Wikinews:Briefs/July 16, 2008

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Wikinews News in Brief 2008-07-16 0235[edit]

Audio file[edit]

  • Ogg Vorbis:


Good morning. This is Wikinews News in Brief, bringing you a summary of today’s top stories on Wednesday the 16th July 2008 at 0235 hours UTC. I’m Nicholas Turnbull. A stampede at a football stadium in the Sudanese capital of Kartoum killed 23 people and injured a further 36 others yesterday, in a graduation ceremony for young people who had completed their military service training. Local police stated that the majority of those crushed were women and children. The injured survivors are being treated in a local hospital.

The International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor has accused Sudanese president Al-Bashir of 10 major criminal offences committed in the Darfur region, including war crimes, crimes against humanity and mass genocide of minority tribes. Since 2003, racial conflict in Sudan has claimed the lives of over 300,000 people, and displaced 2 million from their home settlements through activities by government-funded militia. Al-Bashir has rejected the charges, claiming that the ICC lacks the authority to arrest him. The United Nations is evacuating all non-essential peacekeepers from the region, although it maintains that efforts to quell the unrest will continue despite the deteriorating security situation.

A video showing Canadian citizen Omar Khadr being interrogated in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba has been obtained by Canadian press sources. Filmed using a hidden camera through an air vent, it depicts an interrogation from February 2003, which shows the detainee crying and expressing allegations of mistreatment. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has rejected calls for the suspect, who faces criminal charges for attacks on American military forces in Afghanistan, to be repatriated to Canada by the United States authorities.

Also in military crime, US Staff Sgt. Christopher Barberi has been sentenced to two years in prison for sodomy of a minor and possession of child pornography. The victim, a young girl who reported the sexual abuse in late 2006, was reportedly raped by Barberi at the age of 11, and was pressured to resume her relationship with the man until her 15th birthday.

A political cartoon on the cover of July’s issue of New Yorker Magazine, which depicts United States presidential candidate Barack Obama and wife Michelle Obama as terrorists, have been condemned by campaign offices as “tasteless and offensive”. The controversy surrounding the cartoon, intended to parody the use of scare tactics and misinformation in the campaign, continues.

Three American hostages held in Columbia by FARC rebels were released this Sunday following a rescue operation by Columbian military forces, and are now re-united with their families. Marc Gonsalves, Thomas Howes and Keith Stansell were captured when their drug surveillance aircraft crashed in the Columbian jungle in 2003, and were employees for a subsidiary of the Northrop Grumman Corporation. Stansell commented on the importance of remembering the other hostages in Columbia who continue to be held in unacceptable conditions by rebel forces.

Also on Sunday, Poland’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bronisław Geremek, died at the age of 76 in a car accident, at around 1215 hours UTC. Lech Kaczynski, the president of Poland, expressed his sadness at the news and the importance of Geremek’s work in Polish political history.

And that concludes today’s news summary. Thank you very much for listening. This newscast is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic License, available at And that's goodbye from me, and from all of us here at the Wikinews News Room. [Closing music]