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March 31, 2012

News briefs: March 31, 2012

News briefs: March 31, 2012 – Wikinews, the free news source

News briefs: March 31, 2012

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Wikinews Audio Briefs
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Saturday, March 31, 2012
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Today on Wikinews: We briefly recap some of the stories appearing on Wikinews this week and from around the world.

Today is Saturday, March 31, 2012. I am Chad Tew and this is Wikinews.

Briefs

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012#New leader of Hong Kong chosen while protestors seek ‘true democracy’ (0:28)

Hong Kong elected a new chief executive this week. Leung Chun-ying (Pronounced:L-er-ng Choon Ying) was choosen as the new leader in a controversial election. Pro-democracy demonstrators rallied before the meeting of the election committee and also attempted to storm the voting center. An organizer of the demonstrations criticized Hong Kong as not being a “true democracy.” And pepper spray was used on the demonstrators when the results were announced.

Pope Benedict visits Cuba urging openness, religious freedom (1:00)

Pope Benedict the Sixteenth visited Cuba this week and urged religious freedom and political change. In response, a leader from the council of ministers said no political reform was necessary. The Pope celebrated Mass in Havana, visited several Cuban cities, and met with former President Fidel Castro.

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012#Central Chile rocked by second earthquake in 24-hours (1:25)

Two earthquakes shook Chile within a twenty-four hour period. A magnitude seven point one earthquake struck Maule (Pronounced Mah-oo-lay), Chile last Sunday. It followed an earlier quake on Saturday.

Web startup Sqoot loses sponsorship after failed advert deemed sexist by social media (1:40)

Web startup Sqoot became embroiled in a P-R crisis. In its advertisement for a Boston hackathon, Sqoot promised women as one of its perks and focused on women who would be serving the attendees beer. Thousands of tweets complaining of sexism were directed at Sqoot on Twitter. The company lost four sponsors within a twenty-four hour period, and it later apologized for what it intended as an invitation for a QUOTE good party UNQUOTE. An article in Techli said the mishap was “the worst startup P-R crisis in recent history.”

Sandra Fluke named candidate for Time’s 100 most influential people / Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn on women in politics (2:26)

Sandra Fluke made Time magazine’s list of candidates for the one hundred most influential people in the world. The public can vote for candidates until April sixth. Fluke also appeared with Chelsea Clinton this week in New York at a forum about women in politics. There Clinton told the audience the United States was tied with Turkmenistan for seventy eighth place in the percentage of women participating in national politics. The panelists urged women to run for political office.

UK student jailed for ‘racist’ Twitter posts about footballer Fabrice Muamba (3:02)

U-K student Liam Stacey was sent to prison for making racist comments about Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter. Stacey’s tweets came after Muamba had collapsed on the pitch. The twenty-one year old first claimed his Twitter account had been hacked, then later admitted inciting racial hatred. Stacey wept as he was handcuffed and led away.

Softball Australia, federal government reaffirm support for indigenous softball / Australian field archers vie for spot at World Championships (3:30)

Australian Labor MP Andrew Leigh reaffirmed support for indigenous softball. He made the speech before two games between the Aussie Spirit and the Japanese women’s national team. Softball is the most popular sport among indigenous women and aboriginal partipication occurs at all levels of the game.

We have more on Austrialian sports at Wikinews, including more about this week’s qualifications by Australian archers for the World Archery Field Championships in August.

Wikinews Shorts: March 26, 2012#Tiger Woods secures first PGA Tour win in 30 months (4:07)

Tiger Woods won his first P-G-A Tour in thirty months. It was his seventh victory in the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Some are calling this a comeback for the pro golfer.

Former world darts champion Jocky Wilson dies at age 62 (4:20)

Former world darts champion Jocky Wilson died two days after his sixty-second birthday from a lung ailment. The Scottish darts player won his title in nineteen eighty-two and again seven years later. At the U-K Open Qualifier, around two hundred current competitors held their applause for him for a minute’s time.

US lottery jackpot tops $500 million, sets world record (4:48)

And the United States lottery Mega Millions set a world record when the jackpot surpassed a half a billion dollars after no winner was announced earlier in the week. To win, all five numbers, as well as the Mega Ball number, must match. There had been eighteen drawings without a winner since the last jackpot in January. Winners were selected Friday but none of them have been identified at this time.

