News briefs:May 21, 2006

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The time is 17:00 (UTC) on May 21st, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


Headlines

Violence escalates in Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Two French special forces troops and a US soldier were among 34 killed in Afghanistan in a violent upsurge in recent days. General Rahmatullah Raufi, military commander for the southern provinces, said the clash erupted when militants ambushed a military convoy. Fears of a resurgence of the Taliban have been boosted by a sharp rise in violence in the past few weeks, much of it in Helmand province. Around 120 people died in 24 hours last week. Attacks on Friday have claimed another 34 lives.


Iran stands defiant on Uranium enrichment

Iran

Iran has rejected European Union incentives to give up it's Uranium enrichment program. Foreign ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi said that any plan has to acknowledge Iran's "legitimate rights". It is believed that Britain, France and Germany, all member states of the EU, are developing incentives for Iran to give up it's enrichment programming in an attempt to avoid an international stand-off. The incentives are believed to include a raft of security, trade and technology benefits.


Militants target rally in Srinagar

India

A meeting organised by the Youth Congress at Srinagar's Sher-e-Kashmir park to mark the 15th death anniversary of the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has been attacked by terrorists. Official sources say intense firing and some explosions were reported by eye-witnesses. There were atleast two militants involved in the incident according to Deputy Inspector General of Police Gopal Sharma.


Professionals and students continue strike in New Dehli

India

New Dehli: Almost 10,000 people marched to Jantar Mantar from Maulana Azad Medical College in an anti-reservation rally on Saturday. Doctors and medical students say they will continue to strike and protest, despite an appeal from the prime minister to call off their agitation.


300 Vietnamese fishermen rescued after record China typhoon

China

China has rescued more than 300 Vietnamese fishermen who were missing in the wake of a record typhoon which blasted the South China Sea. Survivors were found on 22 Vietnamese ships near the Pratas islands, off the southern coast of Guangdong province. State television reported the rescue as the "largest international marine rescue operation ever mounted by China."


Pair extradited and charged over Granville, Sydney shootings

Australia

New South Wales detectives have successfully extradited a 30-year-old woman and 23-year-old man from Western Australia wanted in connection with a double murder in the Sydney suburb of Granville on March 29, 2006. The victims of the murders were 26-year-old, Bassam Chami, who died at the scene and 25-year-old,Ibrahim Assad who died following surgery at Westmead Hospital.


Ray Nagin re-elected New Orleans mayor

United States

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin won re-election Saturday night, successfully weathering a challenge from Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu and allowing him to oversee the continued rebuilding of the Louisiana city decimated by Hurricane Katrina.


Snowy Hydro Scheme to go public

Australia

The New South Wales (NSW) government says small investors will have the first opportunity to buy shares in one of Australia's most unique public assets - the Snowy Hydro Scheme, the sale of which begins officially on Monday 22 May. NSW Finance Minister John Della Bosca denied the sale was incongruent with Labor's stance on privatisation, or that it was a pre-election strategy.


Missing BC girl found safe

Canada

A missing 11 year old girl was found safe on Thursday around 5:00 am PDT after disappearing May 16 while riding her scooter to a local video store near the north Okanagan town of Armstrong, British Columbia. Carmen Kados left home on her regular two kilometer trip to the local store at around 6:45 Tuesday evening. She wasn't seen again after leaving the store at around 7:15.


'Naked Guy' Andrew Martinez dies

United States

Andrew Martinez, a former student at the University of California at Berkeley who was better known as "The Naked Guy" in the early 1990s, died on Thursday in an apparent suicide. He was 33.


Finnish metal band win 51st Eurovision Song Contest

Europe

A "cartoonish" band from Finland has won this year's Eurovision song contest in Athens. "Monster-themed" rock band Lordi beat 23 other competitors. Lordi scored 292 points from telephone voters in 38 countries with its song "Hard Rock Hallelujah" in a performance that both shocked and amused viewers.


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