News briefs:November 8, 2007

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Deadly shooting at high school in Finland[edit]

Eight people have been killed in a school shooting in Jokela, Finland according to an official police briefing. The victims are five male students and two female students and the principal of the Jokela High School. At least 12 people were injured from glass and other injuries during evacuation, but are not in serious danger. Besides the eight that perished, only one other person has been reported to have received a gunshot wound, but is also reported to be out of serious danger.

At a news conference at 18:00 EET (UTC+2), police said that they arrested the shooter after a siege situation at the Jokela School Centre. The shooter is said to be an 18-year-old male student, named as Pekka-Eric Auvinen, who attended the school.

The police say that the shooter had probably shot himself at some point in an apparent suicide attempt. He died at nearby Töölö Hospital at 22:14 EET. The police confirmed that they had not used weapons during the incident.

Illegal drug found to be used in the manufacture of toys[edit]

Bindeez beads, a children's toy from Australia and manufactured by Moose Enterprise in Hong Kong, is being pulled off toy store shelves in the United Kingdom after traces of an illegal drug, which is converted into gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid (GHB) when ingested, was found inside the toy. At least 20 million toys are affected.

So far at least three children from the U.K. and at least two from Auckland, New Zealand have fallen seriously ill and are currently receiving medical attention. The toy is also sold in the United States as Aqua Dots with several illnesses reported.

The toy was recently named Australia's number one toy for 2007.

Albanian group claims responsibility for Macedonia clashes[edit]

A group, calling itself the Political-Military Council of the Kosovo Liberation Army (UCK) says it was behind yesterday's armed clash with Macedonian police forces which left at least six dead.

In a statement, the organization claims that its members, formerly of the “Albanian Territorial Liberation Army“, had been "forced to assemble a regular military unit in order to protect the endangered Albanian people, and every inch of Albanian territory.“

This Thursday, the situation in the Tetovo region village, the scene of yesterday's battle, is calm.

New Zealand police blocked from laying terrorism charges[edit]

Following dozens of raids across New Zealand a few weeks ago, the Solicitor General has advised the Police Commissioner, Howard Broad, the New Zealand Police will not lay charges against those arrested under the Terrorism Suppression Act 2002.

On October 15, when the raids occurred, 17 people were arrested and twelve of those were referred from the police to the Solicitor General, David Collins QC, to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act. His consent was needed to lay charges relating to the act. Those arrested were charged with breaching the Firearms Act, however.

Mr Collins came to his decision due to insufficient evidence that there was planning or preparation of a terrorist act of any kind by those activist groups raided, and that the Terrorism Suppression Act is "complex and incoherent"


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