News briefs:May 3, 2006

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The time is 18:30 (UTC) on 3rd May 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Headlines

8.1 magnitude earthquake near Tonga; tsunami possible

South Pacific

An earthquake with estimated magnitude 8.1 has occurred at 1527 UTC today near 19.9° south, 174.2° west, near Tonga. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu has issued tsunami warnings for Fiji and New Zealand and a tsunami watch for other areas in the Pacific, including Hawaii, but excluding the west coast of North America.

Communal tension erupts in Vadodara, India

India

Violence erupted in Vadodara in the state of Gujarat after municipal authorities demolished a dargah (Muslim shrine). The shrine was an unauthorised structure which was obstructing a road-widening project. The Muslim community objected to its demolition citing the fact that it was atleast 200 years old. They also observed that many Hindu temples which were unauthorised were spared. Despite the reservations of the minority community, the authorities decided to proceed with the razing of the dargah, leading to rioting. At least 6 people were killed in the clashes, and one citizen (35 year-old Rafiq Vora) was burnt alive in his car by an angry mob.

BJP leader Pramod Mahajan dies in Mumbai

Mumbai

Senior politician and general-secretary of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, Pramod Mahajan, passed way in Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai at 16:10 IST (10:40 UTC) today. He was 56 years of age. Mr. Mahajan had been shot three times at point blank range by his younger brother Pravin on 22 April 2006. After being shot, Mr. Mahajan was rushed to hospital where he was given 25 bottles of blood to compensate for the extensive bleeding he suffered. Pramodji also sustained severe injuries to his pancreas and small intestine. Over the past 12 days his condition had remained critical yet stable. He was on a respirator, and ionotropes had to be administered to him to keep his blood pressure up. The seriousness of the condition made it unsafe for doctors to operate on him and remove the bullets lodged in Pramodji's body.

New Zealand Government to unbundle local loop

New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has announced that it would require Telecom to unbundled the local loop to provide "faster and better broadband internet services." New Zealand used to be the only country in the OECD to have investigated unbundling the local loop and then rejected it. This means now that any ISP in New Zealand can create their own plans / speeds for New Zealanders.

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