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May 31, 2010

Seven policemen killed in Afghanistan after bomb explosion

Filed under: Afghanistan,Asia,Middle East,Politics and conflicts,Taliban — admin @ 5:00 am

Seven policemen killed in Afghanistan after bomb explosion

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Monday, May 31, 2010

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At least seven policemen were killed in northeastern Afghanistan yesterday, according to reports, after a bomb went off near a police patrol vehicle.

The incident occurred in the Darayim district within the province of Badakhshan, considered to be the least violent province in the country.

Another policeman was injured, and subsequently evacuated to a provincial hospital; deputy provincial governor Shams-Ul Rahman Shams said his condition is apparently critical. Afghan Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, an Afghan army convoy full of soldiers struck upon another roadside bomb in Nangarhar, killing a further three people.

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Scotland\’s Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

Scotland’s Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

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Monday, May 31, 2010

Dario Franchitti.
Image: Manningmbd.

Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti won his second Indianapolis 500 in four years today after leading 155 laps, which is the fourth most in the 99-year history of the race. Franchitti, aged 37, also won a rain-shortened race in 2007, when the race was stopped after 166 laps due to the inclement weather and he was declared the winner.

The conditions at this race were far different, with the National Weather Service reporting temperatures of 88° F (31° C) at the track at race time. This temperature made the race the second hottest to the 1932 race, which reached 92° F.

After a failed attempt to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2008, Franchitti returned to the IndyCar series to race for Chip Ganassi Racing. With this victory, owner Chip Ganassi became the first team owner in racing history to have their drivers win both the Daytona 500 of the Sprint Cup (won by Jamie McMurray) and the Indianapolis 500 in the same year.

“The milk tastes just as good the second time around here,” said Franchitti, referring to the ceremonial winner’s milk drink following the race. “I just needed to know what the other guys were doing with fuel. There was a gap behind them and a lot of confusion. This means so much after coming back when I went away for a year in 2008 and to come back win a championship and win the Indianapolis 500,” he added in an interview in the winner’s circle.

Franchitti won the race on less than a tenth of a gallon of fuel, after he and his team decided to not pit during the final laps of the race. The race ended on a caution after a massive crash between drivers Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay, when Conway’s car got caught onto Hunter-Reay’s left outside wheel and was sent airborne. Conway’s car then hit the track’s retaining wall and landed on its front side. Medics took Conway out of the car, and he was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

Finishing behind Franchitti in second place was British driver Dan Wheldon of Partner Racing. This was Wheldon’s second straight second place finish. In third place was Marco Andretti, who started in sixteenth position.

Results

Danica Partick, who finished in 6thplace.

Position Last First Car Number
1 Franchitti Dario 10
2 Wheldon Dan 4
3 Andretti Marco 22
4 Lloyd Alex 19
5 Dixon Scott 9
6 Patrick Danica 7
7 Wilson Justin 26
8 Power Will 12
9 Castroneves Helio 3
10 Tagliani Alex 77

See external links for a full list of results.

Sources

External links

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Nineteen activists killed by Israeli commandos aboard aid convoy bound for Gaza

Nineteen activists killed by Israeli commandos aboard aid convoy bound for Gaza

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Monday, May 31, 2010

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Image: Freegazaorg – Flickr.

Between nine and nineteen Free Gaza Movement activists died today in international waters when Israeli Defense Force commandos boarded vessels attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza.

Benjamin Netanyahu gave the death toll to be at least 10. Israeli television says that 19 people were killed and 36 were wounded in the confrontation.

The six vessels, called the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, were carrying 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for the Gaza Strip, including water purifiers, prefabricated homes and medical equipment. Passengers include several European members of parliament and MPs from Germany, Belgium, Algeria and Israel.

Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that “the organizers are well-known for their ties with global jihad, al-Qaida and Hamas. They have a history of arms smuggling and deadly terror.” The Israeli military had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza and said the activists were a “provocation intended to delegitimise Israel”. The Israeli Navy had been transmitting messages throughout the night ordering them to turn back, stating: “If you ignore this order and enter the blockaded area, the Israeli navy will be forced to take all the necessary measures in order to enforce this blockade,” and that the Gaza region was a protected military zone.

Huwaida Arraf, one of the organizers, had said that the flotilla was “fully prepared for the different scenarios” that might arise, and organizers were hopeful that Israeli authorities would “do what’s right” and not stop the convoy. She said, “we fully intend to go to Gaza regardless of any intimidation of threats of violence against us,” and that “they are going to have to forcefully stop us.”

