A compilation of brief news reports for Thursday, March 29, 2007 .
=== Flaming debris nearly hits LAN airliner ===
A LAN Airlines Airbus A340 was making its approach into Auckland when incandescent objects flew by at super-sonic speeds. Australian and New Zealand media initially reported that it was debris from a Russian satellite breaking up during re-entry. NASA said it was more likely to be meteors.
The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand is set to investigate the incident.
Peter Lewis. "Burning Russian space junk whizzes past Auckland-bound plane" — Australian Broadcasting Corporation, March 29, 2007
"'Flaming debris' nearly hits jet" — BBC News Online, March 29, 2007
=== North Korea asks for food aid ===
According to an official for World Food Programme (WFP), North Korea has admitted that the country faces food shortages and needs help. WFP is appealing to donor countries to step up aid, and to the UN to keep food aid outside of the nuclear debate. Food donations dropped dramatically after North Korea carried out its nuclear test bombing. North Korea's shortage may be approaching 20% of what it needs to feed its people.
"North Korea admits food shortages" — BBC News Online, March 28, 2007
Lindsay Beck. "North Korea desperate for aid amid nuclear woes -UN" — Reuters, March 28, 2007
=== Man killed during hooligans clashes in Athens ===
A 25 year old man was killed during clashes between fans of Olympiacos and Panathinaikos in the suburb of Peania, in east Athens. The victim died at a central hospital from several injuries he suffered. The fight happened prior to a local women volleyball game in Peania. However, witnesses and residents told Alter Channel that the clashes had no relation with the game but were pre-organized by hooligan clubs in the area. The event caused political turbulent in Greece as long as Greek police and the Minister of Public Order have been accused by some media for their failure to prevent fans' clashes.
Athens News Agency. "Bitter Clashes Claim One Life" — Elliniki Radiofonia Tileorasi, March 29, 2007
Associated Press. "1 dead, 5 hurt in violence at Greek women's volleyball game" — International Herald Tribune, March 29, 2007
=== Senate passes spending bill with withdrawal date ===
Despite a veto threat from US President Bush, the US Senate today passed a spending bill that includes a time-table for a US withdrawal from Iraq. Passing 51-47, the legislation echoes that passed recently by the House. It sets a goal of pulling all combat troops out of Iraq by the end of March 2008, without explicitly demanding their removal.
"Wikinews Shorts: March 27, 2007" — Wikinews, March 27, 2007Sources
"Senate backs Iraq withdrawal date" — BBC News Online, March 29
Richard Cowan. "Senate approves '08 goal to bring troops home" — Reuters, March 29, 2007
=== Further escalation of sectarian violence in Iraq ===
A series of bombings in Bagdhad and Khalis in Iraq killed as many as 130 people. The areas targeted were mainly Shia and many victims were women and children in market places. Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki condemned the attacks and called for restraint, urging Iraqis to work with security forces to prevent the violence getting out of control.
Ahmed Rasheed. "Suicide bombers kill 130 in Iraq" — Reuters, March 29, 2007
"Multiple bombs target Iraqi Shia" — BBC News Online, March 29, 2007