News briefs:May 5, 2006

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The time is 15:00 (UTC) on May 5th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.

Headlines

Conservatives make gains in English local elections

England

Most of the results have now been declared from the local elections that took place across England yesterday. The Conservative party have made the biggest gains, winning over two hundred new council seats and gaining a net control of 12 new councils. The Liberal Democrat party also made some gains, getting an overall bigger share of the vote than Labour, but only winning a modest 18 or so extra councillors. The British National Party has doubled its number of councillors, winning 11 seats in the Barking and Dagenham area, as well as a few elsewhere. The Green Party have won a few extra councillors.


Charles Clarke loses Home Secretary position in Cabinet reshuffle, UK

And here is more news, concerning the outcome of the local elections in England.

The United Kingdom Home Secretary Charles Clarke has lost his position in a Cabinet reshuffle by Tony Blair, on the morning after the Labour Party suffered losses in local elections across England. The news follows two weeks of headlines caused by the release of over 1000 foreign prisoners mistakenely released from prison at the end of their sentence rather than being deported. Current Defence Secretary John Reid will replace Clarke as the new Home Secretary, and Jack Straw will become Commons leader.


Kennett rules out political comeback

Australia

After announcing on Thursday that he was considering a comeback to Victorian state politics, former premier Jeff Kennett has ruled out a comeback. Following the resignation of state opposition leader Robert Doyle, Mr Kennett announced that he had been approached several times about returning to politics over the past few months and that he was contemplating standing for the Victorian liberal party leadership. He announced today, at a press conference that he would not be returning to state politics.


Australian government announces $52.5 million financial assistance package for Ford

Also from Australia the news has reached us, that …

Australian Prime Minister John Howard and federal industry minister Ian MacDonald today announced that the federal government will be providing Ford Australia with a AU$52.5 million (US$40.4 million) "financial assistance package". Additional assistance will also be provided by the Victorian state government. According to Mr Howard, the injection will secure Ford's manufacturing operations in Australia "for the long term".


Indian music composer Naushad Ali dies

India

Acclaimed Hindi music composer Naushad Ali passed away due to old-age in Mumbai this morning at the age of 86. Family sources say that he had been in ill-health in the recent past. Ali had composed music for hit Hindi films such as Mughal-e-Azam,Mother India and Bajju Bawra.

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