Space Shuttle Atlantis set for June 8 launch despite worker strike

Sunday, June 3, 2007

After having its launch delayed three months due to damage caused by hail stones during a storm, Space Shuttle Atlantis has been given the green light by NASA to launch on June 8.

“NASA’s senior managers have signed the Certification of Flight Readiness confirming that Space Shuttle Atlantis, her flight crew and payloads are fit to fly,” said a statement posted on NASA’s website.

Atlantis’s main engines, orbital maneuvering system and forward reaction control system was pressurized this past weekend and the crew’s equipment has been put into stowage.

NASA plans to launch Atlantis despite a vote reached by the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers, IAMAW, a union that is representing 570 workers that work with the shuttle program, but according to a union spokeswoman, the strike is not going to affect the launching of Atlantis.

“The bottom line is, a strike would not affect the next launch or the next one after that,” said IAMAW spokeswoman, Tracy Yates. The union voted down a contract because the workers believed that NASA’s wage offer is “substandard.”

Atlantis will deliver equipment to the International Space Station and to make repairs to it. Commanding Atlantis for its mission will be Rick Sturckow and Lee Archambault will serve as Atlantis’ pilot. Mission Specialists James Reilly, Steven Swanson, John Olivas and Flight Engineer Clayton Anderson round out the crew to deliver the S3/S4 starboard truss segments, batteries and another pair of solar arrays to the space station.

Refinancing Your Loan

Submitted by: Kirsten Hawkins

Refinancing your home or property is a big decision that could drastically affect your financial future, for the good or the bad, depending on how smart you go about the process. Take the time to explore all of the different refinancing options you have available to you. Many loan agents offer you refinancing deals that seem too good to be true, and while most of them seem to have your best interests at heart, do try to keep in mind that they are not paid unless they approve you for a loan–and you take it. Refinancing your mortgage can lower your monthly payments, lower the amount of interest you pay on your loan, or even shorten the term of your mortgage without having to pay a penalty for early mortgage pay off.

Refinancing a mortgage usually involves allowing a loan company to pay off your original home loan in return for you signing a loan contract with them. Most times, the second loan is more beneficial to the mortgagee, especially for that present time.


There are a couple of things you want to consider when trying to decide whether or not to refinance your home loan. First off, a lender usually charges fees on a point system; the points on your mortgage can range anywhere from zero points to four, depending on the credit worthiness of the borrower, and the type of lender you are using. Some lenders may offer a much lower interest rate with a higher number of points, while others may offer a higher interest rate and only zero to one point involved. Points are fees that are equal to one percent of the face value of the loan. A $200,000 loan with three points would cost the borrower $6,000 up front. A lower number of discount points may cause the loan to have a higher interest rate than the loan you are thinking of refinancing, perhaps causing your loan to cost you more in the end.

Of course, when thinking of refinancing, you are going to want to make sure that it will be in your benefit! The penalty costs of paying off your loan or mortgage early, the cost of appraising your home, related attorney costs, settlement fees, and closing costs are all amounts that should be taken into consideration when one is refinancing. As far as your current loan is concerned, these are all costs that, more often than not, have already been taken care of and you could be making things worse for yourself by taking these things on again, especially if your reason for refinancing is a rather tight financial situation.

The mistake not to make is to refinance to save your mortgage, to keep a bank or lender from foreclosing on your property. While sometimes situations like this are inescapable, borrowers who attempt to refinance their properties and homes under conditions such as this often end up essentially paying more than they were, saving their property and possibly harming their credit in the process.

About the Author: Kirsten Hawkins is a real estate expert from Nashville, TN. Visit

for more information on real estate, mortgages, and finding the house of your dream.


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Despite passage of bailout bill, two US states may need loans

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Despite the passage of a 700 billion USD bill by the United States House of Representatives on Friday and the Senate on Wednesday, two U.S. states may need loans totaling over 14 billion dollars.

California and Massachusetts are seeking at least 7 billion dollars each from the federal government as loans. Officials and lawmakers in both states say that the loans would be temporary.

According to Massachusetts’ state treasurer, Timothy P. Cahill, the state was unable to borrow money last week on a short term loan. He also states that the state can afford to pay its bills and debts for the next few weeks, but not beyond that without a short-term loan from the government. Cahill has asked the federal government for a loan similar to the recent one passed by Congress and the Senate.

“That’s all we would ask them to do: Treat us like the investment banks,” said Cahill to the Associated Press.

Officials in California say they need an emergency loan, or they will run out of money by the end of October. California’s governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger said the state is “not out of the woods” and needs a short term loan from the government.

“California and other states may be unable to obtain the necessary level of financing to maintain government operations and may be forced to turn to the federal treasury for short-term financing,” said Schwarzenegger in a letter to the Treasury Department, which is taking the letter under consideration.

