A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, December 14, 2008.
The Indian navy has announced that it has captured 23 Somali and Yemeni pirates in the Gulf of Aden who were attacking an Ethiopian ship named the MV Gibe. The Indian INS Mysore, which was escorting merchant ships near the coast of Somalia, hurried to the MV Gibe after it sent out a distress call, saying that they were being fired upon by two boats.
The pirates, when apprehended, attempted to flee, but were caught by the Indian ship. Arms and equipment were seized from the pirates.
- Jeremiah Marquez. “Indian navy captures 23 pirates in Gulf of Aden” — Associated Press, December 13, 2008
- “Indian navy ‘captures 23 pirates'” — BBC News, December 13, 2008
Ajmal Kasab, the gunman who was captured in last month’s Mumbai attacks that killed hundreds of people, has told the police that he originally planned to take hostages and make demands from the media, according to his confession statement.
The seven-page confession states that Kasab and another person, who attacked Mumbai’s main train station, were planning to have a standoff atop a roof, but the plan backfired when no access to a roof was found.
They did manage to kill tens of people inside the train station itself, however, it is still not known whether or not they had hostages.
- “Confession sheds light on Mumbai attacks” — MSNBC, December 13, 2008
- “Mumbai gunman’s chilling confession sheds light” — The Bismarck Tribune, December 13, 2008
A recent fire has hit former Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin’s church in Wasilla, Alaska. Investigators have deemed the fire “suspicious,” and consider arson as a possible cause.
A group of women and children were in the church when the fire broke out, but no one was injured.
“We have no idea what caused it,” said the Rev. Larry Kroon of the nondenominational Wasilla Bible Church.
- Celeste Katz. “Suspicious fire burns Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin church in Wasilla” — Daily News, December 13, 2008
- Monte Plott. “Fire hits Palin’s church in Alaska” — CNN, December 13, 2008
Protest rallies were held in Australian capital cities on Saturday to protest against the Rudd government’s proposed internet filtering scheme. Under the scheme, a so-called “clean feed” would be provided to all Australians with content on a list kept by the Australian Communications and Media Authority blocked. A secondary filter, which may be opted out of will block material deemed inappropriate to children.
Hundreds attended the protests in Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra, Perth and Hobart which were organised by the Digital Liberty Coalition.
- Andrew Ramadge. “Digital Liberty Coalition protests against web filter held across Australia” — news.com.au, December 13, 2008
- Angus Kidman. “IN PICTURES: hundreds protest govt net censorship” — Australian Personal Computer, December 13, 2008
UK Environment Secretary Hilary Benn prompted speculation regarding a possible cabinet split over plans to expand London’s Heathrow airport with comments made in an interview given to the Sunday Times.
Mr Benn warned concerns regarding noise and air-pollution could stall plans to build a third runway and expressed doubts regarding suggestions that a technological solution could be found to the problems.
Heathrow is currently in breach of EU rules governing air pollution, although the UK currently has an opt-out from the rules, this runs out in 2015.
Other senior cabinet members, including Commons Leader Harriet Harman and Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Milliband, are also believed to have serious reservations about the expansion of Heathrow.
- Jonathan Oliver and Jon Ungoed-Thomas. “Cabinet split over proposed Heathrow third runway” — The Sunday Times, Sunday 14th December 2008
- inthenews.co.uk. “Hilary Benn ‘doubtful’ on Heathrow expansion” — inthenews.co.uk, Sunday 14th December 2008