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World's most exclusive club: Russia, US, now China have technology to allow their astronauts to walk in space

Chinese astronaut Zhai Zhigang conducts China's first spacewalk outside the Shenzhou VII spacecraft

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China left its mark in space history Saturday, successfully turbocharging its space program into an orbit that could see a Chinese man walk on the moon before the U.S. has a chance to get back there in 2020.

Ed White backs away from the Gemini spacecraft over the Pacific Ocean northeast of Hawaii

Shenzhou Vll has been successfully orbiting 343 kilometres above Earth every 90 minutes since it blasted off from the Jiuquan launch centre in northwest Gansu province on Thursday night. It was in its 29th orbit when Zhai made his historic walk. China sent its first man into space in 2003. Two more went up in 2005 and the trio this year are on the country's third manned mission.

Astronaut Stephen K. Robinson, STS-114 mission specialist, anchored to a foot restraint on the International Space Station’s Canadarm2

When Zhai stepped out of the capsule, he confirmed China's membership in the world's most exclusive club: only Russia and the United States have the technology to allow their astronauts to walk in space.

Russia: Alexey Leonov, the pioneer (March, 1965)  read more »

"A star you could look up to both on and off the screen": Hollywood legend, philanthropist Paul Newman 1925-2008

legendary screen icon Paul Newman is arguably as well known for his philanthropic efforts as his extensive film career

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Paul Newman, Oscar winner, box office mainstay, an actor's actor, a man's man on the screen and a role model on and off the screen, has succumbed to cancer. He was 83. With his engaging smile, the sardonic twinkle in his piercing blue eyes and his cool, confident air, Paul Newman was a consummate charmer, easily passing the test of superstardom. However, his aversion to the Californian lifestyle was never disguised. He preferred to stay well away from the glitzy milieu when he was not working there and dedicated himself to his charities, businesses, racing cars, family and wife, Joanne Woodward.

American actors Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman lean back to back on each other outdoors, in the early 1960s, a few years after they married  read more »

Historical flight - Swiss ‘Rocketman’ Yves Rossy crosses English Channel with homemade jet wing in 10 minutes

the wings that Rossy straps to his back carry 30 litres of fuel

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TO INFINITY and beyond. But first, Kent. Daredevil Swiss pilot Yves Rossy soared into the record books yesterday by making the first solo flight across the English Channel - using a single, homemade rocket-powered wing strapped to his back. Mr Rossy, nicknamed "Fusionman", navigated the crossing from Calais to Dover in less than 15 minutes before proclaiming it was now possible for all of mankind to "fly a little bit like a bird".

Rossy reached speeds of 125mph during the short flight

Yves Rossy, 49, who calls himself Fusionman - half man, half bird - made the 21-mile, jet-powered flight from Calais, France, to Dover, England, in just less than 15 minutes while traveling at speeds of more than 125 mph, The Daily Telegraph said.

An airline pilot by day, Mr Rossy's attempts to traverse the 22-mile stretch had twice been thwarted by typically overcast British weather conditions. But by yesterday lunchtime, a crisp autumn day allowed the 49-year-old to drop from a light aeroplane 8,000 feet above the French coast and set off into clear blue skies.

route of the record-breaking flight  read more »

Main St wonders "people responsible for this are making half a million a year, why do we have to bail them out?"

Christopher Tocchio, with sons Max and Domenic and wife Nicole behind him, is frustrated by government bailouts

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Melissa Hamlet worries that the stock market's wild swings will mean fewer potential buyers for her home. Restaurant owner Christopher Tocchio fumes that the government isn't holding failing businesses accountable for their reckless decisions. And Mary Vaughan, a recent widow, wonders why government rescues corporate America while she struggles to pay her bills. "I'm paying enough taxes now, and the taxpayers have to bail these big guys out?" she said.

Anger, fear, and shock about the Wall Street meltdown are percolating through conversations along Massachusetts' main streets. A whirlwind week of unprecedented government intervention to prop up the nation's financial system seemed to confirm people's worst fears: The economy is in peril and recovery is far off. Seemingly overnight, nearly everyone felt poorer - homes lost value, 401(k) investments were battered, and jobs, for some, were in jeopardy.

the New York financial district is seen from Brooklyn  read more »

Tony Blair begins Faith and Globalization lecture series at Yale, says religion has potential to harm or heal

Tony Blair goes back to school - as Yale religion professor

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Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair went back to school Friday, launching his new role as a lecturer on religion at top US university Yale. During the first seminar, he said that religious faith inspired some people to do harm but it also had the potential to do great things in the modern world. The "faith and globalization" course is intended to explore religious faith's power to bring the world's people together instead of driving them apart.

"I genuinely believe that the issue to do with faith and globalization is the single-most determining issue of the 21st century", said Mr Blair During the first seminar, "Faith is important because it motivates people...to do harm. But it also has the potential to do good." The course he is co-teaching as Yale's Howland Distinguished Fellow is linked to the work of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which seeks to work for peace between religions in an age of globalization. Blair is also a special envoy of the Mideast Quartet, the group of big powers attempting to coordinate a peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

former British prime minister Tony Blair with student Lita Tandon  read more »

Taking best of international cuisine, Melbourne becomes world's latest destination for inventive, delicious food

At The Press Club, chef George Calombaris brings his classical training to traditional Greek dishes, like this fusion dish of char-grilled octopus, smoked butter kozani saffron makaronadas (a Greek pasta) and edible amaranth flowers

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Melbourne has become the world's latest destination for inventive, delicious cuisine. The term "foodie" is often heard in Melbourne, such a mecca for good eating, you could call it the Southern Hemisphere Paris. Certainly, securing a reservation at chef Shannon Bennett's Vue de monde can be as tough to get as a table for two at one of Joel Robuchon's establishments. Culinary creations by Bennett, 34, a native of Melbourne who looks more like a surfer than a super chef, include what he calls a "virtual gnocchi," a cep puree treated to an in-kitchen chemistry lesson which defines its shape, then served accompanied by sautéed king brown and shimeji mushrooms and zucchini flowers and finished with a tarragon emulsion. Another crowd pleaser is the bouillabaise which is presented at the table in a glass-toped, 1950s-style coffee percolator filled with aromatic shellfish stock. After this concoction is brought to a boil, it is poured into a bowl of tartares of crayfish and king fish cloaked in buffalo mozzarella.

dining at Vue de Monde  read more »

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