Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2008

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A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, January 20, 2008.

Suharto shows 'amazing signs of recovery'

Suharto

Former Indonesian president Suharto, 86, is now moving and speaking softly, doctors say. He was admitted to Pertamina Hospital in Jakarta on January 4 after suffering multiple organ failure.

"He is fully conscious, he can follow instructions and answer our questions in a weak voice," Dr. Jusuf Misbach said. "He scratched himself and raised his hands. It's an amazing accomplishment."

Mardjo Soebiandono said that Suharto would be given physiotherapy, but he also stated that his condition is still considered critical.

According to doctors, Suharto's blood pressure is now stable, his heart and lungs are functioning better, and infections are being treated with antibiotics.

Preparations for a state funeral had begun last week when Suharto developed pneumnonia and sepsis. He was given only a 50:50 chance of survival.

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Zimbabwe, Zambia suffer widespread power outages

Major power outages in Zimbabwe and Zambia left many without services such as electricity, water, and mobile phone connections for much of Saturday and Sunday.

The blackout reportedly hit the two nations almost simultaneously on Saturday evening. In Zambia, the power was restored eight hours later, but residents of Zimbabwe had to wait until Sunday afternoon for power.

Officials in Harare said the cause of the blackout was a fault that "tripped" the power grid, while some in Zambia blamed "turbine problems" at one of the country's hydroelectric dams.

40% of Zimbabwe's power is imported from neighboring countries like South Africa. As the power situation in South Africa has also been worsening, state utility company Eskom announced it will stop supplying power to Zimbabwe and other countries in order to meet domestic needs.

Sources


Francis Joyon sails world in 57 days, breaks record

A trimaran

Francis Joyon of France completed his maritime journey around the globe in a 57 days, 13 hours, 34 minutes, and 6 seconds, breaking Ellen MacArthur's record by 2 weeks. He sailed the world's oceans in a trimaran of his own making.

The journey began November 23 in the port of Brest. Joyon then sailed under the tip of Africa and across the Southern Hemisphere before making his way back to France.

MacArthur was there to greet him when he landed on shore. "I'm really happy for him, proud of him," she said. "He was very fast, he played really well, and he really deserves this record." MacArthur had previously beaten Joyon's record in 2005.

"The speed part, the sailing passion part, that's extraordinary. But what is the strongest of all is having precious moments when you can be in harmony with the planet, with the elements. That is what will stay with me," Joyon said.

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