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Apr 29, 2011

The Economist: Selected New Articles: Babbage | Banyan | Democracy in America | Free Exchange | Clausewitz | Prospero | Auidio | Daily Chart | Online Debate

Babbage looks at the spy in your pocket

Banyan says China is likely to be the first country to grow old before it gets rich

Democracy in America defends liberals who argue against market-based health-care reform

Free exchange wonders if the Federal Reserve is willing to tolerate some inflation

Clausewitz parses the changes in Barack Obama's national-security team

Prospero talks with Mark Rylance, star of the play "Jerusalam"

Audio: We discuss what will happen next week

Daily Chart: Prince William and Catherine Middleton are indicative of a broader trend in British society

Online debate: The house is evenly split on Britain's alternative vote. What do you think?

From The Desk of Nick Nicolaas: Mining Interactive: Tasman Board Approves Expansion of Phase 3 Drilling Program at Norra Karr Heavy Rare Earth Element and Zirconium Project


TSXv - TSM; Frankfurt - T61 (WKN A0Y GN1); Pinksheets – TASXF



Following the encouraging results achieved thus far in the Phase 3 drilling program at Norra Karr, the Board of Directors has approved an extension to the program with an additional 11 holes for a total of 33 drillholes.

  • This additional drilling will be used to better define internal boundaries to mineralization, plus deepen holes that were finished in mineralization during the Phase 1 and 2 programs completed in 2009/2010. The data from the Phase 3 program will contribute to a re-calculation of mineral resources at Norra Karr, with the aim of raising resources from inferred to indicated status, and defining further resources at depth.

Mark Saxon, Tasman Metals President & CEO: "The positive results reported thus far from the Phase 3 drilling program, and the thick intersections of mineralized intrusion we are seeing in drill core have encouraged our technical team to propose a continuation to the drilling program.  A request to local authorities to modify our drilling permit was met positively, and we will therefore continue drilling for approximately 6 weeks.”

Dear Friends,
As stated in this News Release, “The Norra Karr project is characterized by containing the highest proportion of the high value HREO of all advanced projects in the Western World, as evaluated by independent industry analysts at Technology Metals Research LLC (, with HREO as a percentage of TREO exceeding 50%. Of particular note are the high contribution of Y2O3 (yttrium oxide) and Dy2O3 (dysprosium oxide), both metals with strong demand and few potential sources outside of China.

The project keeps on moving along with lightening speed.

So, Stay Tuned - - for the next Chapter in the Tasman Metals Rare Earth Story!!!

Regards from Amsterdam,
Nick L. Nicolaas
Mining Interactive "Ahead of the Pack"
Acronyms used:
REE rare earth elements, lanthanum to lutetium by atomic weight plus yttrium
LREE light rare earth elements, lanthanum to samarium by atomic weight
HREE heavy rare earth elements, europium to lutetium plus yttrium
TREO rare earth elements, calculated as oxides, including lanthanum to
            lutetium plus yttrium
HREO heavy rare earth elements, as per HREE above, calculated as oxides
LREO light rare earth elements, as per LREE above, calculated as oxides
Strategic Metals, Including Rare Earth Elements and their common usage:

MarketWatch | Weekly Roundup: Top Ten Stories April 25 - 29

Weekly Roundup
APRIL 29, 2011

MarketWatch top 10 stories April 25 -29

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks rose Friday and posted gains for the week and the month of April.

For the week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) rose 2.4% and finished April up 4%, its heftiest monthly rise since December.

For the week, S&P 500 Index (SPX) rose 2% and ended April up 2.9%. The Nasdaq Composite Index (COMP) advanced 1.9% for the week and posted a 3.3% rise in April

Also please be sure to watch MarketWatch Week Ahead videos for Asia, Europe and the United States.

