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February 20, 2012

UK politician foresees nuclear Iran triggering new Middle Eastern cold war

UK politician foresees nuclear Iran triggering new Middle Eastern cold war

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Monday, February 20, 2012

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British Foreign Secretary William Hague has described a possibility of a new cold war in the Middle East due to the Iranian nuclear programme. United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggests negotiating with Iran by asking it to disprove the allegations of developing nuclear weapons.

The comments were made by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, pictured here in 2010.

“If [the Iranians] obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons,” Hague said. “The most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun.” Ex-UK diplomat Sir Richard Dalton rules out the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile Ki-moon dismissed US and Israeli suggestions of attacking Iran, saying that “all these issues should be resolved peacefully through negotiations, through dialogue.” He said so after attending anniversary ceremonies of an agency to detect secret nuclear weapon tests, called the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organisation. Hague has also urged Israel not to strike. He said, “All options must remain on the table but a military attack would have enormous downsides.” He insisted on giving sanctions to Iran instead.

However, some US officials extrapolated that Iran is determined about the nuclear programme as the nation threatened to disrupt oil supply to six European nations earlier this week. A number of US officials now believe that attacking Iran is the only way out.

Dalton stated, “There are many signs, as reported by the International Atomic Energy Agency, that some research and development relevant to the development of nuclear weapons may still be going on. But it is wrong to say that Iran is rushing towards having a nuclear weapon.”

Iran organised a ceremony which revealed its nuclear programme on Wednesday. It stated that the programme is only about generating nuclear power. Iran also loaded its first domestically created fuel into the reactor last week.



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February 17, 2012

Armed robbers steal valuable statuettes from Olympia museum, Greece

Armed robbers steal valuable statuettes from Olympia museum, Greece

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Friday, February 17, 2012

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Culture minister Pavlos Geroulanos, pictured from file, has resigned over the robbery

Armed robbers stole around 60 valuable statuettes from a museum in Olympia, Greece this morning. A state television channel reported that the Greek culture minister Pavlos Geroulanos tendered his resignation upon hearing of the robbery.

“We must wait and see what the local archaeology supervisor will say, but the items were of incalculable value,” local mayor Thymios Kotzias said. The value of the articles hasn’t been calculated yet.

The masked robbers initially demanded a female employee to hand over the articles. When she refused, they tied her up and snatched the articles through the glass planes themselves.

This is the second major robbery in the country recently. Paintings by Pablo Picasso, Piet Mondrian and others were stolen from Athens National Museum in January. Olympia is the place where the first Olympic Games were held.



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  • “Valuable paintings stolen from Greek gallery” — Wikinews, January 12, 2012

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February 12, 2012

Amartya Sen among the scholars for US National Humanities Medal

Amartya Sen among the scholars for US National Humanities Medal

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

Official Portrait of Amartya Sen at the Nobel Prize

Indian economist Amartya Sen is among nine scholars to receive the US National Humanities Medal tomorrow. No other Indians have received the medal in the sixteen years since it was introduced.

A White House citation hoted “his insights into the causes of poverty, famine, and injustice” and claimed “by applying philosophical thinking to questions of policy, he has changed how standards of living are measured and increased our understanding of how to fight hunger.”

A 1998 Nobel Prize for Economics laureate, Sen is currently Harvard University‘s professor of Economics and Philosophy. Other new awardees include John Ashbery, Robert Darnton, Teofilo Ruiz, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Charles Rosen, Andrew Delbanco, and Ramon Saldivar.

Scholars of Indian origin have won National Medals in Science and Engineering but not in Humanities. Introduced in 1996, the medal is awarded to “those individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities,” says the White House.



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January 20, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

Wikinews Shorts: January 20, 2012

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A compilation of brief news reports for Friday, January 20, 2012.

If you believe any of these stories deserves more in-depth coverage, feel free to write a full article on the issues raised.

Dissident Republicans bomb Londonderry

No injuries were suffered when two bombs were exploded in Londonderry, Northern Ireland by Republican dissidents. A coded message was received by the police half an hour before they were detonated in streets around the city’s main shopping centre.

Police Service of Northern Ireland Superintendent Stephen Martin has described the attacks as “cowardly and callous”, and said that the city centre will remain sealed off to allow for the search for other devices and forensic evidence.



Kodak files for bancruptcy

Eastman Kodak Co has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in order to complete its transformation from its traditional wet film business, with which it made its name, into a specialist digital printing company.

The move would allow the company to sell off assets to pay off pension liabilities and creditors.