Outro (5:30)

And those are the headlines for this week.

(MUSIC)

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European Commission clears British Airways owner IAG to buy bmi from Lufthansa

European Commission clears British Airways owner IAG to buy bmi from Lufthansa

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Aviation

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The European Commission (EC) has approved yesterday a takeover of loss-making UK airline bmi from Lufthansa by International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways (BA). IAG will have to make concessions after Virgin Atlantic told the EC the deal would be anti-competitive.

A bmi Boeing 737 at Edinburgh Airport. Rival Virgin had claimed the sale would give BA excessive dominance in Scotland.

The deal is set to cost IAG, who also own Iberia, £172.5 million. That value could fall as budget subsidiary bmibaby may be retained by Lufthansa or sold elsewhere, and IAG are reported to be primarily interested in the main bmi business. A regional subsidiary also exists.

IAG intends to use acquired slots at the busy Heathrow Airport, which serves London, to expand their own routes into Asia. The EC required IAG to surrender a number of flight slots at the airport. The slots surrendered or made available for lease are for use to destinations in Scotland, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. The EC also insisted that combined BA/bmi routing be made available for competitors to buy transfer seats upon.

Lufthansa intended to shut down bmi had the bid failed. The transaction is presently scheduled for completion April 20.

IAG boss Willie Walsh called the sale “great news for Britain” with results that are “good for UK business and UK consumers.” Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson had previously said the move would give BA excessive dominance on Scottish flights. More Heathrow slots earmarked for Scotland have been given up than any other destination.

Ryanair took the opportunity to claim only their own takeover bid for Aer Lingus has been a major EC casualty. “Today’s rubber-stamping of BA’s purchase of bmi shows yet again that the EC has one rule for Europe’s flag-carriers, but different rules for Ryanair”, said Ryanair chief Michael O’Leary.



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March 30, 2012

US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

US Senator Rand Paul blocks synthetic marijuana legislation

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul is the junior senator from Kentucky. He took office for the first time in 2011.
Image: United States Senate.

Rep. Charles Dent, R-PA, introduces legislation (HR 1254) to ban the ingredients found in synthetic marijuana Dec. 7, 2011, on the House floor. The House passed the legislation Dec. 8, 2011.
Video: C-SPAN.

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-VA, speaks in opposition to the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 (HR 1254) by arguing that it is excessive in scope, imposes limits on researchers, and bypasses the existing process of banning substances. The legislation passed the next day, Dec. 8, 2011 by 317–98.
Video: C-SPAN.

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky is the lone holdout preventing a vote on synthetic marijuana legislation in the US Senate through a procedural block that is allowed under the rules. Until Paul lifts his block, the Senate will not be able to act on legislation that has already passed the US House of Representatives last December. Wikinews has investigated the block on the legislation.

Synthetic marijuana can be sold over the counter in some places and it is commonly known by brand names, such as “K2” or “Spice”. Other types of synthetic “designer” drugs, like “bath salts“, belong to a class of substances that are in some cases legal, though they create a health hazard, because they are declared not meant for human consumption.

At issue in the legislation is the amount of chemical substances banned, the criminalization of substances, the authority of the federal versus the state government to makes those decisions, the extent to which the product is a threat or hazard to public health and safety, and the effect such a law would have on the research of these substances. All of these issues were debated in the House. Paul has made an issue of the long prison sentences for marijuana. His critics claim he is going too far by blocking legislation. Paul, a Republican who has libertarian leanings, has argued that the states should have the authority to ban drugs.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, 31 states have a ban on both synthetic cannabinoids and substituted cathinones while 39 states have a ban on synthetic cannabinoids. Rand’s home state of Kentucky bans both. But legislation is not a perfect solution; in Cass County, Michigan, four teenagers between the ages of 13 and 14 had an emergency after using synthetic marijuana, but even though Michigan bans both, police are not sure that the substances are illegal. Chemists have to conduct tests on the products.

