Wikinews Shorts: December 13, 2008
A compilation of brief news reports for Saturday, December 13, 2008.
President-Elect Obama's inaugural donations to be listed online
The Presidential Inaugural Committee says it is "taking unprecedented steps to insure transparency in the public reporting of donors" by listing the names of individuals or organizations who donate over $200 towards President-Elect Barack Obama's upcoming inaugural.
Logging onto http://www.pic2009.org/page/content/donors/ will show you a current list of over 169 current donors who have given at least that amount, and for most of the donors, much more. Donors include movie stars, real estate moguls, and sports stars, many of whom also contributed to Obama's presidential campaign.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee states that it has raised almost $10 million dollars to cover the inaugural; and while that may seem like a large amount, the spending record for an inaugural is held by the current president, George W. Bush, with $42.8 million spent on his 2004 inaugural.
- Nikita Stewart. "Inaugural Donations to Be Listed Online" — , December 13, 2008
- Emily Cadei. "Obama Has Raised $10 million" — , December 12, 2008
Scientists detect black hole at center of Milky Way Galaxy
American and German astronomers have detected and confirmed that there is a 'super-massive' black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. It is approximately 27,000 light years from Earth, and four million times bigger than the Sun. Scientists say it plays a significant role in forming all galaxies.
The 16-year study was performed using two telescopes located in Chile. They discovered it by tracking the movement of over two dozen separate stars. The study will be published next month in The Astrophysical Journal.
- Matt Schofield. "Massive black hole confirmed at heart of our galaxy" — , December 10, 2008
- Pallab Ghosh. "Black hole confirmed in Milky Way" — , December 9, 2008
Zimbabwe accuses United Kingdom of causing cholera epidemic
An ally of Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu, has said that a cholera epidemic in the country, which killed hundreds of people, was caused by the United Kingdom.
Ndlovu said of the outbreak that it was a "genocidal onslaught on the people of Zimbabwe by the British." It was compared to a "serious biological chemical weapon".
This comes just a day after President Mugabe announced that the cholera epidemic had been stopped, contradicting aid workers saying that the crisis was only getting worse.
Mugabe has already accused Western powers of planning to use the epidemic as a reason to oust him.
- "UK caused cholera, says Zimbabwe" — , December 12, 2008
- Zimbabwe says Britain 'planted' cholera in 'genocide' bid - Summary" — , December 12, 2008. "
Colombia extradites drug lord to the United States
Diego Montoya, who is alleged to be one of the Colombia's most powerful drug lords, has been handed over to the United States authorities by Colombia to face trial. Montoya will face 12 charges, including those of murder, money laundering, and the trafficking of drugs. If convicted, he will serve no less than twenty years in prison.
Montoya was the leader of the Norte del Valle cartel, which is reported to have exported 70% of all the cocaine sold in both the European Union and the United States at its height. He was on the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation's "Top Ten" most wanted fugitives.
- "Colombia hands 'drug lord' to US" — , December 12, 2008
- "Colombia extradites top drug suspect Diego Montoya to US" — , December 12, 2008
Rare snowfall strikes southern United States
Snow has started falling in some southern states of the US, including Louisiana and Mississippi. As much as eight inches of snow were recorded, and thousands of people were left without power - one of Louisiana's largest power suppliers, Cleco Corporation, reported ten thousand outages. Forecasters warned of dangerous driving conditions, and some flights at Louis Armstrong International Airport, located near New Orleans, were affected.
In New Orleans, snow fell today for the first time in four years. The largest snowfall amount for the city ever recorded is about 5 inches, on December 30, 1963.
- "Southern US hit by rare snowfall" — , December 12, 2008
- "Rare snow covers south Louisiana, Miss." — , December 12, 2008
Pin-up queen Bettie Page dies at age 85
Bettie Page, a model who became famous for her pin-up photos, has died at the age of 85. Page died of complications from a heart attack on Thursday, December 11.
She was born Bettie Mae Page on April 22, 1923 in Nashville, Tennessee. She was also one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine.
- "50s pin-up queen Bettie Page dies" — , December 12, 2008
- "1950s pinup model Bettie Page dies in LA at 85" — , December 12, 2008
Estonian law to allow voting by cell phone
The Parliament of Estonia has passed a law that will allow citizens to vote by mobile phone in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Voters will need free, authorized chips for their phones.
- Jari Tanner. "Estonia to vote by mobile phone in 2011" — , December 12, 2008
- The Baltic Times staff and wire reports. "Lithuania ready for e-voting, but Estonia's already onto m-voting" — , September 27, 2007