News briefs:May 12, 2006

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The time is 18:00 (UTC) on May 12th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Headlines

Oil Blast in Nigeria, 200 feared dead

Nigeria

200 people feared dead in an explosion at an oil pipeline near Lagos in Nigeria. Many of the bodies had been burnt beyond recognition. Firefighters were on the scene of the explosion at Ilado, a fishing village 25 miles east of Nigeria's main city of Lagos, and Red Cross workers were helping survivors. "There was a big fire and quite a number of people died," Red Cross spokeswoman Okon Umoh said. Many of the bodies had fallen into the water of the coastal village. The blast took place when villagers were scooping out fuel that was gushing out from a ruptured pipe.


Preliminary tests show Iran could have highly enrichted uranium: UN

United Nations

According to the United Nations, preliminary test results show that highly enriched uranium has been found on nuclear equipment in the former Physics Research Center at Lavizan-Shiyan. The results are expected to be confirmed through other lab tests, but diplomats say the uranium is a "very high level of enrichment, close to weapons-grade."


Giorgio Napolitano elected Italian president

Italy

The Italian Parlament in unified session elected Giorgio Napolitano the new President of the Italian Republic on May 10th. Napolitano, 80, was elected on the fourth ballot with 543 valid votes (the threshold to win the elction was 505). The number of great electors (the Parlamentarians of both houses and the regional delgates) present was 1,000, of which 990 voted.


Israeli gasoline supplier to Palestinians cuts supply

Israel

Israeli company Dor Energy, the sole supplier of gasoline and cooking gas to the Palestinian territories, cut off all deliveries on Wednesday, citing US$27 million in unpaid bills. Mujahed Salameh, director general of the Palestinian Petroleum Agency, predicted an "economic catastrophe" which would cripple factories and transportation as many people would be unable to work. He said that the Palestinian Authority does not maintain petroleum reserves and that gasoline supplies would run out in many areas by Thursday. The Associated Press reported long lines at gas stations in the Gaza Strip, and gasoline stations through the West Bank have begun rationing.


USA Today reports NSA obtained call histories from communications companies

United States

The American newspaper USA Today reported on Thursday that the United States' National Security Agency collected millions of call logs from telecommunication companies in 2001. The report comes almost four months following a previous controversy of the agency, which included the monitoring of International calls placed within the United States. Congressional members called for answers from the government about the report detailing the agency collecting records of American phone calls from communication companies.

Australian emergency telephone service lost in Southern NSW, ACT

Australia

Australia's emergency telephone service, triple-0, which is operated by Telstra has been lost in Southern New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory following damage to two optical fibre cables. It is believed that in two separate incidents, optical fibre cables were cut at Gundagai and Narrandera in Southern NSW. In addition to the loss of the triple-0 service, 34 mobile base stations in the region have also been affected. According to Telstra local calls are still possible and they recommend that people dial their local fire, ambulance or police station in case of an emergency.

Closing statements

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