Europe's Week Ahead: BNP Paribas, Siemens report

U.S. Week Ahead: Jobs, manufacturing to hit markets

 Asia Week Ahead: Interest rate roulette

Silver rally may be fading

After silver's impressive climb toward $50 an ounce, it would be difficult for anyone to believe the rally in silver is nearing an end, but it just might be. What goes up must come down, and for silver, known for its volatility, the more than 50% price spike for the year to date may be too good to be true. See Commodities Corner on MarketWatch

Ford posts best first-quarter results in 13 years

Ford Motor Co. (F) reported Tuesday its best first-quarter profit since 1998, benefiting from strong demand for both smaller cars and pickups, while expressing confidence in its ability to handle parts shortages following last month's earthquake in Japan. See full earnings coverage of Ford on MarketWatch

Obama releases long-form birth certificate

Dogged by criticism from Donald Trump and others over whether he was born in the United States, President Barack Obama on Wednesday released his long-form birth certificate, the White House said. Obama "believed the distraction over his birth certificate wasn't good for the country. It may have been good politics and good TV, but it was bad for the American people and distracting from the many challenges we face as a country," the White House said in a statement. See full MarketWatch coverage of the president's birth certificate

Exxon Mobil profit tops $10 billion

Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) said its first-quarter profit rose to $10.65 billion or $2.14 a share, from $6.3 billion or $1.33 a share in the year-ago period. Revenue rose to $114 billion from $90.3 billion. Wall Street analysts expected Exxon Mobil to earn $2.04 a share on revenue of $112.6 billion, according to a survey by FactSet Research. "Exxon Mobil's earnings reflect continued leadership in operational performance during a period of strong commodity prices," the company said. British oil major Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDS.A) on Thursday reported a forecast-beating 60% rise in first-quarter profit as crude prices soared and margins improved. Read full coverage of Exxon Mobil results on MarketWatch

IMF sees China GDP overtaking U.S. in 2016

The International Monetary Fund has just dropped a bombshell, and nobody noticed. For the first time, the international organization has set a date for the moment when the "Age of America" will end and the U.S. economy will be overtaken by that of China. And it's a lot closer than you may think. Read Brett Arends commentary on latest IMF report, on MarketWatch

Fed chief keeping rates low

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday used his first-ever press conference to tell an uncertain global market that he's quite comfortable with the current policy stance, and is not contemplating any quick policy moves to combat higher inflation or slower growth. Bernanke disclosed that the Fed plans to freeze the size of its balance sheet once it has completed its $600 billion bond-buying program. This is accomplished by reinvesting maturing mortgage-backed securities and Treasurys. Read MarketWatch coverage of Fed chief's historic press conference

REITs can boost your returns

As single-family housing markets continue to struggle with falling prices and low sales volume, another form of real-estate investment — real-estate investment trusts — has enjoyed quite a comeback. REITs invest in commercial real estate, from apartments to office space, as well as mortgage-backed securities. The companies are legally required to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income to shareholders in the form of dividends — which as of late has been a major attraction for investors looking for yield. Read Amy Hoak's Weekend Investor, on MarketWatch

Analysts turn on BlackBerry maker

Research In Motion Ltd. (RIMM) lost much of its remaining support on Wall Street Friday after the company took down its estimates for the May quarter, leaving some to wonder whether the wireless-device maker can win back support from investors who have been burned by the stock this year. Read more about how analysts are skeptical that BlackBerry maker can regain footing.

U..S. economy slowed down in first quarter

The U.S. economy slowed markedly in the first quarter and inflation accelerated, clear evidence of the double whammy on the economy from higher gasoline prices. In its first estimate for the first three months of the year, the Commerce Department on Thursday said gross domestic product rose at a 1.8% annual rate between January and March, slower than the 3.1% pace in the prior three months. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a slightly weaker 1.7% growth rate. Read full MarketWatch coverage of first-quarter GDP

Learn how to take tax-free trips

How would you like to take a one-month trip all over Asia and Hawaii and write it off on your tax return? One of TaxMama's clients did. Even after having the trip audited, the IRS agreed to allow all the expenses. Do you want to know the secret? Repeat TaxMama's mantra after me: Document, document, document. The simple secret to all tax-deductible expenses is keeping excellent records and documenting your business intentions, business purpose and business-related activities. Read about this tip and more in MarketWatch's TaxWatch

MarketWatch | Personal Finance Daily: Good luck getting a ‘green' home appraised

Personal Finance Daily
APRIL 29, 2011

Friday's Personal Finance Stories

By MarketWatch

Don't miss these top stories:

A reader writes to say that he's buying a house with a lot of "green" features — and paying extra for them — but the appraisal of the home's value came in lower than he expected. Why? Because appraisers aren't able to fully value such homes due to the lack of comparable sales data.

