Wikinews:Audio Wikinews/Transcripts/May 16, 2005

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Audio Wikinews transcript – 2005 05 16 – 1730 UTC


As reported by NGerda

May 16, 2005. This is Wikinews.

Breaking News


Uzbeks fleeing across border to seek refuge
Thousands of Uzbeks are fleeing across Uzbekistan's borders to seek refuge in neighboring Kyrgyzstan despite the border crossings being closed. Their flight is in response to violence in the city of Andijan. Thousands are said to have taken to the streets of the city to protest the unfair trial of Muslim activists and draw attention to human rights abuses. A trial of 23 local businessmen on charges of religious extremism triggered the protests. Soldiers opened fire on the demonstrators, killing many. Eyewitness have said that they were unarmed civilians.



Protests spread in Afghanistan
Seven were killed and over 76 injured in the first three days of anti-US protests in Afghanistan. Protests were sparked by reports that US guards in Guatanamo Bay desecrated the Koran. According to the local population, four policemen and soldiers were killed in province Ghazni, south-west of Kabul.

Newsweek admits error in report that sparked Afghan protests
Newsweek magazine apologized to the victims of last week's deadly protests in Afghanistan, which were sparked when a Newsweek report stated that U.S. officials defiled the Koran. The magazine said it had made a mistake on reporting the accusations of the May 9 report, which led to violent anti-American protests in Afghanistan. Over 16 were killed, and more than 100 were injured. While many officials that supported the protests vowed for non-violence, some in the streets threatened to start a religious war against the United States. A Newsweek reporter said in a Reuters interview that his information was from a "knowlegeable government source". Thousands of documents obtained under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act by the American Civil Liberties Union support the claims of routine religious humiliation of Muslims at Guantanamo.

Local elections held in Croatia Elections for local governments were held in Croatia Sunday. The polls were closed at 19:00 local time (UTC+2). The results are not in yet, but exit polls and preliminary results were published by GONG and State Election Committee. According to GONG, an NGO observing the elections, Milan Bandić, can form a government in the city of Zagreb, since his list has won around 46%. This would give the coalition 27 of 51 seats in the capital city. Bandić is a head of the coalition list formed by Social Democrat Party of Croatia (SDP), Croatian Peasant Party (HSS), and Croatian Pensioner Party (HUS). The preliminary results from the State Election Committee show 40.90% for Bandić at 23:30 local time. We will be updating you as the results come in.

Special Report


Leukemia cases at California elementary school receive no Federal investigation
Within the past three years, five boys who have attended Franklin Elementary School in Santa Ana, California have been found to have the same type of leukemia. Two of them have died. "Why so many children, and why only in this area?" said Lazara Bustos, a mother of three schoolchildren who attend Franklin. "I wonder if my child will be next," said Bustos, whose son's close friend was Manuel Hernandez. Manuel died of acute lymphocytic leukemia in October 2004. Another child, Reynaldo "Rey" Almaraz, 9, died in April. To help pay for Rey's funeral, several parents in the dense, working-class community held a fundraiser by selling nachos. Parents are wondering, "Why are our boys dying?" Tammy Sanchez, a teacher at Franklin, has been searching for answers. Recently, she sat in her empty classroom and cried. "Our kids deal with too much death. I'm concerned about them," she said. "As a teacher, this isn't what I'm supposed to see. I'm supposed to see success, students growing up – not attend their funerals." In the basement at 71-year-old Franklin Elementary, exposed gas and water pipes meander their way along the ceiling. The former library is full of old dusty desks and chairs. For years, teachers and students alike have complained that the moldy, stale air in the basement makes them feel queasy. Researchers claim that the leukemia cases are within the acceptable range for that area. When the schoolchildren at Franklin began getting leukemia, many teachers and staff members pondered: "Could there be something toxic in the basement? What about outside the school, in the soil?" Sanchez addressed the Santa Ana Unified school board in April. Her friend, Dr. John Hoefs of University of California, Irvine (UCI) learned about the leukemia patients through his church. Dr. Hoefs in turn sought the help of one of his friends, Costa Mesa business owner Jeff Russell, to conduct soil tests around Franklin. Russell claimed the soil has a concentration of pesticides but he could not elaborate, saying he isn't finished collecting samples. Hoefs and Russell said they "hope health experts thoroughly study the Franklin cases, despite what the statistics say". "You wonder, if this were occurring in the Bel Air area – where more resources are available – if people would just be satisfied with a few statistics," Hoefs said. "It's a very troublesome problem." Franklin is in the impoverished Santa Ana neighborhood of Heniger Park, and over 90% of the students receive free or reduced lunch from the state. Santa Ana includes a large portion of undocumented immigrants, making it difficult to collect census data. For those people which the census was able to count, 19.8% of the population is below the poverty line with 24.1% of children living below the poverty line. The per capita income for the city is $12,152, with an average income of $21,637 for females, as compared to $24,692 for females in Compton, California. Santa Ana was also rated the "Hardship Capital of the United States" by The Rockefeller Institute of Government. Isaac Jiminez, 10, prefers not to talk about his leukemia. "We never really talk about the disease because it makes me ill – because there are no answers," he said. This Special Report contains first-hand journalism by Wikinews Reporter Nicholas Gerda.

Wikipedia Current Events

  • South Korea announces that bilateral talks with North Korea will resume Monday after a one-year pause, with the North's nuclear weapons as a key issue.
  • In Taiwan, parties supporting new amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of China win with 249 of 300 seats in the National Assembly election.
  • Pope Benedict XVI waives the five-year waiting period usually required before beatification, the first step towards sainthood, for the late John Paul II.
  • The U.S. Department of Defense's Base Realignment and Closure program recommends closing 33 and realigning 29 major military bases as well as about 775 smaller bases.

Today in History provided by Wikipedia

  • 1204 - Fourth Crusade: Count Baldwin IX of Flanders was crowned the first Latin Emperor in Constantinople.
  • 1527 - The Medici were driven from Florence and a republic was re-established.
  • 1866 - Root beer was first prepared commercially.
  • 1929 - The first Academy Awards were handed out at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood.
  • 1943 - World War II: SS-Brigadeführer Jürgen Stroop put an end to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, the first mass uprising in Poland against the Nazi occupation during the Holocaust.

Thank you for joining us for today's segment. Join us tomorrow for more headlines, news, anniversaries, and special reports.

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