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September 29, 2008

China's first spacewalk

According to an AP article in the Daily Vidette, China's first spacewalk team returned safely to Earth on Sunday.

The group of three landed safely in Siziwang Banner in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

According to the BBC, the men conducted experiments said to be crucial to China's space program while in orbit.

"It was a glorious mission, full of challenges with a successful end," Mission leader and fighter pilot Zhai Zhigang told the BBC.

The Chinese space program is looking to launch a new orbiting vehicle and set up a space lab by 2011, the Daily Vidette said.

September 28, 2008

RNC protester files lawsuit

Attorneys for Mick Kelly, one of the leaders of the war protests during the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, is filing a federal suit alleging that he was shot by a projectile fired by police during an RNC demonstration, according to the Star Tribune.

The suit will also allege that he was falsely arrested in the corner of 12th Street and Cedar Avenue shortly after being shot.

Kelly sustained a large bruise on his stomach but no permanent injury.

According to an AP article in the Pioneer Press, Kelly will seek $250,000 in damages from the city of St. Paul and the surrounding areas.

"We are confident that all the facts will support our belief that the police acted appropriately in this case," St. Paul City Attorney John Choi the Pioneer Press said.

Bailout plan agreed on

Congressional leaders and the White House agreed on a $700 billion rescue of the financial industry on Sunday, according to the Denver Post.

This will be the biggest bailout in U.S. history if the vote passes the House on Monday.

"Without this rescue plan, the costs to the American economy could be disastrous," Bush said in a written statement released by the White House given to the Post.

According to the New York Times, the decision faced much resistance from Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

Bush thought Congressional leaders did a good job and said it was "a very good bill."

The bill will disburse the $700 billion in parts, starting with $250 billion.

"This is something that all of us will swallow hard and go forward with," said Republican presidential nominee John McCain, according to the Denver Post.

September 20, 2008

Bomb destroys hotel in Pakistan

A truck bomb exploded in the entrance of a Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 150, according to the New York Times.

The New York times stated that the blast was one of the worst acts of terrorism in Pakistan’s history.

The six story hotel was a few hundred yards from the prime minister’s house, where all the leaders of government were eating.

The BBC stated that the explosion destroyed the entire front section of the hotel.

The explosion is suspected to be a suicide bombing.

President Asif Ali Zardari said he will "continue to fight terrorism and extremism".

McCain-Palin come to Blaine Airport

John McCain and Sarah Palin spoke at the Anoka County-Blaine Airport on Friday, Sept. 19 according to the Pioneer Press.

McCain announced that he intends to be the first Republican presidential candidate to win Minnesota since 1972.

"It's going to be a hard-fought contest here, but with your help, we're going to win," Palin said.

According to the Pi Press, people started to leave the hangar during the speech because they could not hear.

The Star Tribune reported that Obama held a rally at the same time at Peavy Plaza in downtown Minneapolis where 3,500 people attended.

More than 10,000 people showed up to hear McCain and Palin speak.

According to the Pi Press, McCain spent half of his speech criticizing Obama for contributions received.

The Star Tribune also reported that when Palin talked about the need to diversify the nation's energy supply, the crowd started chanting, "Drill, Baby, Drill!"

September 14, 2008

Ferry sinks off Turkey's Coast

A ferry leaving Bandirma for Istanbul sank in the Sea of Marmara on Sunday, killing at least one person, according to the New York Times.

There were approximately 100 people on board along with 73 trucks and 2 taxis.

“It completely sank in about half an hour,? Bulent Gun, a guide captain at the Bandirma Public Transportation Agency, told a private CNN Turk network, according to the New York Times.

The ferry sank right off the Bandirma harbor.

The coast guard and fishing boats pulled 72 people out of the sea, according to Yahoo News.

"The search and rescue mission is going on, but the dark of the night is making it difficult," Bandirma Gov. Selahattin Hatipoglu told private NTV television, according to Yahoo News.

The ferry is thought to have sank due to faulty loading or balance issues because of rough seas.

Rescuers search Ike's path

Thousands of volunteers are searching for victims of Hurricane Ike on the Texas and Louisiana Coast according to an AP story in the Denver Post.

As of Sunday, Sept. 14, authorities have rescued around 2,000 people.

Rescuers are now going door to door to try and find life.

"If we save ONE it's worth it. It doesn't matter to us. We help everybody we come across," Capt. Perry Manuel of the Port Arthur Fire Department told the AP.

According to the New York Times, the death toll has risen to eight.

They also reported more than 140,000 Texans refused orders to evacuate and are now are stranded, waiting for emergency teams.

President Bush will be traveling to Texas on Tuesday to assess the storm's aftermath.

“This is a tough storm, and it’s one that is going to require time for people to recover,? Bush told the New York Times.

Officials are telling residents to not come back until their local officials have declared it safe.

I-35W to reopen this week

With the opening of the new I-35W bridge this week, congestion spots created by the detours should ease, reported the Star Tribune.

They reported that some people might be wary of how fast it was built.

"If I could be the first to cross it, I would," Todd Kramascz, a traffic supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, told the Star Tribune. "There's been plenty of traffic on it already with the construction crews. ... It's probably the safest bridge in the country right now."

The Pioneer Press said the cost of the bridge was around $234 million and is equip with sensors that give engineers feedback on its performance. The new technology will help MnDOT keep a close eye on the bridge.

"It's safe to say this is one of the more- or most-instrumented bridges in the nation," said Jon Chiglo, project manager for MnDOT told the Pioneer Press.

The original projected completion date by Flatiron-Manson was Dec. 24.