News briefs:May 10, 2010
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Today on Wikinews : UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown steps down, a coal mine explosion in Russia kills 11 workers, Dallas Braden pitches a perfect game on Mother's Day and on this day in history, the US Supreme Court decides if the tomato is a fruit or a vegetable.
Today is Monday, May 10th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and this is Wikinews.
In our lead story today,
Following the return of a hung parliament in the United Kingdon's general election on Thursday, Gordon Brown has announced his resignation as Labour Party leader and Prime Minister.
Gordon Brown made his statement at 5.00 pm local time in front of 10 Downing Street, London, following a meeting he had yesterday with Nick Clegg, the leader of the Liberal Democrat Party.
He stated that a strong and stable "progressive alliance" of the Labour and Liberal parties would be in the best interest of the country and made his resignation as a means to forward this, saying that he would set in motion the process needed for a new leader of the Labour Party to be selected and that a new leader will be in place in the autumn by the time of the next Labour Party Conference.
However, unlike a Conservative-Liberal alliance, a Labour-Liberal one would not command a majority in Parliament. For the "progressive alliance" to have its majority, it would therefore need to bring in MPs from the smaller parties.
Meanwhile, as the ground shook under the feet of UK politics,
a large, 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck near Sumatra, Indonesia on Sunday.
The epicentre was 390 miles west of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur, at a depth of 28 miles according to the USGS. The tremors started at about 13.00 local time and a tsunami alert was made by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, but rescinded about an hour and a half later.
The Associated Press news agency quotes local media as saying some power lines were knocked down and some buildings damaged.
The epicentre of the earthquake was near that of 2004's magnitude 9.2 earthquake, which generated a large tsunami and killed an estimated 170,000 people. Indonesia sits atop very geologically active part of the world known as the Ring of Fire, and experiences earthquakes frequently.
Violence in India broke out again as
suspected Maoist guerrillas killed eight Central Reserve Police Force soldiers in India yesterday, blowing up a police patrol in the Bijapur district of the state. It was the first major attack by Maoists in the area since 76 people were killed in an ambush incident at Dantewada.
According to the Director General of Police, the extremists detonated an improvised explosive device near Pedakodepal village, located on National Highway 16 in Bijapur, then opened fire at a security team. The driver of the vehicle was killed in the incident and one soldier was severely wounded and another missing.
The injured are being treated in a Jagdalpur hospital.
As Russia was gearing up for Victory Day celebrations,
Reports suggest methane gas was to blame for two explosions in a Russian coal mine which are thought to have left up to twelve miners dead and eighty others unaccounted for. Local officials say at least 41 miners have been injured.
Over three hundred miners were underground when the first explosion occurred just prior to midnight on Saturday night but most of them were brought safely to the surface. However, officials report that eleven miners died in the first explosion.
Around three hours later a second explosion occurred and authorities on the surface lost contact with a rescue team below. Following the second explosion, an emergency services ministry spokeswoman told the media that rescue operations had been suspended indefinitely.
Aman Tuleyev, the governor of Siberia's western Kemerovo region, has taken charge of the rescue operation. Tuleyev said the second blast had caused more injuries and destroyed the main air shaft. He also stated that there was a risk of more explosions.
The mine, owned by Russian company Raspadskaya, is the largest underground coal mine in Russia. A worker was killed after part of the mine collapsed in January 2010. The explosions come after calls for coal mines in Russia to improve their poor safety records.
Despite the trajedy,
Russia celebrates Victory Day (4:47)
Russia yesterday celebrated Victory Day, to commemorate the 65th anniversary since Nazi Germany surrendered, thus ending the Second World War in Europe.
In a first for the annual celebrations, soldiers from other countries joined in the parade, including those from former Soviet allies in the war: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, and Poland.
Media reports describe the events as being among the most elaborate since the Soviet Union fell apart two decades ago. Anti-aircraft rockets, mobile howitzers, and missiles rolled through Red Square, and 150 airplanes and helicopters performed a flyover shortly thereafter.
Finally, in sports,
Australian rules football: Traralgon remain only undefeated team after five rounds of 2010 Gippland Football League season (5:29)
Traralgon remain the only undefeated team after five rounds of the 2010 Gippsland Football League season after they defeated Warragul by seventy points and Sale defeated Maffra by one point. Warragul remain the only team without a win.
Warragul lead Traralgon early in the third quarter but were quickly over taken and convincingly beaten.
To that point in the game, the defence of both sides dominated not allowing many scoring opportunities. From the fifth minute of the third quarter, the game belonged to Traralgon.
Tim Aitkin kicked six of his nine goals in the last quarter to help Traralgon stamp their authority on the game.
Sale upset ladder leaders Maffra at home. One could have argued that Maffra's inaccurate kicking in the second half cost it the win.
To the end of the third, Maffra lead but could not close out the match. Sale won the match with a goal from a free kick after the full time siren.
And, in Oakland, California,
Dallas Braden, a left-handed pitcher for Major League Baseball's Oakland Athletics, became one of only nineteen players in the history of the league to pitch a perfect game, in a 4-0 win against the Tampa Bay Rays. Braden, aged 26, who retired all 27 batters consecutively on 109 pitches, also earned his first career complete game. In the process of throwing the perfect game, Braden also struck out six Tampa Bay hitters.
The perfect game was the second pitched in the Athletics' franchise history, the other being thrown by Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter on May 8, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins. Braden, at 26, also became the youngest pitcher to throw a complete game since Anaheim Angels pitcher Mike Witt did so at age 24 in 1984.
Due to the Mother's Day holiday occurring across the United States, attendance at the Oakland Coliseum was only 12,228 fans, but Braden's grandmother was in attendance. Braden, along with every other Major League Baseball player, donned pink equipment for awareness of breast cancer, which has become a tradition for baseball players on Mother's Day. Braden's own mother died of skin cancer when he was a senior in high school
Braden recently drew controversy in the league after publicly criticizing New York Yankees all-star third baseman Alex Rodriguez for crossing the pitcher's mound after a foul ball, which Braden claimed to be an "unwritten rule" in baseball. When asked about the no hitter, Rodriguez simply responded, "Good for him, he threw a perfect game. And even better, he beat the Rays". The Rays lead the American League East division, the same division that Yankees play in.
On this day in history (8:18)
In 1893, The Supreme Court of the United States rules in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit under the Tariff Act of 1883.
The Tariff Act required a tax to be paid on imported vegetables, but not fruit and the case was an attempt by the Nix family to recover back duties paid under protest to Edward L. Hedden, the Collector of the Port of New York.
Botanically, a tomato is a fruit, however, the court unanimously ruled in favor of the defendant stating that the Tariff Act used the ordinary meaning of the words "fruit" and "vegetable" – where a tomato is classified as a vegetable – not the technical botanical meaning.
Nix has been cited in three Supreme Court decisions as a precedent for court interpretation of common meanings, especially dictionary definitions, and in 2005, supporters in the New Jersey legislature cited Nix as a basis for a bill designating the tomato as the official state vegetable.
And those are the top headlines for Monday, May 10th, 2010
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