Although Paul is framing the issue as a legal one, the medical community has turned its attention to this new phenomenon’s impact on public health and safety. In an article that appeared in the March 2012 issue of Pediatriacs, medical researchers led by Dr. Joanna Cohen analyzed the cases of three teens who were hospitalized and treated as emergencies after an incident of synthetic marijuana use. One 16-year-old girl lost her motor skills and was unresponsive yet she had an exceptionally high heart rate and abnormal blood pressure. An 18-year-old boy was extremely sweaty, had a high heart rate and was agitated. And a 16-year-old boy had a speech dysfunction, as well as symptoms of agitation and confusion. The doctors who wrote the study say people are using this product because they believe it can give them a high similar to marijuana, however, the new drug can bring on both psychological symptoms, like psychosis and paranoia, and physical ones, such as convulsions.

One out of every nine high school students has reported use of synthetic marijuana, according to Monitoring the Future released in December 2011. The annual survey can be used to spot new trends in substance use among youth and the report included synthetic marijuana for the first time in 2011.

Poison centers noticed a sharp increase in calls reporting incidents due to synthetic marijuana. According to the American Association of Poison Control Centers, in 2010 centers nationwide took 2,906 calls for synthetic marijuana cases, but by 2011, they took 6,959 calls. The problem is noticeable to local health officials, like in Syracuse, New York, which is Senator Chuck Schumer’s state, where 120 cases were reported and one health professional called it “a significant public health concern.” New York has a ban on substituted cathinones but not synthetic canabanoids, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Although the US Drug Enforcement Agency placed five substances that fall under synthetic marijuana into Schedule I on March 1, 2011, its emergency powers only last one and a half years and its ban has not stopped other substances from being used instead. Schedule I is a running list of banned chemicals.

Cquote1.svg … let us move forward with a vote Cquote2.svg

—Sen. Chuck Schumer

Three of Paul’s Senate senior colleagues say Paul should drop his block. Senators Chuck Grassley, Chuck Schumer, and Amy Klobuchar are sponsoring bipartisan legislation that aims to ban synthetic marijuana as a serious health threat. The legislation is bipartisan as Grassley is a Republican , while both Schumer and Klobuchar are Democrats. Senator Schumer, in an editorial for the New York Daily News, advocated tackling synthetic marijuana at the national level rather than at the state. Schumer’s argument is that states have tried to ban the ingredients commonly found these products but the manufacturers have the flexibility to alter the ingredients to bypass the law. Schumer said the federal government needs a proactive rather than a reactive stance against drugs. “All we need is one senator, Rand Paul of Kentucky, to release his block on this legislation,” wrote Schumer. “We’re urging him to do the right thing, and let us move forward with a vote.”

Before the Senate took up the issue, similar legislation had already passed in the House. The House voted 317–98 in favor of the Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 on December 8, 2011. Pennsylvania Congressperson Charles Dent sponsored the legislation that would add ingredients found in synthetic marijuana to Schedule I. Dent’s legislation included chemicals that are not even found in the United States at this time, but he argues that synthetic marijuana is too great of a public health threat to dismiss.

Standing in opposition to the legislation, Virginia Congressperson Bobby Scott and several fellow Democrats argued Dent’s legislation was bypassing a process for the banning of drugs that was already in place and established. Scott also argued some of the substances banned by the legislation were not even present in the United States but so far only in Europe. His colleagues argued researchers would lose the ability to conduct research freely on these substances and, as Scott noted, the legislation was seeking to ban substances but without any research to back it up.

Grassley’s legislation is named for David Rozga, an Iowan who committed suicide after using synthetic marijuana. In his speech, before the Senate, Grassley said Rozga’s situation inspired him to put forward the legislation.

For some families, the issue has also become an emotional one, as they have lost a loved one. Karen Dobner, a mother from Aurora, Illinois, is blaming Senator Paul for any deaths that may still occur because he is holding up a legislative solution to a problem that she says killed her own son. When her son Max was in college, he tried a synthetic marijuana product and had a panic attack. Dobner believes the car crash that killed her son would not have happened had he not been experiencing the symptoms of the designer drug. Now Dobner keeps calling Paul’s office begging him to stop his hold.

Senator Paul’s office was contacted by both phone and email about this report but it did not respond.



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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney for president

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney for president

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Official portrait of Senator Marco Rubio.
Image: US Senate.

