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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

India launches space rocket


NEW DELHI (AP) — A space department official says an Indian-made rocket has been successfully launched into space carrying three satellites.

S. Satish says the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle had a smooth liftoff and deployed the satellites in orbit around 820 kilometers above the Earth.

Scientists and engineers at India's launch pad in southern Andhra Pradesh state cheered Wednesday as the rocket lifted off. Minutes later, the rocket deployed the satellites as scheduled. The largest satellite will help map the country's natural resources.

Egypt protest toll revealed

CAIRO (AP) — At least 846 Egyptians died in the nearly three-week-long popular uprising that toppled long-serving President Hosni Mubarak, electrifying

the region, according to a government fact-finding mission.

In its report, released Tuesday, the panel of judges described police forces shooting protesters in the head and chest with live ammunition and presented a death toll more than twice that of previous official estimates.

“The fatal shots were due to firing bullets at the head and the chest,” the report read. Earlier, official estimates put out by a Mubarak associate had put the toll from the days of demonstrations at 365.

Burkina Faso travel banned

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The United States on Tuesday warned its citizens not to travel to the restive west African country of Burkina Faso, saying the situation there ''remains tense and unpredictable.

'' The State Department urged US citizens to defer travel plans ''due to increasing security concerns relating to incidents of violence and lawlessness in numerous cities throughout the country.

'' US citizens already in Burkina Faso ''are encouraged to maintain good situational and security awareness,'' it said. Soldiers — decried as mutinous by the new army chief — took to the streets of Ouagadougou and at least three other cities last week.

NoKor gifts for the elite

SEOUL (AFP) — A long convoy of lorries believed to be carrying gifts for North Korea's elite was seen entering the communist state on the eve of a major holiday, according to a South Korean Internet newspaper.

The Daily NK, staffed by anti-Pyongyang activists, said Tuesday it had received video footage of more than 200 trucks crossing the Yalu River nose-to-tail from China on April 14. The North celebrated the anniversary of the birth of its founder Kim Il-Sung on April 15.

It often marks the occasion by presenting party and military elites with gifts such as televisions, watches and home appliances to foster loyalty to current leader Kim Jong-Il, son of the founder.

Such a massive convoy of vehicles crossing the International Friendship Bridge is rarely seen on a normal day.

Cleanup after deadly storms

BONNETSVILLE, North Carolina (AP) — Shards of glass from old bottles and furniture smashed by a tornado that tore through town littered the concrete floor of Rhonda Carter's antique store, shattering her plans to open an auction house in nearby Salemburg.

“I just had a feeling something bad was going to happen, and it did,” Carter said of Saturday, when storms raged through Bonnetsville and other parts of North Carolina, killing at least 23 and damaging or destroying more than 800 homes.

“Now I'm starting over.” From remote rural communities to the state's second-largest city, thousands of residents hit by the worst tornado outbreak in nearly 30 years were clearing away rubble and debris.


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