The pre-dawn boarding took place in international waters around 150 kilometres (90 miles) off the coast of Gaza. Footage from on the flotilla’s lead vessel, the MV Mavi Marmara, and video released by the IDF, showed armed Israeli commandos boarding the ship from helicopters and fighting with activists. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the activists attacked the commandos with batons, knives and axes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said;

Cquote1.svg They were mobbed. They were clubbed, they were beaten, stabbed. There was even a report of gunfire and our soldiers had to defend themselves, defend their lives or they would have been killed. Cquote2.svg

A spokesman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin accused Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. Israel said troops found weapons aboard the Gaza flotilla which were used against the IDF. The allegations were rejected by both the Free Gaza Movement, IHH and Egypt’s foreign minister, who said the boats had been searched before they left port.

Cquote1.svg The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities Cquote2.svg

—Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Israeli trade and industry minister.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon said he was “shocked by reports of killings and injuries of people on boats carrying supplies for Gaza” and called for “a full investigation to determine exactly how this bloodshed took place” and urged Israel to “urgently provide a full explanation”. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ called for three days of mourning to commemorate what he called the “massacre” of protesters. Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has dubbed the Israeli action as “a crime”.

Turkey’s prime minister describes Israeli raid as ‘state terrorism’ and said Israel violated international laws. Some of the ships were sailing under Turkish flags and media reports indicate that Turkish nationals are among the dead. Turkey demanded an “urgent explanation” from Israel and warned of “irreparable consequences” after the incident. Netanyahu said the raid was self defense. Turkey is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel and is calling on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has called on Israeli authorities to launch a “full inquiry” into the killing. She “reiterates the European Union’s position regarding Gaza – the continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive.” Germany’s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was “deeply concerned” and France said “nothing can justify” the incident. Sweden, Austria, Greece and Spain have said it was important to “quickly establish” what happened, and have summoned the Israeli ambassadors.

Gaza flotilla clash demonstration in Belfast.

The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on the Government of Israel to open all crossings for aid to enter Gaza and said Israel should “address the serious concerns about the deterioration in the humanitarian and economic situation and about the effect on a generation of young Palestinians‪.” Russia calls attention to the fact that the Israeli interception of a Gaza-bound international aid flotilla took place in international waters, which it said represents a gross violation of international law.

European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek has urged the international Middle East mediators Russia, the United States, the United Nations and the European Union to persuade Israel to end its blockade of Gaza. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in Europe. In Greece and France there was clashes with police. There were protests in cities around the Ireland, UK and Italy. In the Middle East there were protests in Turkey, Lebanon and Iran.

The White House said that the United States “deeply regrets” the loss of life and injuries and was working to understand the circumstances surrounding this “tragedy”. The Organization of the Islamic Conference, comprising of 57 countries, described the flotilla incident as “a serious escalation and a flagrant violation of the international law and human values.”

The media has not been given access to the politicians, activists and journalists who were in the convoy or information about deaths and injuries. Israeli Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld police say it will deport the roughly 50 of the 671 activists in the flotilla except those who refuse to cooperate. The other activists have been sent to jail in the southern desert town of Beersheba after refusing to identify themselves and will remain in detention.

Irishman Dennis Halliday, a former assistant secretary general of the United Nations and the Northern Irish Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, are aboard the only boat left in the convoy, the Irish MV Rachel Corrie vessel, named after Rachel Corrie. The vessel is now on the way to the Gaza Strip. The Irish Prime Minister Mr Cowen said he believed Israel’s blockade of humanitarian assistance to Gaza was illegal under international law.



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Dozens dead after bus accident in Cameroon

Filed under: Africa,Archived,Disasters and accidents,Transport — admin @ 5:00 am

Dozens dead after bus accident in Cameroon

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Monday, May 31, 2010

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At least thirty people are dead in Cameroon after a bus rolled over, reports say. The accident happened on Saturday near the city of Bafia, 135 kilometres or so north of the capital Yaounde.

The accident happened when the bus lost control, rolled down a hill into a ditch, and broke in half. Officials say the death toll may increase.

Traffic police official Fifen Idrissou told the Agence France-Presse news service: “At the scene we’ve identified around 30 bodies but the death toll could be much greater given that some of the injured evacuated before we arrived reportedly died. The bus lost control […] 200 metres further on the bus hit a ditch. It rolled over several times,” he said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how many people were aboard the bus when it crashed.