Republican contender Newt Gingrich refutes open marriage accusations

Newt Gingrich refutes claims by his second wife, Marianne Ginther, that he demanded that they have an open marriage so that he could continue an affair with Callista Bisek, who later became his third wife.

The accusations, aired on ABC News on Thursday, come just before the Republican party’s South Carolina presidential primary. If true, the allegations would mean Gingrich was having an affair whilst pillorying President Bill Clinton over his involvement with Monica Lewinsky.


Dolce & Gabbana make apology over Hong Kong photography ban

Italian luxury goods brand Dolce & Gabbana has issued an apology over its ban on Hong Kong citizens taking photographs of its shopfront in Hong Kong, even when taken from a public sidewalk. The ban enforced by its security guards against locals but not mainland Chinese and foreigners infuriated locals, who have staged a number of protests against the retailer.

Photography from a public place of subjects normally visible from that place is legal in Hong Kong, and the local government has been condemned for not confronting Dolce & Gabbana, leaving things to protesters to bring about the apology.


Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes New Zealand, no damage reported

An earthquake of magnitude 6.1 struck South Island, New Zealand yesterday. The epicenter was located off the coast about 204 kilometers west of Invercargill at a depth of 18 kilometers.

The earthquake struck late in the day local time. No damage or injuries were reported and no alerts were issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. An aftershock measuring 5.2 magnitude hit the area two hours later.

An earthquake measuring 6.3 magnitude hit Christchurch last year, killing over 180 people. There may be as many as 15,000 shocks per year in New Zealand, which is on the “Ring of Fire“.





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January 19, 2012

Myanmar\’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election

Myanmar’s pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi to contest in by-election

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

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Suu Kyi in 2011.
Image: World Economic Forum.

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar registered yesterday as a candidate in the parliamentary by-election. She is contesting, for her party the National League for Democracy (NLD), for Kawhmu, among the 48 seats in the election scheduled in April.

Suu Kyi is to contest in elections for the first time. Her party won the 1990 election, but she was under house arrest. The military junta did not accept NLD’s majority in that election. She was released in November 2010. The NLD objected to electoral laws and boycotted 2010 elections.

Kawhmu is a rural township in south-west Myanmar which was hit by cyclone Nargis in 2008.

Suu Kyi’s party would not have much power even if it won all the 48 available seats in the election. Nevertheless, her participation could be a test for democratic reforms in Myanmar.



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  • “Myanmar dissident Suu Kyi to run for parliament in by-elections” — Wikinews, November 21, 2011

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January 18, 2012

India and China to develop friendly relations

India and China to develop friendly relations

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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

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India and China.
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India and China planned to resolve boundary disputes peacefully and develop friendly relations with each other in the 15th round of boundary talks begun Monday. Shivshankar Menon, National Security Advisor, represented India while Dai Bingguo represented China.

To control the Sino-Indian border effectively, Liu Zhenmin, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister, and S. Jaishankar, India’s ambassador to China, signed an agreement titled “Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs”. The text of the agreement, as released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, states, “[The mechanism will] undertake other tasks that are mutually agreed upon by the two sides but will not discuss resolution of the Boundary Question or affect the Special Representatives Mechanism.”

The agreement allows live contact between the countries’ foreign offices for problems along the Sino-Indian border, officially called the Line of Actual Control (LOAC). Also, meetings are to be held in each of the two countries alternately, once or twice annually. The two sides see the agreement as an important step in gaining trust and strengthening each other.

Relations between the two countries have not been good since the Sino-Indian War of 1962. The relations lapsed in 2011 due to visa rows and exploration of oil in South China Sea. Further, the Dalai Lama’s refuge in India has caused friction with China. China also claims 90,000 square kilometers of land governed by India in the Tibetan region and India claims 38,000 square kilometers of Kashmir held by China.

Analysts say China is facing both economic problems, and difficulties with neighbouring countries. Its major allies North Korea and Pakistan have their own troubles. China maintains unfavorable relations with other neighbours like Vietnam, Australia, and Japan.

The ‘return to Asia’ strategy of the United States focuses on China, and India figures in it as an important ally.

Dai wrote in a newspaper column, “What we face is a golden period to grow China-India relations. The world has enough space for China and India to achieve common development, as there are so many areas for us to work together”. He further added during the session, “While working hard to develop itself, China is fully committed to developing long-term friendship and cooperation with India.”

Dai claimed trade between the two countries has increased by a factor of 20 in the last ten years. He summarized, “As neighbors and two big countries with a combined population of 2.5 billion, China and India can join hands, seize the historic opportunity, and work together to further advance our friendship and cooperation”.

