Wikinews Shorts: April 23, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Monday, April 23, 2007.

Classes resume at Virginia Tech

Students gathering on April 17, 2007

Classes resumed today at Virginia Tech in Virginia, United States, for the first time since the April 16, 2007 mass shooting.

At 7:10 a.m. EDT, students gathered for a moment of silence, to mark the first of the shootings last week. Similarly, at 9:45 a.m. another moment of silence is planned to mark the second shooting. After the silence, a bell will toll 32 times, once for each victim and 32 white balloons will be released.

The Roanoke Times reported that the campus seemed tranquil and that most students were wearing the school colors, orange and maroon.

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Bomb threat forces landing of Greek airliner

An Olympic Airlines Boeing 737

An Olympic Airlines Boeing 737 jet was forced to make an emergency landing following a bomb threat. The plane, which was carrying 136 passengers, including 11 Greek Members of the European Parliament, landed safely in Munich, Germany, instead of its intended destination of Strasbourg, France.

"I hope this is just a bad joke," Greek Foreign Ministry spokesperson George Koumoutsakos said on Greek state television. "It will soon be over, I hope."


Russian radio journalists told to report 'positive news'

Radio towers in Balashiha, Russia

The new Kremlin-allied managers of the radio network Russian News Service have told journalists that half of their reporting must be 'positive stories', opposition leaders should not be talked about on air and the United States is to be represented as an enemy; the network's staff say.

Russian News Service is the largest independent radio network with an estimated seven million listeners. The country's three television networks are all state-controlled, while radio stations and small newspapers tend to be independent.

Reports on deaths, violence and poverty are all to be considered as not positive, an editor at the network told the New York Times. A former news editor, Mikhail G. Baklanov told the NYT that owners had previously not interfered in editorial matters.

The press freedom watchdog group Reporters Without Borders ranks Russia 147th out of 168 countries listed in its annual press freedom index, citing the murders of prominent journalists, the control of media outlets by business groups close to the Kremlin and the passing of restrictive laws.


Obasanjo's pick declared winner in disputed Nigerian polls

Location of Nigeria

Umaru Yar'Adua, the ruling party candidate picked by President Obasanjo has been declared the winner by a large margin in Saturday's Nigerian presidential polls.

Opposition candidates Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar rejected the result and said they would take the dispute to the courts. Election monitors have said the elections were marred by violence, fraud and chaos.

The election commission said Yar'Adua polled 24.6 million votes, compared to 6 million for Buhari and 2.6 million for Abubakar.

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Denmark welcomes new princess

Postage stamp commemorating the wedding of Mary and Frederik

Denmark welcomed a new princess, born Saturday to Crown Princess Mary and her husband Crown Prince Frederik. The couple left the national hospital today. Mary addressed the throngs of press: "She slept well... She has been very good and kind to her mother... We have not decided on a name yet but we are considering a few."

The yet-to-be named princess is third in line to the Danish throne behind her father, Frederik, and her brother, Prince Christian. She is the fourth grandchild of Queen Margrethe II, the reigning monarch.

The mother was born Mary Donaldson in Australia and married Frederik in May of 2004.