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida endorsed former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney for president during the Wednesday night broadcast of the Fox News program Hannity. As justification for his decision, Rubio argued that Romney will be the Republican Party presidential nominee and offers “a stark contrast to …[President Barack Obama’s record.”

Rubio, who is Cuban American, took office in 2011 after defeating former Florida governor Charlie Crist. He often receives mention as a potential running mate for the still-undecided 2012 Republican Party presidential nominee.

The Associated Press estimates that Romney currently leads his opponents for the nomination, Senator Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia, with 568 of the 1,144 delegates necessary to win. 1,258 delegates remain in play.

Gingrich and Santorum are continuing their presidential runs in the hope of forcing a brokered convention to deny Romney the nomination. Rubio warned of such a scenario in the Hannity interview, commenting that it would “be a recipe for disaster” and would help re-elect the Democrat, Obama.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush offered a similar justification in his endorsement of Romney earlier this month, calling on the party to “unite behind Governor Romney”.

Other potential vice-presidential nominees such as New Jersey governor Chris Christie and Virginia governor Bob McDonnell have already thrown their support to Romney.

Rubio claims to have not spoken with Romney about the vice-presidential nomination, and has previously denied any interest in it.



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Sandra Fluke named candidate for Time\’s 100 most influential people

Sandra Fluke named candidate for Time’s 100 most influential people

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Women’s rights
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Women’s rights advocate and Georgetown University law student Sandra Fluke has been named as a candidate for Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world. The list is released annually as a special edition of Time magazine, titled Time 100.

Sandra Fluke reading her prepared testimony
Video: Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Democratic Party (2012).

Time announced the candidates as part of a ballot process which began Thursday, and solicited votes from the public via the Internet. Visitors to its website were requested to select “the leaders, artists, innovators, icons and heroes that they think are the most influential people in the world.” The winner of the poll as selected by visitors to the Time website will be featured in the Time 100 issue, and the magazine’s editors pick those individuals showcased on the actual complete list of 100.

Cquote1.svg I would do this again, because these issues are that important to me. Cquote2.svg

—Sandra Fluke

In its entry for Fluke, Time characterized her as a “law student and political activist”. She gave testimony to the US Congress on February 23 before the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee on a hearing about women’s health and contraception.

When contacted by Time, Fluke commented that though she has faced attacks in the media, she did not regret her actions: “I would do this again, because these issues are that important to me.”

In addition to Sandra Fluke, other influential women named as candidates for the Time 100 list include Queen Elizabeth II; comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres; musicians Lady Gaga, Adele, Jessica Simpson and Lana Del Rey; Portlandia creator and star Carrie Brownstein; and actresses Kristen Wiig and Melissa McCarthy of the film Bridesmaids.

Online voting for the poll winner closes April 6; Time will release the full list of Time 100 on April 17.



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Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming

Report indicates continued severe weather problems still looming

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Environment
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A 586-page report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released Wednesday indicated governments should prepare for continued weather-related catastrophes. The report noted highly populated and very poor areas are at highest risk, and stressed no country or continent is safe from these ongoing threats. The panel consists of Nobel Prize-winners, whose work in climatology indicates more intense tropical cyclones.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was created by the United Nations in 1988.
Image: Wilfried Huss / Anonymous.

The report placed blame regarding recent disasters on a combination of climate change caused by humans, population changes and poverty. The panel was founded in 1988 by the United Nations.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates recent severe weather conditions are costing upwards of US$80 billion per year. The report focused heavily on issues pertaining to coastal areas of the United States, specifically noting damage in those areas could increase 20 percent by 2030.

The authors of the report stated some portions of India may become uninhabitable for floods and other problems.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change pointed out other cities at lesser risk, such as: Miami, Shanghai, Bangkok, China’s Guangzhou, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, Myanmar’s Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon), and India’s Kolkata (formerly known as Calcutta). Inhabitants of small island nations may have to leave their homes because of elevated sea levels and major storms. A total of 220 authors worked on the report.



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March 29, 2012

Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn on women in politics

Filed under: United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, Christine Quinn on women in politics

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

United States
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…More articles here
Location of United States

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To write, edit, start or view other articles on United States, see the United States Portal

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Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, and Speaker of the New York City Council Christine Quinn were among the guests who discussed the role of women in politics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City yesterday evening. The forum was co-hosted by Glamour magazine.

