, 2010

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Today on Wikinews : A 22 year old US Army Specialist is arrested for leaking classified material to the online site wikileaks; Noynoy Aquino is elected President of the Philippines; a circus elephant decides to go "out on the town" in Zurich and, in history, one of the greatest athletes of all time runs away with and into the record books.

Today is Wednesday, June 9th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and this is Wikinews.



The United States military has arrested an intelligence analyst who may have been responsible for leaking classified combat video and documents to the whistle-blower website Wikileaks.

The man arrested has been identified by Wired magazine as 22-year-old specialist, Bradley Manning of the United States Army's 2nd Brigade, 10th Mountain Division. Manning, from Potomac, Maryland, is said to have been detained for two weeks on base in Kuwait awaiting trial. The United States military confirmed an arrest and said it "takes the management of classified information very seriously."

The footage was acquired from an undisclosed source in 2009 by Wikileaks. Wikileaks says the "Collateral murder" footage shows the "murder of Iraqi civilians and two Reuters journalists."

Reuters had unsuccessfully requested the footage under the Freedom of Information Act in 2007, as two of its news staff, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen, had died in the attack.

In addition to the video of the Baghdad attack, Manning is suspected of having leaked other classified information, including footage of the Granai attack and a classified Army document evaluating Wikileaks as a security threat, which the site posted in March. Wikileaks is preparing to release a video of the Granai attack in Afghanistan, which killed around 100 civilians.

A summary of the Pentagon investigation into the Granai airstrike, including a video, was due to be released in 2009.

While covering the wars in the Middle East is hazardous duty to all members of the media, a 2010 World Cup assignment in South Africa should be almost like a vacation, however,

three foreign journalists were robbed at gunpoint while they slept in their chalet in Magaliesburg. The reporters were in South Africa to cover the FIFA World Cup, a football competition which starts on June 11.

A police spokesman confirmed that two gunmen broke into the journalists' lodgings during the early hours of the morning. One of the journalists woke during the break-in and was forced to lie on the floor by one of the suspects. Laptops and cameras were stolen, along with the reporters' passports.

The South African Press Association reported that two of the journalists were Portuguese and another was from Spain. None of the journalists were harmed during the incident.

Thousands of police officers have been organized for the World Cup. Around 350,000 fans are due to visit South Africa during the tournament.

As the world anxiously awaits to see if their team will win the World Cup,

in the Philippines, the Liberal Party's presidential candidate Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III, commonly known as Noynoy, was officially elected as the next President of the Philippines in the 2010 presidential election. The Commission of Elections announced Noynoy's victory on Wednesday.

He campaigned for an end to corruption and poverty and says he'll make prosecuting corrupt officials a priority. Noynoy received more than 15 million votes, about 5.7 million ahead of his closest opponent, ousted Joseph Estrada.

Noynoy said in an interview, "I want to lead by example. We talk about corruption. I did make a public vow, I will never steal". Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile told a crowd after the count: "We have done this ... for the Filipino people ... This is a historic event."

He is 50 years old, a bachelor, an economics graduate, a Senator and is the only son of former President Corazon Aquino and former Senator Benigno Aquino, Jr.. Noynoy's father was shot by the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, before his mother, Corazon Aquino, led the People Power Revolution that toppled Marcos in 1986. She then served as president for six years.

In the Philippines, the president and vice president are elected separately; the Puwersa ng Masang Pilipino Party's vice-presidential candidate Jejomar Cabauatan Binay will become the country's vice-president. Noynoy is the President-elect, while Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is the outgoing incumbent. He will officially become the Philippine's fifteenth president on June 30.

Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, in Essex, England, has been fined £50,000 after a severely disabled patient at the Basildon University Hospital died because of serious health and safety failings. Basildon Crown Court also ordered the trust to pay costs of £40,000.

20-year-old Kyle Flack, who came from Stanford-le-Hope in Essex, was deafblind and suffered from quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, and substantial learning difficulties. He died in October 2006 after suffocating when his head became jammed in the railings around his hospital bed.

The trust admitted that health and safety breaches were a "significant cause" of his death, said Pascal Bates for the prosecution. There had been significant errors in the hospital's "systems and procedures", as the patient had not been properly supervised, training of staff was inadequate, information had not been passed on correctly, and warnings had not been heeded. Bates told the court that the hospital had reached "markedly short" of the required standard, adding that "[m]anagement failed to lay down correct procedures."

Earlier this year, Gill Flack, Kyle's mother, called for bosses of the hospital to be held personally responsible for this incident. She described the hospital as the "worst place" for her child to have been cared for, saying that the standards of care there were "absolute crap".

A boat in Bangladesh sank in a river in the northeastern part of the country earlier today, killing at least a dozen people — including some children — according to reports.

The incident occurred in the district of Sunamgonj, about 296 kilometers (184 mi) from the capital of Dhaka. The Chinese news service Xinhua reports that the bodies from the ship have been recovered. Government official Babul Miah said the boat was making a trip between villages three kilometers apart and he noted that six of the dead were girls headed to school.

Nine people are still reported as missing, and according to Miah, searches are underway for them. At least two dozen other people, however, managed to swim to safety or were rescued after the boat's sinking. An official said that 60–70 people were on board.

The cause of the accident hasn't yet been ascertained.

Finally, moving onto a story that might not seem out of place in Bangladesh,

a circus elephant managed to escape from her handler on Sunday night in the city of Zurich, Switzerland before being recaptured by local police and circus animal keepers. The 26-year-old female elephant, named Sabu, is from Switzerland's Zirkus Knie. She was able to make her escape just before being put into a trailer, while the keeper was not paying attention.

