Tag Archives: Atlantis

Over a Million Flee Pakistan Amid Fighting

Thousands have fled Pakistan today after the government announced they were lifting the curfew in the Swat Valley region in order to allow residents to leave. Fighting between Taliban fighters and the U.S. and Pakistani armies has caused civilian deaths, including 140 deaths last week that occurred during an American air strike. The UN estimates about one millions people have fled in the last two weeks, BBC News.

General Motors has announced they will close 1,100 dealerships in the U.S. Yesterday, Chrysler announced the same intention and will close hundreds of sales outlets. Insiders say the news is worse for GM dealers as Chrysler dealers often sell other brands of cars alongside Chrysler, but GM dealers almost exclusively deal with GM models, NPR.

Armed security forces fired tear gas and shots into the Arabic daily newspaper al-Ayyam’s offices on Wednesday. On Monday, forces attempted to arrest the paper’s editor-in-chief Hisham Basharheel in connection to a death at his home last year when armed men attacked the house and security guards fired back, killing one attacker. However, Amnesty International reports that they believe he is being sought after the paper’s coverage of protests in southern Yemen, Amnesty International.

PBS is considering stripping affiliation of any PBS channel that broadcasts religious programming. PBS voted in 1985 to only allow nonpartisan, nonreligious, and nonsecular programming because the station wants to ensure fairness as it is receives government programming and public donations, Washington Post.

Watch a slideshow of this week’s biggest stories in science, including the Atlantis space shuttle launch and the discovery of roaming black holes, Discovery News.

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50 More Civilians Killed in Sri Lanka War Zone

At least 50 civilians have been killed at a hospital in the conflict zone of Sri Lanka. Intense fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the rebel group Tamil Tigers has caught civilians in the crosshairs, with reports suggesting over 1,000 civilians were killed this past weekend. Foreign journalists are not allowed in the area, but a doctor told news organizations earlier this week that the deaths were the fault of the government. Human Rights Watch, however, says satellite images and eyewitness reports show both sides are responsible, AP.

Protesters in support of the Tamil Tigers marched in Toronto today. The 12,000 peaceful participants were praised and thanked by onlookers for not obstructing the flow of the city, which occurred on Sunday night during a protest, Globe and Mail.

A boat capsized off the coast of Florida today and at least 10 are reported dead. Authorities believe the boat was being used to smuggle illegal immigrants into the U.S. The boat was believed to be carrying people from the Bahamas and Haiti, and women and children were indeed on the boat, CNN.

President Obama announced today that he is blocking the release of photos that show American soldiers abusing detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama is afraid the photos will add to even more anti-American sentiment and would endanger troops, NY Times.

The space shuttle Atlantis has successfully reached the Hubble Telescope. The shuttle will work on repairing and adding upgrades, such as much needed gyroscopes, BBC News.

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Minor Damage on the Atlantis Space Shuttle

The flight director of the space shuttle Atlantis has stated that there was some minor damage sustained to the craft after take-off yesterday. Four tiles have dings in them and tile experts will inspect the damage, but there seems to be little cause for concern. The crew will service the Hubble Space Telescope for the last time, CNN. Also, you can follow astronaut Mike Massimino on Twitter as he tweets from space.

In an exclusive interview with BBC News, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir says all claims that the military has targeted civilians are false. The International Criminal Court has charged al-Bashir with war crimes, but the president said only rebels were targeted in Darfur, rebels who used civilians as human shields, and he would never send armed forces after civilians, BBC News.

Afghan officials are paying victims of last week’s U.S. air strike. The families of civilians killed will be given about $2000 for each person killed and $1000 for those injured. The air strike killed 140 civilians and 25 Taliban rebels, NPR.

Millions of people are going to the polls in India in the fifth and final day of voting. The process began a month ago and authorities have worked dilligetly to make sure more terrorist attacks like the November 2008 Mumbai attacks don’t occur again, Sky News.


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