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NASA to astronauts: Rain delays likely for return

cape canaveral

rain could delay morning shuttle landing

NASA warned Discovery's astronauts Sunday to expect rain delays as they wrapped up their two-week mission. The space shuttle and its crew of seven were scheduled to land this morning. For its first opportunity at 8:48 a.m., Discovery was to zoom over British Columbia and Alberta, swing down over Montana and the Dakotas, and pass over Sioux City, Iowa and the middle of Missouri. It would come down over the eastern border of Arkansas and Tennessee, then over northeastern Mississippi and Alabama, southwestern Georgia and almost directly over Jacksonville. A second chance would occur 1½ hours later.

cyprus

Hard-liner wins leadership role

Hard-line challenger Dervis Eroglu won a key Turkish Cypriot leadership election, vowing to continue peace talks amid fears his victory could grind reunification negotiations with the Greek Cypriots to a halt and scuttle Turkey's bid for European Union membership. Eroglu won with 50.38 percent of the vote, to leftist incumbent Mehmet Ali Talat's 42.85, according to results posted on the Turkish Cypriot High Electoral Board's Web site. Candidates needed 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff.

cuba

Cigar legend Robaina is buried

Hundreds of friends and relatives bid farewell to the godfather of Cuban tobacco, who was buried Sunday in a casket adorned with a half-smoked cigar bearing his name and a yellow tobacco flower. Alejandro Robaina, a 91-year-old legend who was the only Cuban to have a cigar brand named after him, died Saturday from cancer after doctors discovered inoperable tumors on his lungs and kidney, his grandson, Hirochi Robaina, said.

puerto rico

Earthquake rattles two islands

No damage or injuries were reported in what the U.S. Geological Survey recorded as a magnitude-5.1 temblor in the Mona Passage separating the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The epicenter was roughly 37 miles south-southeast of the Dominican city of Higuey in the easternmost province of La Altagracia.

swaziland

Prize-winner goes above and beyond

When Thuli Makama set out to help struggling communities, she envisioned mediating agreements allowing people to collect firewood from wildlife parks. Instead, she ended up fighting to save lives. Makama, head of the Swazi environment group Yonge Nawe, has been investigating allegations of private park rangers killing suspected poachers in sub-Saharan Africa's last absolute monarchy. Today, she was named one of the winners of the U.S.-based Goldman Environmental Prize, the most prestigious international award for environmental activists.

thailand

Armed troops guard 'Wall Street'

Troops armed with assault rifles moved into Bangkok's central business district this morning to stop thousands of anti-government protesters threatening to march down the capital's "Wall Street." The government earlier declared Silom Road, a thoroughfare studded with bank headquarters and office buildings, off-limits to the protesters who have camped in the capital's main shopping district nearby for weeks.

Times wires

NASA to astronauts: Rain delays likely for return 04/18/10 [Last modified: Sunday, April 18, 2010 10:51pm]
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