News briefs:May 7, 2006
The time is 15:30 (UTC) on May 7th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.
In a letter to the United Nations, Iran's Parliament has said it may have to withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty if pressure to end its nuclear program escalates. The letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan stated that if the issues with Iran's nuclear program are not settled by peaceful methods, then "there will be no option for the parliament but to ask the government to withdraw its signature."
A U.S. Army lieutenant colonel is expected to be charged soon in connection with the abuse of detainees at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The news came on the same day human rights groups released a report charging that abuse of prisoners in U.S. military custody overseas has been widespread and only limited steps have been taken to investigate and punish those involved.
A British military helicopter crashed in Basra on Saturday killing four crew members. Local Iraqis filled the surrounding streets celebrating the crash before a clash occurred with British troops upon their arrival. "We can confirm it was a British military helicopter that has crashed and an investigation is ongoing," a British military spokesman in London said. An AFP reporter on the scene heard from a local policeman that the helicopter was hit by a rocket fired by local militia.
Sudan Government has expressed that Darfur Peace Acccord with main rebel group, Sudan Liberation Army, led by Minni Menawi, can overturn the previous rejection of UN Peacekeepers. So far, only African Union Peacekeepers were allowed in Darfur. "The Sudan government will be open for any assistance," Bakri Mulah, secretary-general for external affairs in Sudan's Information Ministry, said in Khartoum, Sudan.
The incumbent People's Action Party (PAP) has retained its power in the Singapore parliament after getting 66.6% of the valid votes. It maintained 82 of the available 84 seats after securing 45 of the 47 contested seat, together with 37 of the seats that it won on Nomination Day on 26th April through walkovers. The opposition parties Singapore Democratic Alliance (SDA) and Workers' Party (WP) also retained one seat each. Despite having more seats contested in this election compared to the 2001 General Elections, the breakdown of seats remains unchanged from the previous election. However, the PAP only won a reduced majority, having only 66.6% of the valid votes compared to the 75% that it won in the previous election because of the spectre of terrorism and a poor economy then.
During a live press interview broadcast at the Beaconsfield Gold Mine on the Seven and Nine Networks Veteran 60 Minutes news reporter Richard Carleton suffered a suspected heart attack.
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