News briefs:May 02, 2010
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From Wikinews, the free news source, this is the Audio Wikinews Brief for Sunday, May 2nd, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and here are today's top stories:
A suspicious vehicle containing a bomb was discovered in New York City's Times Square yesterday, causing the evacuation of streets surrounding the area. Reports say the vehicle, a Nissan Pathfinder, had smoke coming from the back of it around 6.30 p.m. local time, and unconfirmed reports say an unknown man ran away from the car.
The area was evacuated and a bomb squad, using a remotely operated robot, removed a package from the vehicle. Officials removed gunpowder, consumer-grade fireworks, two five-gallon cans of gasoline, three propane tanks, electrical wiring, and two clocks with batteries that apparently were fashioned as one or two detonators. The bomb has been described as "amateurish" but could have caused serious damage to Times Square if it had detonated. No casualties or injuries were reported.
Police have not named a suspect and are reviewing security footage in the area. The car used by the suspect was stolen with a non-matching license plate but its legitimate owner owner does not appear to be involved in the accident.
Oil spill in Gulf of Mexico reported to have reached coast; offshore drilling ban announced by Obama administration (1:24)
The Obama Administration in the United States has announced that the government was immediately banning all new offshore drilling until the investigation into an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has been completed. The announcement came just a month after the administration relaxed restrictions on offshore drilling.
Oil from the spill, which occurred on April 20th when the oil platform Deepwater Horizon exploded, killing 11 workers, has begun washing ashore, and while officials have not confirmed the reports, winds continue to push the slick northward towards land, and conditions are deteriorating, making cleanup of the spill increasingly difficult.
On Wednesday, the estimated amount of oil spilling from the damaged well was raised to 5,000 barrels, or around 210,000 gallons, a day, five times the original estimate of a thousand gallons a day. This figure was later revised upwards again to 25,000 barrels or 1.05 million gallons per day.
Since the beginning of the operation, more than 18,000 gallons of an oil/water mix have been recovered from the ocean, and after a successful test burn of oil, plans are being made to scale the burns up.
The operation to clean up the spill has accelerated in recent days, with the US Navy having joined the effort, as well as resources from the Coast Guard and British Petroleum, the lessor of the rig at the time of the explosion.
So far, the cleanup operation has laid around 210,000 feet of containment booms to protect vulnerable wildlife areas along the Gulf Coast. Yet, despite the efforts, many are still worried about the potential consequences of the spill, and officials said that the damage could end up being more than that caused by the Exxon Valdez oil spill 20 years ago, which spilled 11 million gallons of oil into Alaska's Prince William Sound.
A middle-aged civilian has been killed in Indian-administered Kashmir after anti-India separatists threw stones at a bus in Srinagar. The victim, Shafiq Ahmad Sheikh, died in hospital after the stone struck his head.
The stone-pelting incident occurred in the Batmaloo area before the separatists marched to the local United Nations office to protest against Indian administration in Kashmir and "growing human rights abuses".
Farooq Ahmad, Inspector General of Police of the state, said Sheikh was an employee of the State Board of School Education and was traveling by bus to his office when the attack occurred. The attackers have since been charged with murder.
On this day in history (4:11)
In 1952, The world's first ever jet airliner, the De Havilland Comet 1 made its maiden flight from London to Johannesburg.
While initially a hit with passengers, including Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother of England, who were early passengers, problems with the plane soon surfaced. Exactly one year after the plane began operations, on May 2 1953, a flight leaving from Calcutta, India, crashed in a severe tropical storm six minutes after take off, killing all 43 on board. The crash was attributed to a structural failure of the airframe due to metal fatigue.
In the wake of these and other disasters, all remaining Comets were withdrawn from service. When a new design, the Comet 4, was introduced to service in 1958, the new Boeing 707 and the Douglas DC-8 were already being flown and orders for the Comet dried up, with the last one delivered in 1964.
And those are the top headlines for Sunday, May 2nd, 2010
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