June 30, 2005

June 30, 2005

June 30 2005 (Thursday)

* In Belgium, the Parliament Speaker Herman De Croo cancels a lunch with a delegation from the Iranian parliament, led by Speaker Gholam Ali Haddad-Adel, because of the Iranians' insistence on not serving alcoholic drinks, and a meeting with senate president Anne-Marie Lizin because of the men in the delegation refusing to shake hands with her, a non-related woman.
* In Russia, a court in St. Petersburg sentences two men for the 1998 murder of liberal MP Galina Starovoitova. Organizer Yuri Kolchin received 20 years in prison, Vitaly Akishin receives 23.
* Indian police in Delhi have arrested tiger poacher Sansar Chand
* In Lebanon, former Minister of Finance, Fouad Siniora is appointed prime minister.
* The Sudanese government releases jailed Islamist leader Hassan al-Turabi and lifts a ban of his Popular Congress Party. He was detained for plotting a coup
* Somalian gunmen hijack a ship carrying United Nations food aid and demand $500.000 ransom for the crew.
* Spain's parliament votes to legalize same-sex marriages, the third European country to do so after the Netherlands and Belgium, and in the same week as Canada. The bill passed by a margin of 40 votes, with 187 votes in favor, 147 opposed, and four abstentions.
* There are conflicting reports about Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabian ambassador to United States. BBC reports that he has resigned but the Saudi embassy says he is just in a holiday.
* International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno Ocampo states that they have credible evidence of crimes against humanity in Darfur. Sudan refuses to extradite those suspected of war crimes.
* In France, a court in Paris convicts 14 militant separatists from ETA and Breton Revolutionary Army
* In the Philippines, agriculture minister Arthur Yap resigns because of charges of tax evasion
* In India, Gautam Goswami, main suspect of a massive flood relief scam connected to 2005 Indian Ocean earthquake, gives himself up after several weeks and is remanded to judicial custody. He is also under another investigation of misusing public funds meant for social programs.
* Time Magazine says that it will hand over records in compliance with a court order in the investigation of the leak of a covert CIA operative's name. This decision in the matter of Valerie Plame could avoid jail time for one of its reporters, Matthew Cooper.
* The EPA says that a chemical used to make Teflon is "likely" to cause cancer. The compound is used in the creation of cookware and clothing.
* Survivors of the 1979 Iran hostage crisis claim that Iran's president-elect, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was among their captors. The United States is looking into the matter.
* In Scotland, Western Isles Council approves plans to build a large wind farm in North Lewis
* In Brazil, president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva orders an investigation into allegations of corruption at the energy company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA
* In Egypt, Ayman Ismail, co-defendant in the case of forged signatures with Ayman Nour, withdraws his guilty plea, stating that government security agents pressured him to do so.
* In the United States President George W. Bush names U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) member Cynthia A. Glassman as acting chair, replacing William Donaldson, who announced his retirement early this month, effective today.
* In Minnesota, the state legislature fails to come to an agreement on the state budget for the 2006-2007 biennium. At midnight, the government shuts down, leading to cries of derision from state residents and both of the state's largest newspapers, the left-leaning Star Tribune and the right-leaning St. Paul Pioneer Press.

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