Wikinews:Briefs/May 11, 2010

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Today on Wikinews : David Cameron becomes the UK's youngest Prime Minister since 1812, Iraq sees its deadliest day of violence this year and Constantinople changes its name ... but not to what you think.

Today is Tuesday, May 11th, 2010. I'm Dan Harlow and this is Wikinews.


David Cameron was today sworn in as the new Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following five days of negotiation after the British General Election resulted in a hung parliament. While the Conservatives were the largest party, they did not have enough seats to meet the threshold for majority rule, and so formed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. In the agreement, Nick Clegg, leader of the LibDems, will become the Deputy Prime minister.

Cameron, at 43, is the youngest prime minister since Lord Liverpool in 1812, after accepting the Queen's invitation to form a government. He is the 12th Prime Minister to be confirmed by Queen Elizabeth II. He had only been a Member of Parliament for nine years before this. This resolution represents the end to thirteen years of Labour rule, starting with Tony Blair in 1997.

Earlier today, Gordon Brown, former leader of the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, officially stood down from his role with immediate effect. The news followed the initial announcement yesterday in which he declared he was standing down to secure a coalition for Labour and other parties and avoid a Conservative government.

In a speech outside 10 Downing Street, following his initial statement, he admitted he had "learned a lot about human frailties, including [his] own", and thanked the armed forces, his wife, family and staff before wishing the new Prime Minister well.

According to The Guardian, Harriet Harman will stand in temporarily as party leader as Brown is officially relieved of his title by Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace. The possibility of a Labour-LibDem parliament was ruled out as negotiations between the Tories and the Liberal Democrats drew to a close, with Brown handing power over to Cameron in a meeting with the Queen at around 20.00 BST.

Several attacks in three different parts of Iraq on Monday killed over 100 people and injured almost 350 more, making it the deadliest day in the country this year.

Early on Monday morning, attacks with automatic weapons against six army and police checkpoints in the city of Baghdad killed seven police officers, with three other bombings in the city killing another two policemen. An official from Iraq's interior ministry said that the attacks in Baghdad began at around 0630 local time (0330 UTC), not ending until around 0800 local time (0500 UTC). The official also said that most of those wounded were security personnel.

At around 1330 local time (1030 UTC), three car bombs exploded in the city of Hilla outside a textiles factory; the bombings came as workers were leaving the factory, which increased the death toll. An hour later, with emergency responders on the scene, a fourth car bomb exploded. In total, 50 people were killed in the four explosions. A factory worker said that "[w]hen I heard the explosions, I rushed outside and saw the massive damage--there were bodies everywhere, people were crying and screaming."

In the southern city of Basra, three separate car bombs in two locations occurred between 1800 and 1900 local time (1500 to 1600 UTC). The attacks were at two markets in central Basra, and killed a total of around 20 people.

Another car bombing in the city of Suwayrah, around 40 miles southeast of Baghdad, killed 11 people and wounded 70 more. According to a police official in the city, there were two bombings, both near the city's mosque.

According to a government spokesman in Baghdad, more than 20 total attacks occurred in the country, and were targeted at both the military and civilians. The attacks are also seen as emphasizing the ability of insurgent groups in Iraq to continue to be able to attack on a large scale, despite government efforts to increase security in the country, as well as the killings and arrests of numerous extremist leaders in recent months.

On this day in history (4:28)

In the year 330, Byzantium is renamed Nova Roma during a dedication ceremony, but it is more popularly referred to as Constantinople. Why'd they change it? I can't say. People just liked it better that way.


And those are the top headlines for Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

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