On Friday, the U.S. House of Representative voted to pass a revised bailout bill which included raising the FDIC insurance cap to $250,000, a move designed to please progressives. However, the $110 billion in tax breaks, earmarks and what has been called pork barrel spending is not offset by any increases in revenues and has added opposition to the bill from some Representatives in the House. Earmarks added into the bailout bill included $192 million in tax rebates for the Virgin Islands rum industry, $148 million in tax cuts for the wool industry, $100 million tax cuts to the auto racing industry, and $48 million in Hollywood tax incentives, among others.

IMF and EU approve aid for Georgia

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The International Monetary Fund and the European Union approved aid packages to help Georgia recover from its conflict with Russia, which occurred in early August. The IMF approved a US$750 million loan which will allow Georgia to rebuild its currency reserves. The European Union also approved an aid package of 500 million in aid by 2010, which is expected to help internally displaced people (IDPs) and economic recovery in the form of new infrastructure. Only €100 million of the EU aid will be given to Georgia this year.

These loans are aimed to restore confidence in Georgia’s economy and send a signal to international investors that Georgia’s economy is sound. According to the IMF, international investors have been “critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Takatoshi Kato, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chairman of the IMF executive committee, said the loan will “make significant resources available to replenish international reserves and bolster investor confidence, with the aim of sustaining private capital inflows that have been critical to Georgia’s economic growth in recent years.”

Georgia has requested $2 billion in international aid to help it recover from the conflict. So far, the United States has pledged $1 billion in aid. Further assistance and loans to Georgia are expected from other organizations. Kato noted that “…Georgia is expected to receive financial assistance from multilateral and bilateral donors and creditors in support of the reconstruction effort.” It is expected that an international donors’ conference will take place next month to solicit more aid for the country.

Georgia’s government expects that economic growth will be more than cut in half as a result of the conflict. Last year, Georgia’s GDP increased 12.4% and it is predicted by the IMF that growth will be less than 4 percent in the coming year.

Michelin’s tyre mistake sends US Formula One Grand Prix into farce

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Indianapolis Formula One Grand Prix descended into farce when just six cars started the race on Sunday. The problem arose when Michelin discovered that its tires were incapable of more than ten laps at race pace.

The first indication of trouble was when the rear left tire of Ralf Schumacher’s Toyota racecar exploded during practice on Friday. Schumacher’s car collided with the track wall while travelling at 300 km/h (approx. 186 miles/h), leaving him shaken but generally unharmed. However, further investigations by Michelin revealed that another ten tires had suffered problems, with one also failing on track.

All the problems occurred on the rear left tire during the two long 90 degree corners leading onto the main straight. The nine degree banking and grooves cut into the surface of the track compounded problems.

It is believed that Michelin may not have properly accounted for the grooves cut into the Indianapolis track to improve grip for Indy cars after the track was resurfaced. Indy cars have smaller down-force generating wings so need more grip from their tires than Formula One cars.

Bridgestone, the other tire manufacturer currently in Formula One, did not have similar problems. It is possible that their US subsidiary, Firestone, who supplied tires for an Indy car race after the resurfacing, may have sent information back to their Formula One tires department in Japan. The three teams running Bridgestone tires – Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi – were therefore able to compete without any safety concerns.

Under FIA racing regulations, the only course of action was for the Michelin runners to withdraw from the race on safety grounds. Rules prevented alternative tires from being flown from France overnight, although Michelin were unsure whether these tires were also affected by the problem.

Drivers and teams had also suggested building a chicane to slow cars down between the corners, but Ferrari opposed the idea, and ultimately the FIA rejected the idea under regulations.

Actually the FIA rules states that the tyres manufacters should provide two sets of tyres for the race. One normal, optimized for performance, and one optimized for safety, to be used when the normal one set could not be used. In this case the safe set was not present.

The 123,000 fans watching from the stands were unaware of the farce unfolding below them until the parade lap before the race.

The fourteen Michelin runners peeled off into the pit lane rather than take up their starting positions on the grid. However, at least one driver, David Coulthard told his team that he was willing to race on the tires in question, had the decision been left up to him.

Fans jeered and booed as they realised what was happening, and a small number began throwing bottles and cans onto the track.

Rubens Barrichello, in a Ferrari, ran over one bottle of water at high speed which exploded in a spray of droplets.

Fans started stamping in the stands on the finish line straight, causing them to shake.

A British ITV filmcrew spoke to some fans. “I paid $85 for three-day ticket. I travelled nine hours from Baltimore to be here. Indy cars wouldn’t do this. NASCAR wouldn’t do this. I’ll never attend a race again – only watch on TV.”

Other fans had travelled from Mexico and Panama to watch the race, and said they wanted refunds.

