News briefs:May 20, 2006

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The time is 18:00 (UTC) on May 20th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


Headlines

Explosion blasts Palestinian intelligence service HQ

Palestine

An explosion has ripped through the headquarters of the Palestinian general intelligence service in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials say several people were wounded in the explosion, including intelligence chief Tareq Abu Rajab.


Rep. Hunter calls for hearings about alleged "cold-blooded killings" of civilians by U.S. Marines

United States

Duncan Hunter, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California and the House Armed Services Committee chairman, said Thursday that the incident involving Marines firing on unarmed Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha on November 19, 2005 will be subject to Congressional hearings as soon the criminal investigation is completed.

China completes "mammoth" Three Gorges Dam hydro-electicity project

China

China has announced the completion of an enormous dam across the Yangtze River, an important milestone for the world's largest hydroelectric project. The official Xinhua News Agency reports the event as a "landmark in the construction of the project."


Riot at Guantanamo Bay detention camp

Cuba

Inmates at Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba have attacked guards with fan blades and other makeshift weapons. Rear Admiral Harry Harris, the commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo says some detainees were injured in "the most violent outbreak" at the facility since it was opened in 2002.


5 killed in Kentucky coal mine explosion

United States

There has been an explosion in a coal mine in eastern Kentucky, located in the United States, killing 5 miners. One miner was able to walk out of the mine. The explosion occurred at Darby Mine No. 1, owned by Kentucky Darby LLC and located in Harlen County. Federal Mine Safety officials say the explosion happened sometime between midnight and 1 a.m. local time Saturday.


Australian PM pushes for "full-blooded" nuclear energy debate

Australia

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has told media in Canada that he wants "a full-blooded debate" in Australia about the issue of nuclear power. "I have a very open mind on the development of nuclear energy in my own country," he said. "That includes an open mind on whether or not Australia should in fact process uranium for the purposes of providing fuel for nuclear power in the future in Australia."


Australian Democrats in "continuous downward spiral": Founder

Australia

Australian Democrats founder, Don Chipp has told patrons at the party's national conference in Melbourne that "the party is not only in a low position in the public esteem but it seems to be in a continuous downward spiral". Chipp helped found the party in 1977 after becoming discontent with the Liberal Party.


US Navy sailors jailed in Australia on drug smuggling charges

Australia

Two sailors from the USS Boxer, and a Canadian man living on Queensland's Gold Coast have been sentenced to jail for bringing seven kilos of the drug commonly known as 'ice' (methamphetamine), valued at about AUD$1 million, into Australia in June last year.


Sydney off-ramp to charge $1.20 for 200m drive

Australia

The New South Wales Roads and Traffic Authority announced Friday night that a AUD$1.20 toll will be charged on a pair of new 200 metre long on and off ramps from the Warringah Freeway to Falcon Street, North Sydney.


Two Christchurch, New Zealand, hospitals have a virus outbreak

New Zealand

Two Christchurch hospitals, Christchurch Hospital and Princess Margaret Hospital, have had an outbreak of norovirus. A special isolation ward in the Christchurch Hospital has been setup for 20 patients and 12 staff, who have contracted the disease. Princess Margaret Hospital have also setup similar conditions. Norovirus causes severe vomiting and diarrhoea, people who get this disease usually recover within 48 hours.


'Da Vinci Code' opens in theaters, sparks controversy

Movies

Moviegoers around the world are expected to queue into movie theaters during the opening weekend of the movie "The Da Vinci Code," despite the disapproval of both critics and clerics. The film, directed by Ron Howard, is an adaptation of the novel of the same name by Dan Brown, which has sold over 60 million copies worldwide.


Crusaders to meet Hurricanes in Super 14 final

sports - rugby

The Crusaders are to meet the Hurricanes in Christchurch on Saturday night for the 2006 Super 14 final after defeating the Bulls 30–15 at Jade Stadium.


Munster win 2006 Heineken Cup

sports – rugby

Munster have won the 2005-06 Heineken Cup, beating Biarritz 23 to 19 at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales. The match is Biarritz's first Heineken Cup final appearance. It is Munster's fourth, after three final losses in the past. A jumbo screen was placed in the streets of Limerick, (Rep. of) Ireland, where thousands of Munster fans gathered.

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