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Female prison guard held hostage
6 May 2006 source: cnn.com

(CNN) -- A male inmate with a homemade weapon is holding a female guard hostage in a dining room at the maximum-security California State Prison in Sacramento, a prison spokesmen said. The incident began at 7:10 a.m. local time (10:10 a.m. ET). "There is no indication at this point that the officer has been harmed," Capt. Fred Schroeder told reporters near the facility. "The game plan is to resolve the situation successfully." The facility's 3,300 other prisoners have bee ...

UN aid chief due to visit Darfur
6 May 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Top UN humanitarian official Jan Egeland has arrived in Sudan to review the situation in the Darfur region. His five-day visit comes amid signs the government may allow a UN peacekeeping force into the war-torn area. On Friday Khartoum and the largest rebel group in Darfur signed a peace deal. Two smaller rebel groups rejected the agreement, after talks in Nigeria. The three-year conflict has killed about 200,000 people and left about two million homeless. 'New willingness' UN Emergency R ...

Episcopalians avert showdown over gay clerics
6 May 2006 source: cnn.com

SAN FRANCISCO, California (AP) -- The Episcopal Diocese of California averted another churchwide showdown over the role of gays in their denomination when delegates rejected three openly gay candidates for bishop Saturday. The diocese chose the Rt. Rev. Mark Handley Andrus of Birmingham, Alabama, on the third ballot to replace the retiring Rev. William Swing. None of the gay candidates received more than a handful of votes. The packed Grace Cathedral erupted with cheering and applause when th ...

N. Korean sex slaves take refuge in U.S.
6 May 2006 source: cnn.com

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Six refugees from North Korea, including four women who say they were victims of sexual slavery or forced marriages, have fled to the United States, a senator said Saturday. The group is the first from North Korea to be given official refugee status since passage of a 2004 law that makes it easier for North Koreans to apply for such status. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, said the six refugees arrived at an undisclosed U.S. location Friday night from a Southeast Asian nation.  ...

Brazil joins world's nuclear club
6 May 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Brazil has joined the select group of countries with the capability of enriching uranium as a means of generating energy. A new centrifuge facility was formally opened on Friday at the Resende nuclear plant in the state of Rio de Janeiro. The Brazilian government says its technology is some of the most advanced in the world. The official opening follows lengthy negotiations with the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the IAEA. Brazil has some of the largest reserves of uranium in the world  ...

Cruise ship in port after blaze
6 May 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

Lifeboats from England and France, and several merchant ships, also attended following the Mayday call. An East Sussex fire service spokeswoman said 18 firefighters stayed on board to cool the blaze area. The cause of the fire is not yet known. A coastguard helicopter also flew to the ship a five-strong offshore paramedic response team, from Sussex Ambulance Service, to carry out medical assessments of those on board. No injuries A spokesman said there were no reported injuries, but the blaz ...

British helicopter down in Iraq, troops in clash
6 May 2006 source: today.reuters.co.uk

By Aref Mohammed and Alaa Habib BASRA, Iraq (Reuters) - A British military helicopter was brought down in the city of Basra on Saturday, killing four people on board, Iraqi officials said, sparking clashes between troops and angry youths throwing petrol bombs. Britain's government said "a number of" British military personnel were killed and said the cause was unclear. Police said a rocket hit the helicopter and firefighters said they found four charred bodies in the aircraft, which hit a hous ...

Fatal Basra crash sparks unrest
6 May 2006 source: bbc.co.uk

According to police in the city, two children were among those killed and a further 19 people were wounded during the disturbances after the helicopter came down. Major Sebastian Muntz, in Basra, admitted a "small number" of live rounds of ammunition had been fired after troops were attacked with petrol bombs and firearms. But he could not confirm claims that people had died in the disturbances. He said the curfew, in force from 2000 to 0600 local time, was doing its job and the situation ne ...

Scientists turn North Dakota in Mars for suit test
6 May 2006 source: cnn.com

BISMARCK, North Dakota (AP) -- Fabio Sau says moving from his native Italy to attend the University of North Dakota was like "coming to another planet" -- and now he's using the state's wildest terrain for a simulated mission to Mars. Sau is the guinea pig for an experimental Mars space suit that he and about 40 other students from five North Dakota schools developed under a $100,000 gr ...

U.S. envoy: Pakistan must try harder on Bin Laden
6 May 2006 source: cnn.com

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- A top U.S. counterterrorism official said Saturday that parts of Pakistan are a "safe haven" for militants and Osama bin Laden was more likely to be hiding there than in Afghanistan. Henry Crumpton, the U.S. ambassador in charge of counterterrorism, lauded Pakistan for arresting "hundreds and hundreds" of al Qaeda figures but said it needed to do more. "Has Pakistan done enough? I think the answer is no. I have conveyed that to them, other U ...

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