Around 7:30pm local time, Sabu was seen wading in Lake Zurich for a short time before walking back onto city streets. Zurich police said that Sabu wandered along a busy avenue, an area which is known as the city's most exclusive shopping street. She also passed by the city's main rail station and Paradeplatz, a square where both Credit Suisse and UBS have headquarters.

For nearly an hour, police chased the elephant around the city before she was finally peacefully recaptured in the Talstrasse section of Zurich. Circus officials and police followed Sabu, but a circus spokesperson said that she did not respond to their calls. Sabu was also said to have been moving so fast that police had difficulty keeping up with her. At about 8:00pm local time, a keeper was able to control the animal and load her onto a truck to take her to Winterthur, where the other circus animals were. There were no reports of any damage or injuries during the incident, and although police held back onlookers, at least one bystander managed to capture video of the event.

The circus said that Sabu may have escaped after being frightened by storms near Zurich. After returning to the circus, she was said to be tired, but "pleased to be back."

On this day in history (10:56)


In 1973, Secretariat, an American Thoroughbred racehorse, became the first U.S. Triple Crown champion in twenty-five years, setting new race records in two of the three events in the Series.

Secretariat was the grandson of Nearco, patriarch of the most dominant sire line in Thoroughbred history as well as one of the greatest racehorses of the Twentieth Century. Like the equally famous horse Man o' War, Secretariat was a large chestnut colt and was given the same nickname, "Big Red." Owned by Penny Chenery (aka Penny Tweedy), he was trained by Lucien Laurin and mainly ridden by fellow Canadian jockey Ron Turcotte.

By the time Secretariat was a yearling, he was still unnamed. Meadow Stables' secretary, Elizabeth Ham, had submitted 10 names to the Jockey Club, all of which were denied for various reasons. Approval finally came with the 11th submission, a name Ham herself picked from a previous career association.

When Secretariat was finally 2 years old, he won 5 races in a row, including three important two-year-old stakes races, after losing his first race at the Aqueduct Racetrack on July 4, 1972. Signs of his future greatenss were apparant as during the Hopeful Stakes, in Saratoga Springs, New York, he made a huge move, passing 8 horses in 1/4 mile to take the lead and then drawing off to win by 5 lengths.

His triple crown run officially began in the 1973 Kentucky Derby. Though he had lost his previous race, he was a 3-2 favorite. Out of the gate, Secretariat broke last but gradually moved up on the field in the backstretch, then overtook his rival and stablemate Sham, whom he had lost to in the previous race, at the top of the stretch, pulling away to win the Derby by 2 1/2 lengths.

On his way to a still-standing track record (1:59 2/5), he ran each quarter-mile segment faster than the one before it. The successive quarter-mile times were: 25 1/5, 24, 23 4/5, 23 2/5, and 23. This means he was still accelerating as of the final quarter-mile of the race and tt would be 28 years before any other horse would win the Derby in less than 2 minutes (Monarchos in 2001).

In the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the triple crown, Secretariat again broke last but then made a huge, last-to-first move on the first turn. After reaching the lead with 5 1/2 furlongs to go, Secretariat was never challenged and won again by 2½ lengths while also edging out Sham who finishing second again.

Only four horses joined Secretariat for the June 9, 1973, running of the Belmont Stakes, the last stop to a triple crown and once again he raced Sham. With so few horses in the race, and with Secretariat expected to win, no "show" bets were taken. Secretariat was sent off as a 1–10 favorite to win as a $2.20 payout on a $2 ticket and would pay at 20 cents more – $2.40 – to place.

Before a crowd of 67,605, Secretariat and Sham set a fast early pace, opening ten lengths on the rest of the field. After the 6 furlong mark, Sham began to tire, ultimately finishing last. Secretariat astonished spectators by continuing on the fast pace and opening up a larger and larger margin on the field. In the stretch, Secretariat opened a 1/16 mile lead on the rest of the field. At the finish, he won by 31 lengths (breaking the margin-of-victory record set by Triple Crown winner Count Fleet, who won by 25 lengths) and ran the fastest 1½ miles on dirt in history, 2:24 flat, which broke the stakes record by more than 2 seconds.

5,617 bettors held winning tickets on Secretariat but never redeemed them, presumably keeping them as souvenirs (and because they only paid $2.20 on a $2 bet).

Secretariat never duplicated his Belmont Stakes performance and only won one G1 race on dirt, the Marlboro Cup, but continued to run impressively after the Triple Crown. Altogether, Secretariat won 16 of his 21 career races, with three seconds and one third, for an in the money finish in 20 of 21 starts, and total earnings of $1,316,808.

After his career he was put out to stud, and although his blood flows through many noteable horses, especially 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Smarty Jones, the value of his offspring declined considerably over the years as none of his offspring were able to match his success.

In the fall of 1989, Secretariat was afflicted with laminitis, a painful and often incurable hoof condition. When his condition failed to improve, he was euthanized on October 4 at the age of 19. Popular as a Triple Crown champion and in retirement alike, Secretariat was mourned by millions and buried at Claiborne Farm in Paris, Kentucky, given the rare honor of being buried whole; usually only the head, heart and hooves of a winning race horse are buried, the rest cremated.

It should be noted that the jockey who rode him to the triple crown, Ron Turcotte, saw his career end in 1978 following a tumble from his horse at the start of a race at Belmont Park that left him a paraplegic. Turcotte was immediately inducted in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 1979, was voted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame and in 1980 was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame.

Turcotte still lives in his home town of Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada, with his wife Gae and their four daughters. He is an advocate for the disabled and helps to raise funds for disability programs.



And those are the top headlines for Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

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