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Australian rules football: Maffra go a game clear ahead of Traralgon clash

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Australian rules football: Maffra go a game clear ahead of Traralgon clash

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Monday, May 31, 2010

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May 29, 2010
Leongatha 10-8 (68)
Maffra 13-14 (92)
Recreation Reserve
Leongatha, Victoria
Australia

Maffra defeated Leongatha by six goals to take the outright top spot on the Gippsland Football League ladder, ahead of their round eight top of the table Gippsland Football League clash against Traralgon. Traralgon had a bye in round seven.

Playing at the Leongatha Recreation Reserve, the hosts and last year’s semi-finalists never led Maffra, the 2009 premiers. Maffra led by seven points at the end of the first quarter, three points at half time, and nine points at the end of the third quarter.

Goals to Kal Killoran, who’s back from interleague, David Adams, Heyden Burgiel, Nicholas Horsford, Samual Bullen, Sam Bedggood, Joshua Stubbe, Daniel Stubbe (2) and Gary Jones (4) sealed the win for Maffra.

Hayden Browne, Clinton Johnston, Matthew Willcocks (2), Tom Marriott (2), Sam Sperling (2) and Dwayne Holt (2) were the goal kickers for Leongatha.

The Gippsland Football League is an Australian rules football league covering the Gippsland region of the Australian state of Victoria. It is officially known as the Gippsland League.



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Scotland’s Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dario Franchitti.
Image: Manningmbd.

Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti won his second Indianapolis 500 in four years today after leading 155 laps, which is the fourth most in the 99-year history of the race. Franchitti, aged 37, also won a rain-shortened race in 2007, when the race was stopped after 166 laps due to the inclement weather and he was declared the winner.

The conditions at this race were far different, with the National Weather Service reporting temperatures of 88° F (31° C) at the track at race time. This temperature made the race the second hottest to the 1932 race, which reached 92° F.

After a failed attempt to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2008, Franchitti returned to the IndyCar series to race for Chip Ganassi Racing. With this victory, owner Chip Ganassi became the first team owner in racing history to have a driver win both the Daytona 500 of the Sprint Cup and the Indianapolis 500.

“The milk tastes just as good the second time around here,” said Franchitti, referring to the ceremonial winner’s milk drink following the race. I just needed to know what the other guys were doing with fuel. There was a gap behind them and a lot of confusion. This means so much after coming back when I went away for a year in 2008 and to come back win a championship and win the Indianapolis 500,” he added in an interview in the winner’s circle.

Franchitti won the race on less than a tenth of a gallon of fuel, after he and his team decided to not pit during the final laps of the race. The race ended on a caution after a massive crash between drivers Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay, when Conway’s car got caught onto Hunter-Reay’s left outside wheel and was sent airborne. Conway’s car then hit the track’s retaining wall and landed on its frontside. Medics took Conway out of the car, and he was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

Finishing behind Franchitti in second place was British driver Dan Wheldon of Partner Racing. This was Wheldon’s second straight second place finish. In third place was Marco Andretti, who started in sixteenth position.

Results

Danica Partick, who finished in 5thplace.

Position Last First Car Number
1 Franchitti Dario 10
2 Wheldon Dan 4
3 Andretti Marco 22
4 Lloyd Alex 19
5 Dixon Scott 9
6 Patrick Danica 7
7 Wilson Justin 26
8 Power Will 12
9 Castroneves Helio 3
10 Tagliani Alex 77

See external links for a full list of results.

Sources

  • Bruce Martin “Running on fumes, Franchitti hangs on to win second Indianapolis 500” – Sports Illustrated, 30 May 2010
  • “Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500” – ESPN, 30 May 2010
  • Andrew Astleford “Dario Franchitti outlasts field, wins 2nd Indy 500” – Indinapolis Star, 30 May 2010
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External links

Race results at CBS Sports

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

6.4 magnitude earthquake rocks Andaman Islands

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, May 31, 2010

Location map of the earthquake.
Image: United States Geological Survey.

A 6.4 moment magnitude earthquake has hit near the Andaman Islands, Bay of the Bengal, India, on Tuesday at 1:21:48 AM local time (Monday 19:51:48 UTC), USGS has reported.

The earthquake had a depth of 127.7 kilometers (79.4 miles). The epicenter was located 120 kilometers southeast of Port Blair, Andaman Islands; 350 kilometers north of Mohean, Nicobar Islands; 795 kilometers southwest of Bangkok, Thailand and 2580 kilometers southeast of New Delhi, India.

No casualties or damage have been reported. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii said there was a “very small possibility of a local tsunami near the centre” but no possibility of a destructive, widespread tsunami.



