News briefs: June 11, 2012

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Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Wikinews Audio Briefs
Monday, June 11, 2012
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Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews this week and from around the world.

Today is Monday, June 11, 2012. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.


Explosion reported in Damascus, Syria (0:26)

Tanks have fired shots in the Syrian capital of Damascus Saturday. Explosions were reported just before two A-M Syrian time in the Al-Mydan neighborhood. The battle between the Syrian military and Free Syrian Army broke out over districts in the north and south that lasted for about twelve hours. Fighting was reported in the southern Damascus districts of Kafarsouseh and Al-Mydan, while to the north it was reported that Al-Kaboun and Barzeh came under attack. This was the first time in the conflict that Damascus has come under fire.

Elsewhere in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported around twenty civilians were killed in the city of Daraa by Syrian tank shells. The cities of Homs, Qusair, Talbiseh and Rastan are also under Syrian army attack.

Additional sources:

Kenyan helicopter crash kills security minister (1:25)

The Kenyan internal security minister George Saitoti, who was a candidate in next year's presidential election, has died in a helicopter crash outside of Nairobi. He was a key figure in the Kenyan decision to contribute soldiers to the African conflict in Somalia against al-Shabab. Five others died in the crash.

Libyan court jails 24 foreigners for helping Gaddafi (1:47)

A Libyan court sentenced twenty four foreigners to prison for their support of former leader Muamar Gaddafi. A Russian who was identified as the ringleader received a life sentence, while a second Russian, nineteen Ukranians, and three Belarussians were all given ten years of hard labor. Several ambassadors decried the ruling and Ukraine's ambassador said the convicted had been forced to build and maintain Gaddafi's anti-aircraft missiles.

Russian serial killer Irina Gaidamachuk jailed (2:21)

A Russian court sentenced a confessed serial killer of seventeen elderly women to twenty years in prison. Irina Gaidamachuk would pose as a social worker to enter the homes of her victims before killing them with an axe or hammer. Police had a difficult time identifying the killer because they did not consider that a woman might be the assailant. But that changed when one of her victims survived. The motive: money for vodka.

Putin signs law inceasing fines for illegal protestors (2:52)

Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a new law this week that increases the maximum fines available against those involved in unlawful protests. The legislation by the United Russia party follows the May seven protests after Putin's third inauguration which saw clashes between protesters and police. Four hundred people were arrested in that encounter. All fines were increased significantly with the average offense moving from around three U-S dollars to three hundred dollars.

On the campaign trail, May 2012 (3:31)

We have a summary of the U.S. presidential election news for May 2012 at Wikinews dot org.

Study suggests successful depression treatment lowers youths' risk of drug abuse (3:40)

A new U-S study suggests depressed adolescents who respond to treatment within twelve weeks are at a reduced risk of drug abuse later in their lives. Researchers at Duke University said only ten percent of youths between seventeen and twenty three who responded to depression treatment went on to abuse drugs, but twenty five percent of those who did not respond to treatment in the same period went on to abuse drugs. Researchers also said more education is needed to reduce alcohol abuse.

Winning horse I'll Have Another loses shot at US Triple Crown (4:19)

Union Rags was the horse that ended up winning the 2012 Belmont Stakes in New York Saturday. The thoroughbred broke through an opening in the pack at the end of the race to add to the excitement. U-S horse racing fans had been paying close attention to I'll Have Another who was heading into the race with a chance to win the U-S Triple crown. But the horse was retired one day before the Belmont Stakes on account of a swollen left tendon. This is the thirty fourth year without a Triple Crown victory. The last and eleventh horse to win was Affirmed in nineteen seventy eight.

Additional sources:

Kosmala's 2012 Games inclusion highlights Australian Paralympians' longevity (5:01)

When the twenty twelve Paralympics opens in London later this summer, it is likely that Australian Libby Kosmala -- part of the shooting team -- will be the oldest competitor in attendance. She will be seventy by the time the Paralympics games begin. She first competed in the nineteen-seventy-two games in Germany as a swimmer. But as a shooter she has won nine gold and three silver medals during her Paralympics career. Read more about Kosmala and the Paralympics at Wikinews dot org.

Science Fiction author Ray Bradbury dies (5:37)

And this week, Ray Bradbury who wrote science fiction classics like The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit Four-Fifty-One, as well as short stories, died in Los Angeles at the age of ninety one. When Bradbury started publishing, science fiction was primarily relegated to pulp magazines and books, but during his lifetime he saw his own work and others expand into movies and television. Bradbury contributed to television shows like The Twilight Zone and Alfred Hitchcock Presents and he later hosted a similar show The Ray Bradbury Theater. French director François Truffaut adapted Fahrenheit Four-Fifty-One to film in nineteen-sixty-six. In an interview, Bradbury said science fiction books had during his lifetime become a staple of U.S. education, which included his own The Martian Chronicles.

Outro (5:00)

And those are the headlines for this week.


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