Weekly World News Brief
Friday, April 27, 2007
A hospital in Belkinge, Sweden is looking to ban the plastic clog shoes known as Crocs because the shoes apparently create enough static electricity to knock out hospital equipment. The shoes are suspected the suspected cause of three incidents involving a resperator and other similar devices. No injuries were suffered but doctors and administrators are understandably pertrubed. Hospital spokesman Bjorn Lofqvist said that the hospital's experienced similar problems with other shoes not designed for hospital use, but the popularity of the shoes made by the Niwot, Colorado-based company has raised the issue to a new level. "It's been a problem for many years, but now there are so many people that have them," he said before adding that hospital officials were trying to decide between a limited or out right ban of all sandal shoes.
From Russian on Monday came the news that Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin, the first popularly elected President in Russian history, died of congestive heart failure according to the Kremlin. He was buried Wednesday after lying in state at the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour in Moscow. His funeral was the sanctioned by the Russian Orthadox Church since the death of Tsar Alexander III in 1894. Yeltsin served as President of Russian following the collapse of the Soviet Union, from 1991 to 2000 when he was succeeded by Vladimir Putin. After the collapse, Yeltsin instituted a number of reforms to make Russia a more capitalist state, but these ended up backfiring and created wealth more a few and poverty for many. So much so that in the 1996 Presidential election Yeltsin almost lost to his communist apponent. Another controversial aspect of Yeltzin's presidency was his reported alcoholism. Wednesday was declared a national day of mourning in Russia, with Putin saying of his predecessor, “For everything he tried to do and did do for the sake of Russia, for the sake of millions of Russians. And he invariably took upon himself, let it in his heart, all the trials and tribulations of Russia, peoples’ difficulties and problems.”
After a lenghty legal battle, the US Department of Veteran's Affairs and the Circle Sanctuary, Isis Invicta Military Mission in Madison, Wisconsin have reached an agreement to include the Pagan pentical star on the list of 48 approved religious symbols allowed on government headstones. The Circle Sanctuary servicves military personel on a base in Geyersville. "This is a complete capitulation by the administration," said Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which filed suit last year on behalf of Wiccan veterans. For ten years, the VA has been draging their feet on a decision about including the five-pointed star, representing air, water, fire, earth and spirit, with other symbols from Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist faiths among others. Some thought this day would ever happen, not so long as George W. Bush was in office as he said in 1999, "I don't think witchcraft is a religion, and I wish the military would take another look at this and decide against it.” The new policy will go into effect over the next couple of months.
Madame ou Monseigeur President?
France held their presidential elections last Sunday and from a field of 12 the race is between two candidates: Nicolas Sarkozy of the centre right UMP Party and Ségolène Royal, a prominent member of France's Socialist Party. The race to replace current President Jacque Chirac drew 85 per cent of the vote. The highest turnout for any French election in 40 years. There were a number of important issues under consideration in this election from unemployment and immigration to the rejection of the European Union constitution and international relations specifically with the US. A run-off election will be held on May 6th. If elected, Royal will be the first female President in French history.