News for the unnewsed

By Morgan Haigler

Shoe thrower handed three-year sentence

Muntadhar al-Zaidi, the Iraqi journalist who threw his shoes at former President George W. Bush, was sentenced by an Iraqi court to three years in prison for assaulting a foreign leader. Dhia al-Saadi, the head lawyer of al-Zaidi’s defence team, promised to appeal his client’s sentence. He said the verdict “is harsh and is not in harmony with the law,” according to a March 12 CBC article.

Al-Zaidi has been in police custody since the infamous shoe throwing incident occurred on Dec. 14 and had faced a maximum sentence of 15 years.

Pro-life plans second coming

Campus Pro-Life released a statement Monday announcing that they will return to campus March 25 and 26.

The controversial Genocide Awareness Project display compares abortion to the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide using graphic images. It led to six students being charged with trespassing.

The six students will be in court early November.

Madoff pleads guilty to $50 billion fraud scheme

United States financier Bernard Madoff pleaded guilty March 12 to all 11 charges pertaining to financial fraud worth $50 billion. The 70-year-old Madoff, who headed Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities, ran a Ponzi scheme in which early investors were paid off with the money of new clients.

The scheme, Madoff admitted, began in the early 1990s and defrauded thousands of investors, many of which lost their life savings as a result. Madoff is set to be sentenced in June and faces a maximum sentence of 150 years.

Obama ends ban on stem cell research funding

U.S. President Barack Obama made a monumental reversal in U.S. policy March 9 when he issued an executive order that removed a congressional ban on federal funding for stem cell research.

The move overturns the policy of the George W. Bush administration, which blocked federal funding on human embryonic stem cell lines created after August 2001.

The decision is being praised by scientists and other advocates of stem cell research who believe that funding for research could lead to a number of medical break-throughs.

However, the decision to overturn the congressional ban has been met with considerable opposition by a number of religious groups.

Helicopter crash off the coast of Newfoundland claims 17

On the morning of March 12, a helicopter carrying 18 people crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 87 kilometres off the coast of Newfoundland after it reported technical problems.

The S-92 Sikorsky helicopter was transporting workers from St. John’s to oil platforms in the White Rose and Hibernia oil fields.

Despite the efforts of an air and sea rescue operation launched by the Canadian Coast Guard, only one person was found alive at the scene of the crash.