Sandra Fluke
Sandra Fluke
Image: U.S. Congressional Oversight Committee, Democratic Party (2012).
Chelsea Clinton
Chelsea Clinton
Image: Kyle Cassidy (2008).
Christine Quinn
Christine Quinn
Image: Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2010).
Sandra Fluke, Chelsea Clinton, and Christine Quinn discussed women in politics at the 92nd Street Y in New York City.

Clinton led the panel; Fluke and Quinn were joined by additional panelists including the communications chief to former President George W. Bush, Nicolle Wallace; Abby Huntsman Livingston, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate and past governor of Utah and United States Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman; the President of EMILY’s List, Stephanie Schriock; and news anchor Amy Holmes.

Cquote1.svg I want women to see this as an empowering moment. Cquote2.svg

—Sandra Fluke

Fluke remarked upon the slew of media reactions to her February 23 U.S. Congressional testimony about women’s health and contraception, “One of the things I was really concerned about when … verbal attacks began was what kind of message this was going to send to young women… I was worried they would think, ‘I should sit down and shut up, because if I speak out, this is what happens’ … I want women to see this as an empowering moment.”

Wallace commented that women should be inspired to work in government due to a motivation of public service, “If you were asked, ‘Will you serve?’ you’d say, ‘Of course!’… Part of the problem is that our politics are so sick — there’s very little young women see in our news about the essence of what the office once was, which is, public service.” She noted the potential impact of women voters on the upcoming 2012 U.S. presidential election, “Women don’t vote in a bloc, but they are the largest percentage of independent voters”.

Cquote1.svg Until my mother ran for president, I wasn’t fully cognizant of how few women run for office and how few women hold office Cquote2.svg

—Chelsea Clinton

Clinton pointed out that the United States is joined by the country of Turkmenistan for 78th place in a ranking of the proportion of female members of the federal government. She noted, “Until my mother ran for president, I wasn’t fully cognizant of how few women run for office and how few women hold office”.

Quinn informed the panel that when she initially decided to attempt to become Speaker of the New York City Council, critics told her why she would fail, “Because I was from the west side of Manhattan, cause I was too liberal, because I was a woman, because I was a lesbian, all things I knew when I woke up that morning, you know what I’m saying.” She asserted that politics in New York need not be tied to a particular politician’s sex, and stated, “the sky is the limit in New York.”

Schriock emphasized there are indeed women placed in federal elections in the U.S., “They’re running for office right now in 2012. We have a historic number of women running for the United States Senate”. She posed the question of how to ensure these candidates succeed in their elections.

Wallace admitted that she authored novels It’s Classified and Eighteen Acres as a cathartic form of expressing herself after viewing the pressures Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, and Michelle Obama experienced in the media during the 2008 campaign cycle. “I was so scarred by 2008 I made up an imaginary world”.



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Pope Benedict visits Cuba urging openness, religious freedom

Pope Benedict visits Cuba urging openness, religious freedom

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Thursday, March 29, 2012

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Pope Benedict XVI arrived in Cuba on Monday beginning a three day trip in which the leader of the Catholic church met with Cuban leaders and publicly spoke on the need for religious freedom. Pope Benedict spoke before a large audience yesterday in the Plaza de la Revolución in Havana. Benedict called for change in Cuba and the rest of the world.

Pope Benedict XVI
Image: Chancellery of the President of the Republic of Poland. (2010)

Cquote1.svg Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity. Cquote2.svg

—Pope Benedict XVI

“Cuba and the world need change, but this will occur only if each one is in a position to seek the truth and chooses the way of love, sowing reconciliation and fraternity,” he said.

Benedict’s arrival in Cuba comes 14 years after the first papal visit by Pope John Paul II. The late pope addressed the nation in 1998 and said that Cuba should “open itself up to the world, and may the world open itself up to Cuba.” Benedict’s speech in Havana focused on the rise of religious freedom in Cuba since the 1990s – when the country dropped official atheism – as well as the need for more religious freedom in the country.

“It is with joy that in Cuba there have been steps so that the church can carry out its mission. … The right to freedom of religion, as an individual and a community, manifests the unity of a human being, citizen and believer at the same time,” he said.

