News briefs:May 22, 2006

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The time is 17:00 (UTC) on May 22nd, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


Headlines

PM John Howard's nuclear push causes alarm

Australia

Australian Prime Minister John Howard has announced he wants a "full-scale nuclear debate", and three of his senior federal government frontbenchers - Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, Resources Minister, Ian Macfarlane, and Environment Minister Ian Campbell - have all suggested Australia, which has around 40 per cent of the world's known uranium reserves, should consider enriching uranium - a step in processing that would allow it to be used as reactor fuel as well as for nuclear weapons.


One of Saddam Hussein's defense lawyers thrown out of court

Iraq

Bushra Khalil, one of the defense lawyers for former Iraqi President, Saddam Hussein, was thrown out of court by Chief Judge Raouf Abdel after speaking out of turn.


Chief of World Health Organization dies

Switzerland

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO), Doctor Lee Jong-wook, 61, has died after doctors performed brain surgery on him to relieve a blood clot.


Steel major Arcelor ready to reconsider Mittal's offer

Luxembourg

Luxembourg's largest steel company Arcelor is ready to study Mittal Steel's improved takeover offer, the former said on Sunday, opening the door to possible talks with Indian steel-magnate Laxminivas Mittal. Arcelor Chairman Joseph Kinsch told reporters after a meeting of Arcelor's board that the directors of the company would be ready to examine the details of Mittal's latest offer once it has been approved by the CSSF (Luxembourg's finiancial regulatory body).


NSW govt to rebuild high school with private funding

Australia

New South Wales minister for Education and Training, Carmel Tebbutt told parliament that Kelso High School, which was destroyed by fire on August 18, 2005 will be rebuilt under the NSW government's New Schools Public Private Partnerships (PPP) program. Under the program, the bulk of construction costs come from private companies who own the schools for 30 years, after which time they revert to government ownership.


Mark Rocket first New Zealander to book Virgin space flight

New Zealand

Mark Rocket, a Christchurch internet entrepreneur, has purchased a $300,000 flight into space with Virgin Galactic. In 2008 he will take off for space from the Mojave Desert, near Los Angeles in an eight man spacecraft. He will spend about 10 minutes in space.


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