A Police Captain also talked to ITV, saying he’d never seen fans as angry as this before. If trouble flared, they could call on 400-500 officers from local and state police, Indianapolis Police Department and the FBI under contingency plans.

The race was eventually won by Michael Schumacher from his Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello. Jordan’s Tiago Monteiro finished third. Despite what was clearly a one-manufacturer race for the win, both Ferrari drivers did indeed race one another hard, with them almost colliding following Schumacher’s exit from the pit lane after his second pitstop, with Barrichello having to take to the infield to avoid spinning off. Following the race, the two drivers did not speak.

Car Loan Broker Jobs

Car Loan Broker Jobs


Shelley Mason

Car loan brokers are extremely helpful when it comes to getting a loan approved through financial lenders. They are more comfortable and time saving for anyone who is searching for a car loan lender. Car loan broker jobs are to make a deal between you and a car loan lender as they have contacts with many local car loan lenders. They submit your information to get you approved the loan before even having any car dealership with them.


Especially if, you can find your brokers online then it will much more convenient and relatively easier for you as many car loans are easily available on the internet which is merged with these brokers. The actual job of loan brokers is that they are involved with many local loan lenders and when you provide them your credit card information along with the other details; they can make contacts with various lenders to find out who can approve your loan. Once a lender is ready to accept the request, the brokers will provide you the contact information of those lenders which have shown that they will approve your request upon completion and submission of the application form. Mostly the people who look out for a car loan brokers are the ones who have poor credit history or having bad credit. If you are amongst the one, who does not want to run behind various lenders for approval of the loan, then car loan broker jobs make it relatively easier for you to get the loan despite having bad credit history through his contacts with various car loan lenders. Those who have well to excellent credit rating usually get all the lenders who are ready to raise their request and accept their loan request. These people usually save their broker money as they pay directly to the lender. It is now proved that car loan brokers save time, money especially for anyone with bad credit. They are so many brokers, which are available online these days. Hence, contacting them is not a problem. Through these loan brokers, you can get your work done easily without many hassles with lenders. It is better if you fill out the application forms of those lenders brought up by the brokers than the needless effort in filling out forms for every lender to get the loan approval. Car loan broker jobs are also susceptible to some disadvantages. It is not necessary that whatever lender they will bring for you will have the satisfactory terms and conditions suitable to your match. You may be able to find the best deal through your own research rather than by contacting a broker. Car loan brokers are also sometimes superfluous as they usually help the ones with fair to excellent credit rating, hence they have to do less hard work in finding out the lenders and they get paid easily. In all, as car loan brokers have a lot of dealing and contacts with the local car financial lenders. It will be quite easier for you to find out the lenders instead on taking time in researching and then getting unwanted rejection for loans. Car loan broker jobs saves time, money and harassment which you probably get while finding the best deal on your own.

There are lots of different roles available in many larger

car loan broker

and other finance broker companies. These can vary from admin positions to the processing of

car loans

and managing accounts.

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Wikinews interviews William Pomerantz, Senior Director of Space Prizes at the X PRIZE Foundation

Regardless of who wins the prize, people all around the world will be able to experience the mission through high-def video-streams.
Saturday, August 28, 2010

Andreas Hornig, Wikinews contributor and team member of Synergy Moon, competitor in the Google Lunar X Prize, managed to interview Senior Director of Space Prizes William Pomerantz of the X PRIZE Foundation about the competitions, goals, and impacts via e-mail for and Wikinews.

By Wikinews,

the free news source

Other stories: Science and technology
  • 22 May 2020: Astronomer tells Wikinews about discovery of closest black hole known so far
  • 30 April 2020: Neuroscientists tell Wikinews about empathy and harm aversion observed in lab rats
  • 26 March 2020: Florida frog skull survey shows spikes, say scientists
  • 12 March 2020: British mathematician Richard K. Guy dies at 103
  • 23 November 2019: Researchers break down deaths due to power plant pollution in the United States

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Previous coverage
  • “Japanese probe snatches first asteroid sample” — Wikinews, November 26, 2005
  • “$20 million prize offered in lunar rover contest” — Wikinews, September 13, 2007

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This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.

This article is part of a page redesign trial on Wikinews. Please leave comments or bug reports on this redesign.This interview originally appeared on, released under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license. Credit for this interview goes to and Andreas -horn- Hornig.

Astronomer tells Wikinews about discovery of closest black hole known so far

Friday, May 22, 2020

A study published in journal Astronomy & Astrophysics last month reported astronomers from the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and elsewhere discovered a black hole in the Telescopium constellation. The study stated the black hole is about 1010 ± 195 light years (310 ± 60 parsec) away from the Solar System, meaning it is the nearest known black hole from the Earth. The nearest previously known black hole — V616 Mon — the study noted was usually estimated at more than 3000 light years away.

