December 11, 2006 in Nation/World

Shuttle heat shield appears OK

The Spokesman-Review
 

Space shuttle Discovery’s heat shield looks to be in good health so far, NASA managers said Sunday, although it will be at least two days before engineers can rule out any damage from the program’s first night launch in four years.

As expected, small pieces of foam debris and ice fell off Discovery’s external fuel tank during Saturday’s launch, but they didn’t appear to strike the shuttle, said deputy shuttle program manager John Shannon.

Because Discovery was launched in the dark, NASA technicians weren’t able to capture the same sharp photos as during the last three shuttle launches.

Discovery fired its engines Sunday to raise its altitude to nearly level with the international space station, where it will dock this afternoon.

MIAMI

Lawmaker denies Castro comment

A congresswoman says a video clip showing her calling for Fidel Castro’s assassination is fake, a charge denied Sunday by the film’s director.

Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., appears in the 28-second clip made available on the Internet by the makers of a new British documentary, “638 Ways to Kill Castro.”

In it, she says: “I welcome the opportunity of having anyone assassinate Fidel Castro and any leader who is oppressing the people.” However, the Havana-born lawmaker says the filmmakers spliced clips together to make the sound bite.

The film’s director, Dolan Cannell, stood by the authenticity of the footage.

WEST NEW YORK, N.J.

Archbishop installs married priests

An excommunicated Roman Catholic archbishop continued his defiance of the Vatican on Sunday when he ordained two married men as priests.

In front of a congregation at the Trinity Reformed Church, Raymond A. Grosswirth, of Rochester, N.Y., and Dominic Riccio, of Newark, were installed by Zambian Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo.

The wives of both men helped their husbands with their vestments before each man was anointed.

Milingo has called celibacy “outdated” and noted on Sunday that it was not required of priests until the 12th century. Milingo himself was married in 2001 to a Korean acupuncturist chosen for him by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in a mass wedding performed by Moon’s Unification Church.


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