The boundary talks were to be held in November, but were postponed over Chinese disapproval of India allowing the Dalai Lama into a Buddhist meet in New Delhi.



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January 16, 2012

Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt falls in Pacific Ocean

Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt falls in Pacific Ocean

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Monday, January 16, 2012

Science and technology
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A model of Phobos-Grunt presented during CeBIT 2011.
Image: MKonair.

The Russian spacecraft Phobos-Grunt fell into the Pacific Ocean some 1,250 kilometers west of Wellington, Chile yesterday after circling in Earth orbit for two months. The spacecraft was designed to retrieve soil samples from the largest moon of Mars, Phobos, but its engines failed and it had remained in Earth orbit ever since.

According to the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roscosmos), the spacecraft was in a near-Earth orbit with perigee 113.8 km and apogee 133.2 km at 8.15 p.m. UTC yesterday. It fell into the Pacific ocean around 9.45 p.m.

Predictions had varied on whether any segments would reach the Earth’s surface, and it is still unknown whether any did so. People from New Zealand and London reported sighting the spacecraft glowing bright orange as it passed eastwards.

Russian authorities plan to determine the reasons behind the accident. The failure of the mission is being considered as a major setback in Russia’s interplanetary programme. Vadim Lukashevich, a space expert, commented, “Five and half billion rubles and all the hopes of Russian space science for a revival… today burn up without any glory in the earth’s atmosphere.”



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Dozens killed, injured after blast hits Shias in Punjab, Pakistan

Dozens killed, injured after blast hits Shias in Punjab, Pakistan

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Monday, January 16, 2012

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A powerful bomb blast on a Shia procession in Khanpur, Punjab killed 20 people and injured 30 yesterday. Those responsible for the blast are unknown, although Sunni militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi has been mentioned.

According to a police statement to Reuters, the bomb was detonated by remote control near an electric pole as the procession advanced towards the hussainia. Eye witnesses told that the loud explosion caused people to run away haphazardly. One of the witnesses, Imran Iqbal, apprised, “Debris was everywhere, and a cloud of dust engulfed us. Many people died on the spot.” The wounded were rushed to local hospitals in Khanpur and Rahim Yar Khan.

The people were processioning to mark the holy day of Arba’een.



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August 16, 2010

Former first lady of India Janaki Venkataraman dies at 89

Former first lady of India Janaki Venkataraman dies at 89

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Venkataraman was married to former President Venkataraman.
Image: Jaisingh Rathore.

Janaki Venkataraman, former first lady of India and widow of former president Ramaswamy Venkataraman, died at 89 Saturday, around around 4:30 p.m. local time (11:00 UTC).

Her family members said she was admitted to Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Dehli on August 10, 2010 with complaints of chest infection.

Venkataraman was first lady from 1987 to 1992. She was widowed in January 2009 when Ramaswamy died at 98.

Pratibha Patil, current president of India, paid tribute to Venkataraman in a letter to Padma Venkataraman, Janaki Venkataraman’s daughter. She wrote, “As a first lady of the country she has performed her role with utmost grace and dignity during the tenure of R. Venkataraman.”

She had three daughters, Padma, Vijaya and Ramachandran Venkataraman.



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August 15, 2010

Islamic insurgents kill three in Thailand

Islamic insurgents kill three in Thailand

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South Thailand insurgency
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The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia The involved provinces and surrounding area of Thailand and Malaysia

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  • South Thailand insurgency
  • 2005 Songkhla bombings
  • Patani United Liberation Organization

and the involved provinces,

  • Pattani
  • Narathiwat
  • Yala
  • Songkhla
See also

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Location of Pattani province in southern Thailand. A police officer was killed in a drive-by shooting in the province.
Image: NordNordWest.

Islamic insurgents have shot three people in the Yala region of Thailand Saturday. This is the first fatal attack in Thailand since the start of the holy Islamic festival, Ramadan.

The first victim, a police officer, was killed after a drive-by shooting as he drove his motorcycle in Pattani. The police report he died in the hospital. The second and third victims were a Buddhist couple, killed on their way to work.

Krissada Boonrach, governor of Yala, asked the provincial security agencies to prepare for increased violence within the country as a result of Ramadan this month.

More than 4,000 people have been killed in Yala in the last six years. The insurgents, goals unclear, have killed both Buddhist and Muslims, with ties to Thailand, such as police, soldiers, government officials, and school teachers.



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