The black hole described in the study is located in the HR 6819 stellar system of Telescopium constellation, making it the first system visible to the naked eye to contain a black hole. HR 6819 contains two stars, and they are visible from the Southern Hemisphere. The astronomers started observing the system in 1999. Initially, they thought it was just a binary system, consisting of two stars. However, upon examination, the researchers concluded there was a third unseen object in the system. One of the two stars in the HR 6819 system is close to the black hole and orbits the black hole in just 40.333 ± 0.004 days.

This newly discovered black hole does not have an accretion disk. A black hole forms an accretion disk when a significant amount of matter orbits the black hole, as depicted in the image. Accretion disks often emit electromagnetic radiation. Since this black hole does not have an accretion disk, researchers had to rely on the gravitational effect of the black hole on the nearby star in order to discover it.

Researchers used the binary mass function to conclude the black hole had a mass of at least 4.2 M? (Solar masses; 1 Solar mass = mass of the Sun). Its companion star, which orbits the black hole in about 40 days, is classified as a B3 III star. The outer star is classified as a Be star. Be stars rotate very quickly around their axes. Since the outer star rotates so rapidly, the star is not exactly spherical, but instead oblate, bulged at its equator, forming a gas disk around the equator.

The research suggested HR 6819 was very similar to another system LB-1. The HR 6819 system is estimated to be between 15–75 million years old (myr). The inner star has estimated mass of at least 6.3 ± 0.7 M?. Using the mass and the speed at which the inner star rotates, the researchers concluded the black hole had an estimated mass of 5.0 ± 0.4 M?. Researcher and co-author of the study Thomas Rivinius told Wikinews the inner star and the black hole are closer than the Sun and the Earth (1au; 150 million km; 93 million miles).

The researchers dedicated the paper to Stanislav Štefl, one of the fellow researchers who died in a car accident in 2014 in Santiago, Chile.

Wikinews caught up with Thomas Rivinius to discuss about this discovery.

Madoff prosecutors want assets from wife and children

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The wife and sons of Bernard Madoff are now under pressure from prosecutors to give up US$2.6 million worth of jewelery and $31.5 million in loans. Madoff made the news recently when he pleaded guilty to running a Ponzi scheme worth billions of dollars.

Prosecutors, who stated their intent on Sunday to seize bonds and cash from Madoff, filed another notice on Tuesday listing assets that they intend to seize, among them “various pieces of jewelry owned or held in the name of Ruth Madoff valued at approximately $2,624,340,” and “approximately 35 sets of watches and cufflinks owned by Bernard Madoff,” as well as $31.5 million in loans made to Madoff’s sons.

Bernard Madoff, aged 70, pleaded guilty last Thursday to cheating investors out of as much as $65 billion in the largest ever Ponzi scheme. He was jailed immediately after his plea, and faces a prison sentence of up to 150 years. Neither his wife nor his sons have been accused of any wrongdoing.

Why Switch To E Cigarettes In Melbourne Fl

byAlma Abell

Cigarettes have been enjoyed for hundreds of years, and provide many people with a pleasurable experience that reduces stress. Over the past several decades, however, the negative side effects of cigarette smoking have been brought to light. For this reason, many people are choosing to quit smoking and instead turn to E-cigarettes in Melbourne FL. While they are a new concept, many people have decided to kick their cigarette habit and turn to vapor smoking so they are not putting themselves at risk of health problems in the future. In addition to better health, you can also receive the following three benefits by putting down cigarettes and instead reaching for a nicotine vapor system.

No Second Hand Smoke

While you may enjoy cigarette smoking, many people do not like the smell of second hand smoke that lingers as you exhale. Not only can it cause odor issues, but people who consume second hand smoke are more susceptible to lung cancer and other health issues, as it is more toxic than smoking the cigarette directly. Be considerate of the health and well being of others by choosing to enjoy tobacco via vapor equipment.

More Affordable

Cigarettes are extremely expensive, and with many areas taxing cigarettes heavily, the cost is only expected to increase. You can save money and still get the nicotine fix you need by choosing to use E-cigarettes in Melbourne FL. You can save hundreds of dollars over traditional cigarette smoking, which can means more money to do the things you want.

Smoking Cessation Aid

If you are ready to quit smoking, you should consider switching to E-cigarettes. While quitting cold turkey may work for some, using a vapor system to consume tobacco will allow you to wean yourself off your dependency to tobacco, and eliminate the unhealthy side effects from day one. Take your health seriously by eliminating cigarettes and switching your tobacco habit to a vapor machine.

Don’t remain a prisoner to cigarettes any longer. Contact the experts at the Cigarette Depot today so you can learn more about the benefits of an electronic cigarette. Whether you have been smoking for 1 year or 50, it is possible to make your love of tobacco more affordable and healthier to enjoy.