Briefs, February 24, 2013
Leaking radioactive waste 'not a risk'
SEATTLE - Six underground tanks at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in the US state of Washington are leaking radioactive waste, but there is no immediate risk to public health, Governor Jay Inslee said. Inslee said he was told last wee of one leaking tank at the decommissioned nuclear weapons plant by outgoing Energy Secretary Steven Chu - but was told by Chu on Friday radioactive waste was seeping out of six tanks in total. Inslee said Chu told him his department initially missed the other five leaking tanks because staff there did not adequately analyse the data it had. Reuters
Militia 'kills 50' in attack on Darfur town
KHARTOUM - An Arab militia firing heavy machine guns killed more than 50 people in Sudan's Darfur region, residents said, continuing unrest that has caused the largest displacement of people in years. "They burned 30 houses, killing 53 people," said one resident of El Sireaf town, to which most of the 100,000 people displaced or severely affected by the earlier tribal fighting had fled. Witnesses said the attackers wore uniforms and belonged to a militia of the Rezeigat tribe, which has been fighting rival Arabs since early January in the Jebel Amir gold mining area. AFP
Obama asks top court to repeal marriage law
WASHINGTON - The Barack Obama administration took another step towards institutionalising gay marriage, formally asking the US Supreme Court to strike down a 1996 law defining marriage exclusively as a union between a man and a woman. According to a legal brief filed on Friday, the Defence of Marriage Act "violates the fundamental constitutional guarantee of equal protection" before the law stipulated by the US constitution. AFP
Radio licence pulled over polio 'conspiracy'
KANO - Nigeria has suspended the broadcasting licence of a radio station that repeated conspiracy theories about polio vaccines days before deadly attacks on polio clinics. Gunmen attacked two polio clinics in the northern city of Kano on February 8, killing 10 people, after Wazobia FM broadcast a story reviving claims the vaccines are part of a Western plot to harm Muslims. AFP
French and Spanish Basques launch party
PAMPLONA - Basques from Spain and France formally launched a new pro-independence party, Sortu, born from the ashes of Batasuna, which was outlawed for links to armed separatists ETA. They chose former Batasuna member Hasier Arraiz Barbadillo, 39, as party leader and as secretary general Arnaldo Otegi, who is in jail for trying to resurrect Batasuna after it was banned in 2003. AFP