Sources

  • “Magnitude 6.4 – ANDAMAN ISLANDS, INDIA REGION” – USGS, May 31, 2010
  • “Strong but deep earthquake strikes east of India’s Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal” – WireUpdate, May 31, 2010
  • “6.4 quake hits off India’s Andamans” – Montreal Gazette, May 31, 2010
  • “Strong quake hits Andaman Islands: seismologists” – AFP, May 31, 2010
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This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

19 activists killed by Israeli commandos aboard aid convoy bound for Gaza

Filed under: Israel/Palestine Conflict — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, May 31, 2010

Freedom Flotilla banner.
Image: Freegazaorg – Flickr.

Over 19 Free Gaza Movement activists died when Israeli Defense Force commandos boarded vessels in international waters attempting to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza. Reports say over 19 people are dead and over 30 were injured, including a captain. There is a radio and satellite blackout from the ships, which are now under Israeli control.

Over 700 humanitarian activists from the Free Gaza Movement were aboard the vessels, including former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday, nobel laureate Mairéad Maguire and several European members of parliament and MPs from Germany, Belgium, Algeria and Israel. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that the organizers of the Gaza aid flotilla have connections to international terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Al-Qaida. The so called ‘Gaza Freedom Flotilla’ of six vessels carried 10,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for the Gaza Strip, and includes hundreds of electric-powered wheelchairs, prefabricated homes and water purifiers.

The Israeli military had declared it would not allow the ships to reach Gaza and said the activists were a “provocation intended to delegitimise Israel”. The Israelis Navy had been transmitting messages throughout the night ordering them to turn back, and that the Gaza region was a protected military zone. The pre-dawn boarding took place in international waters around 150km (90 miles) off the coast of Gaza. Footage from the flotilla’s lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship from helicopters flying overhead.

According to the Israel Defense Forces, the activists were killed after they attacked the Israeli commandos boarding the vessel. Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister A spokesman for the flotilla, Greta Berlin accuses Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at “unarmed civilians”. Israel Defense Forces Radio said “the soldiers responded when live bullets were fired on them and one of the soldiers’ weapons was stolen” and “after confronting those on board carrying sharp objects”.

Cquote1.svg The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities Cquote2.svg

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer Israeli trade and industry minister.

Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, the Israeli trade and industry minister issued words of regret. “The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities,”. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ called for three days of mourning to commemorate Palestinian President for what he called the “slaughter” of protesters. Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader in Gaza, has dubbed the Israeli action as “barbaric”.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry condemned the raid on the ship and called it unacceptable and demanded an “urgent explanation” from Israel and warned of “irreparable consequences” after the incident. Some of the ships were sailing under Turkish flags and media reports indicate that Turkish nationals are among the dead. He summoned the Israeli ambassador to lodge a protest and said Israel violated international laws and will suffer consequences. Turkey is withdrawing its ambassador to Israel and is calling on the U.N. Security Council to convene in an emergency session about Israel.

The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, has called on Israeli authorities to launch a “full inquiry” into the killing. She “reiterates the European Union‘s position regarding Gaza – the continued policy of closure is unacceptable and politically counterproductive.” Germany‘s Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was “deeply concerned about the events last night in the waters off Gaza… these are disconcerting initial reports.” France said “nothing can justify” the incident. Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said it was important to “quickly establish” what happened on the boats and has summoned the Israeli ambassador to get more information. Authorities in Spain and Greece have also summoned the Israeli ambassadors for information. Greek government officials announced that they would withdraw from planned joint military exercises with Israel in protest. The Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheál Martin said he has summoned the Israeli ambassador to Ireland Dr Zion Evrony. He said the ambassador “is currently endeavouring to establish the full facts as they emerge”. The British Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on the Government of Israel to open all crossings for aid to enter Gaza and said Israel should “address the serious concerns about the deterioration in the humanitarian and economic situation and about the effect on a generation of young Palestinians‪.”

