News briefs:May 16, 2006

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The time is 22:30 (UTC) on May 16th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


Headlines

7.4 magnitude hits Pacific near New Zealand

New Zealand

Yesterday, at 10:39 pm UTC, a 7.4 magnitude earthquake rocked the Pacific Ocean about 180 miles southwest of Raoul Island, a member of the Kermadec Islands in New Zealand. Witnesses disagreed on the length of the earthquake, which was felt as far south as Christchurch, New Zealand, although they agreed the quake lasted from 30 seconds to a minute.


Flooding ravages Northeastern United States

United States

The New England region of the United States has received the heaviest rainfall in decades leading to flooding and massive road closures. The states affected are Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire. A state of emergency has been declared in all these areas. The floods have also led to thousands of evacuations in many cities. No deaths have been reported as of yet.


U.S. restores full diplomatic relations with Libya

United States

The U.S. has announced full diplomatic relations will be restored with Libya and the country removed from the list of nations the U.S. considers to be state sponsors of terrorism following a 45-day open comment period. Renewal of diplomatic relations between the two states comes after extended diplomatic efforts by both parties to end the 25-year break.


Ayaan Hirsi Ali leaves Dutch Parliament

Netherlands

Dutch Member of Parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has announced she will leave parliament, after Minister of Immigration and Integration Rita Verdonk has announced that Hirsi Ali has never obtained Dutch citizenship. In a press conference an emotional Ayaan Hirsi Ali announced that she will leave parliament and she has announced that she will become fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute in September after reaching a deal with US authorities about her security.


Australia won't take back spent Uranium

Australia

Australian Prime Minister John Howard told journalists in Washington that Australia had no plans to take back spent Uranium, despite the US pushing for such a system.


New Zealand Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet employee named as Telecom mole

New Zealand

Michael Ryan, a messenger at the office of the prime minister, has been identified as the mole who leaked confidential papers to Telecom. The leaked papers were detailing the plan for the government to unbundle the local loop. It was to be released on Thursday with the 2006 budget, but since Telecom, a publicly traded company, found out they decided to release it early.


India postpones test-firing of Agni-III ballistic missile

India

The Indian government has once again delayed the testing of the medium-range Agni-III missile. The state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation had planned to conduct trials later this month. The Agni-III, which has a range of 3000 kilometres and the ability to carry nuclear warheads, is intended to boost India's nuclear-deterrence capabilities to a great extent.


BellSouth denies phone records were handed over to the NSA

United States

BellSouth, said in a statement yesterday that the telecommunications company did not hand over customer call records to the National Security Agency or NSA. On May 11, 2006, USA Today reported that the NSA collected millions of call logs from telecommunications companies in 2001 under a contract the NSA claims to have had with the company. BellSouth said that they conducted a "internal review" and that the review "confirmed no such contract exists and we have not provided bulk customer calling records to the NSA," said Jeff Battcher, spokesman for BellSouth.


Department of Defense releases 9/11 video of plane hitting Pentagon

United States

The United States Department of Defense (DOD) is releasing surveillance video of American Airlines flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. The video was taken from a Pentagon Security camera. On December 15, 2004, a legal advocacy group called Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit against the DOD in an attempt to have the video released through the Freedom of Information Act.


Ex-Indian diplomat's passport revoked

India

The Ministry of External affairs has revoked the passport of Mr. Harish Kumar Dogra who was removed from his post as India's High Commissioner to New Zealand in April. The government has also suspended the passports of his wife and domestic help. India has informed Wellington of the developments and has said that travel documents would be issued to Dogra and his family to enable them to return home.


Man mistakenly interviewed live on BBC News 24

United Kingdom

A man spoke of his embarrassment and shock after he was mistakenly rushed into the BBC News 24 studio and interviewed live on the news channel about the Apple (Beatles) vs. Apple Corp court case.


Australian man caught driving with no licence twice in one day

Australia

New South Wales Police have charged a 29 year old Sydney man for driving whilst disqualified twice within three hours on Sunday. Police claim that the man had been disqualified until 2012.


Closing statements

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