While Benedict kept the speech mostly apolitical, during the trip he made comments that could be interpreted as criticism of the communist country.

“There are those who wrongly interpret this search for the truth, leading them to irrationality and fanaticism; they close themselves up in ‘their truth’ and try to impose it on others,” Benedict said.

Also during the trip, the pope prayed for greater freedom for Cubans at the statue of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre in Santiago. The pope also said Cuba’s political system “no longer corresponds to reality.”

Cquote1.svg In Cuba, there will not be political reform. Cquote2.svg

Marino Murillo

In response, Marino Murillo, vice president of the island’s council of ministers, said Cuba is sustainable and will not change. “In Cuba, there will not be political reform,” Murillo said.

According to groups on the island, 60 individuals were detained or put on house arrest during Pope Benedict’s televised Mass. Amnesty International also reported that Cuban human rights organizations, such as the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, were unable to communicate via phones or mobile-phones starting Monday.

Cquote1.svg … some have had their houses surrounded to prevent them (from) denouncing abuses during Pope Benedict’s tour. Cquote2.svg

—Amnesty International

“The clampdown has seen an increase in arrests, activists’ phones have been disconnected, and some have had their houses surrounded to prevent them (from) denouncing abuses during Pope Benedict’s tour,” Amnesty International said.

In addition to visiting various cities in Cuba and celebrating Mass in Havana, Benedict also met with former Cuban President Fidel Castro yesterday. According to a Vatican spokesman, Castro asked for a “modest and simple” meeting with the pontiff. The two spoke for 30 minutes in which the former president – who stepped down in 2006 due to illness – asked the pope about the evolution of the Catholic church over the years and what life is like as a pope.

Castro spoke of the pope in a positive light: “…a man whose contact with children and humble members of society has, invariably, raised feelings of affection.”

Pope Benedict left Cuba Wednesday evening.



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March 28, 2012

US lottery jackpot tops $500 million, sets world record

US lottery jackpot tops $500 million, sets world record

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mega Millions logo.
Image: Mega Millions.

Mega Millions, a multi-state lottery in the United States, produced no winner on Tuesday night’s drawing which had a jackpot of US$363 million, sending Friday’s drawing to an all time world record high of $500 million.

Players must match all 5 numbers and the Mega Ball in order to win the jackpot. Only 47 tickets with a $250,000 payout were sold, which matched at least five numbers, but not the Mega Ball. Over 2.5 million tickets matched only the Mega Ball for a cash prize of two dollars. The numbers drawn were 9, 19, 34, 44 & 51. The Mega Ball was 24.

The previous U.S. lottery jackpot record was $390 million which was set by Mega Millions in 2007. Two individuals won the jackpot from Georgia and New Jersey. In January 2011, the jackpot rose to $380 million the second largest ever, producing two winners, one in Idaho and the other in Washington. In 2006 Powerball reached $365 million with one winner in Nebraska.

After all taxes are paid on the prize money, Tuesday’s Mega Millions jackpot would have been worth just over $180 million. The lottery’s last jackpot winner was on January 24 when a College Park, Georgia resident won $72 million. Since then there have been eighteen drawings which produced no jackpot winner.

The next drawing occurs on Friday at 11:00pm (EDT).



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New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder in critical condition

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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New Zealand cricketer Jesse Ryder was admitted to hospital and is in coma after an attack outside a bar in Christchurch. He has suffered several injuries, including a fractured skull, and is in a critically severe condition.

Eyewitness reports claim he was confronted and repeatedly kicked and punched. New Zealand Prime Minister John Key describes the attack as unprovoked and thinks there must be something behind it. He also said that the attack seemed severely violent.

New Zealand police said in a statement: “[We] are investigating an incident at a bar in Merivale in the early hours of this morning. Police can confirm the incident did involve Jesse Ryder and that he is currently in Christchurch hospital.”

Ryder had been due to leave for India to play Twenty20 cricket in the Indian Premier League within a matter of days.

Former England cricket captain, Michael Vaughan said in a tweet: “Devastating news regarding Jesse Ryder… Just hope he can pull through… Thoughts are with him and his family…” West Indian batsman Chris Gayle also commented, saying: “Will have Jesse in my prayer […] Pray for Jesse. Let’s hope he gets better soon”.

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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.
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