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Sources

  • “Israel intercepts Gaza flotilla, says Hamas” – BBC News Online, May 31, 2010
  • “Reports: Israeli ships attack aid flotilla” – AP, May 31, 2010
  • “Israeli forces storm Gaza aid ship” – BBC News Online, May 31, 2010
  • Yaakov Katz “Gaza flotilla: 2 dead, dozens injured in navy boarding” – The Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2010
  • “Gaza aid flotilla attacked, 10 killed” – PressTV, May 31, 2010
  • Anshel Pfeffer, Avi Issacharoff, the Associated Pres, Reuters “Report: At least 10 activists killed as Israel Navy opens fire on Gaza aid flotilla” – haaretz, May 31, 2010
  • “Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet” – Aljazeera, May 31, 2010
  • Yaakov Katz “IDF: Soldiers were met by well-planned lynch” – The Jerusalem Post, May 31, 2010
  • “EU demands inquiry after Israeli raid on ships, Turkey outraged” – Deutsche Welle, May 31, 2010
  • Jpost.com staff “Abbas slams ‘slaughter’ at sea” – JPOST, May 31, 2010
  • Michael jansen “Flotilla of blockade-busting boats heads towards Gaza” – Irish Times, May 31, 2010
  • “Turkey withdraws ambassador to Israel over deaths” – AP, May 31, 2010
  • Irish times reporters “Martin concerned over convoy clashes” – Irish Times, May 31, 2010
  • British Foreign Secretary “British Foreign Secretary statement on Gaza Flotilla” – British Goverment, May 31, 2010
  • Barak Ravid “Barak: Organizers of Gaza flotilla to blame for deadly clashes” – haaretz, May 31, 2010
This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Scottish Dario Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 5:00 am

Monday, May 31, 2010

Dario Franchitti.
Image: Manningmbd.

Scottish IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti won his second Indianapolis 500 in four years today after leading 155 laps, which is the fourth most in the 99-year history of the race. Franchitti, aged 37, also won a rain-shortened race in 2007, when the race was stopped after 166 laps due to the inclement weather and he was declared the winner.

The conditions at this race were far different, with the National Weather Service reporting temperatures of 88° F (31° C) at the track at race time. This temperature made the race the second hottest to the 1932 race, which reached 92° F.

After a failed attempt to race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup series in 2008, Franchitti returned to the IndyCar series to race for Chip Ganassi Racing. With this victory, owner Chip Ganassi became the first team owner in racing history to have a driver win both the Daytona 500 of the Sprint Cup and the Indianapolis 500.

“The milk tastes just as good the second time around here,” said Franchitti, referring to the ceremonial winner’s milk drink following the race. I just needed to know what the other guys were doing with fuel. There was a gap behind them and a lot of confusion. This means so much after coming back when I went away for a year in 2008 and to come back win a championship and win the Indianapolis 500,” he added in an interview in the winner’s circle.

Franchitti won the race on less than a tenth of a gallon of fuel, after he and his team decided to not pit during the final laps of the race. The race ended on a caution after a massive crash between drivers Mike Conway and Ryan Hunter-Reay, when Conway’s car got caught onto Hunter-Reay’s left outside wheel and was sent airborne. Conway’s car then hit the track’s retaining wall and landed on its frontside. Medics took Conway out of the car, and he was taken to the hospital with a leg injury.

Finishing behind Franchitti in second place was British driver Dan Wheldon of Partner Racing. This was Wheldon’s second straight second place finish. In third place was Marco Andretti, who started in sixteenth position.

Results

Danica Partick, who finished in 5thplace.

Position Last First Car Number
1 Franchitti Dario 10
2 Wheldon Dan 4
3 Andretti Marco 22
4 Lloyd Alex 19
5 Dixon Scott 9
6 Patrick Danica 7
7 Wilson Justin 26
8 Power Will 12
9 Castroneves Helio 3
10 Tagliani Alex 77

See external links for a full list of results.

Sources

  • Bruce Martin “Running on fumes, Franchitti hangs on to win second Indianapolis 500” – Sports Illustrated, 30 May 2010
  • “Franchitti wins Indianapolis 500” – ESPN, 30 May 2010
  • Andrew Astleford “Dario Franchitti outlasts field, wins 2nd Indy 500” – Indinapolis Star, 30 May 2010
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External links

Race results at CBS Sports

This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

May 30, 2010

Israel declines appeals to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

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Israel declines appeals to sign Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

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Sunday, May 30, 2010

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 2009
Image: Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson.

On Friday, the 189 Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) agreed to a final resolution calling for steps toward the banning of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) in the Middle East. The resolution directs United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to organize a conference of all the Middle East states.

The resolution singles out Israel, calling on “all states in the Middle East that have not yet done so to accede to the treaty as non-nuclear weapon states so as to achieve its universality at an early date.” In an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, Israel said the resolution, “is deeply flawed and hypocritical. It ignores the realities of the Middle East and the real threats facing the region and the entire world.” The statement went on to state, “[the resolution] singles out Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy and the only country threatened with annihilation. Yet the terrorist regime in Iran, which is racing to develop nuclear weapons and which openly threatens to wipe Israel off the map, is not even mentioned in the resolution.”

An Arab-backed proposal for a WMD-Free zone in the Middle East, supported in 1995 by the NPT Conference, was never acted upon.

As a non-signatory state, Israel is not bound by any resolutions of the NPT.



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