Wikinews Shorts: June 5, 2007

A compilation of brief news reports for Tuesday, June 5, 2007.

Moderate earthquake shakes central Greece


A 5.3-magnitude earthquake struck near Patras and its surrounding areas in central Greece on Tuesday afternoon, just before 3 p.m. local time (1200 GMT). There were no reports of injuries or damage.

"The strong earthquake was measured at 5.3 with the epicenter on the edge of Trichonida lake, some 110 kilometres [70 miles] west of Athens," an Athens Geodynamic Institute official said.


Flemish Minister-President will not call Armenian massacre 'genocide'

Yves Leterme.
Image: Kristof Persoons.

Minister-President of Flanders Yves Leterme in an interview with the Turkish newspaper Zaman showed a hesitation to call the Armenian Genocide a genocide.

"Before a politician can judge if something is a genocide, the international institutions must speak out about it. ...As a politician it is not wise to speak about a genocide until experts have judged it. I don't stand alone with my view and I have nothing to add to this," Leterme said.

The matter of the so-called Armenian Genocide lies very sensitive with some Belgian voters of Turkish descent. The situation reminds of the Dutch elections, when Wouter Bos from the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) refused to speak of an "Armenian genocide". The polls project that Leterme's party CD&V is to become the biggest political party of Flanders in the upcoming federal elections in Belgium next Sunday.

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Mudslide buries Valley of Geysers

A satellite view of the Kronotsky volcano.

Russia's Valley of Geysers, Eurasia's only geyser field and the second largest concentration of geysers in the world, was largely destroyed by a mudslide on Sunday.

Millions of cubic meters of mud and rocks fell into the 6-kilometre-long basin, wiping out about two-thirds of the valley, which contains around 90 geysers and many hot springs. Located in the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Kronotsky Nature Reserve, the valley wasn't discovered until 1941, and had only opened to foreign tourists in 1991.


Back to the wild for pygmy kangaroos

A Red-Necked Pademelon, which is similar to the Dusky Pademelon.
Image: Gaz.

Indonesia's foresty ministry said Tuesday it will release 17 endangered Dusky Pademelons into the wild in the remote Papua province on New Guinea.

Also known as pygmy kangaroos (similar Red-Necked Pademelon pictured), the animals have been rescued over time from illegal animal traders and from people's homes, where the little kangaroos were kept as pets. The species, Latin name Thylogale brunii, belongs to a family of seven kangaroo-like mammals that are found in forests of Papua, Western New Guinea and Papua New Guinea.