Read Lew Sichelman's column for more on the vexing problem of assigning a dollar value to "green" features, and for tips on what home buyers can do.

Also, don't miss Amy Hoak's Weekend Investor on five real-estate funds you should consider for your investment portfolio, and read Robert Powell's column for a look at how public-sector workers are facing a retirement future not unlike private-sector employees.

Andrea Coombes , Personal Finance editor


Good luck getting a ‘green' home appraised as such

Even if a home has been upgraded with "green" features, it's likely the appraisal won't reflect that.
Read more: Good luck getting a ‘green' home appraised as such.


Public-sector workers: Start saving now

Given the funding crisis facing many public-sector pension plans, workers who are counting on that money for their retirement should take steps now to prepare for a smaller pension check and higher health-care costs.
Read more: Public-sector workers, time to start saving now.


5 real-estate funds to house in your portfolio

As single-family housing markets continue to struggle with falling prices and low sales volume, another form of real-estate investment — real-estate investment trusts — have enjoyed a strong comeback.
Read more: 5 real-estate funds to house in your portfolio.

For many investors, the recession never ended

There's a good reason why so many people believe the country is still in the dumps — because the recession hasn't ended for them.
Read more: For many investors, the recession never ended.

How the weather can soak your profits

Storms, droughts and tornadoes — whether across the country or around the world — reshape politics and business. Investors can benefit by getting insightful weather forecasts about them, writes meteorologist Eric Holthaus.
Read more: How the weather can soak your profits.

The U.S. will be especially youthful in 2020

By the end of this decade, the percentage of U.S. population that is less than 15 years old will be higher than in most Asian countries, including China, as well as in every European country except Ireland. This demographic trend has profound investment implications.
Read more: The U.S. will be especially youthful in 2020.


Want Kate's wedding dress? It'll be in stores soon

Designers are set to rush out their own versions of Kate Middleton's wedding dress — a style that likely will set a bridal trend for years to come.
Read more: Want Kate's wedding dress? It'll be in stores soon.

Royal Wedding Day in pictures

See images of the royal family and rejoicing Britons and Anglophiles from Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace, as well as Munich and beyond as Prince William and Kate Middleton are married.
See photos: Royal Wedding Day.


Avoid the foreign-account penalty

Tax season may be over, but FBAR season is here. That ugly acronym stands for "Foreign Bank Account Report." It refers to an odd but crucial June filing for U.S. taxpayers with one or more "foreign financial" accounts, which can include not only bank accounts but overseas life-insurance policies and nonbank accounts. Nonfilers ignore this form at their peril.
Read more: Avoid the foreign-account penalty.


GDP, spending, house prices

A look at this week's economic data in pictures: The economy slowed in the first quarter, and the housing market is still very weak.
Read more about GDP, spending, house prices.

Consumer spending looks firmer in March

Consumer spending rises 0.6% in March, but upward revisions to the prior two months indicate some strength for the bulwark of the U.S. economy despite high gas prices.
Read more: Consumer spending looks firmer in March.

Consumer sentiment rises in April

U.S. consumers' sentiment shows grudging improvement in April, climbing to a final reading of 69.8 from 67.5 in March, according to the latest Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey.
Read more: Consumer sentiment rises in April.

True unemployment rate could sink Obama

High unemployment killed the re-election bids of three past U.S. presidents. Current forecasts do not bode well for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election run.
Read more: True unemployment rate could sink Obama.

Commentary: Trump trumped by Obama in birther PR

Donald Trump may have won the "birther" public-relations battle, but he lost the war to President Barack Obama.
Read more: Trump trumped by Obama in birther PR.

Commentary: Some pointers for Bernanke's next time

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke did OK in his first press conference, but Al Lewis has some advice for his next one: Smile more, don't sit at the piano, open with a joke.
Read more: Some pointers for Bernanke's next time.

Financial & Forex Info | Reuters - Daily Investor Update: Dow posts best month in 2011 but Microsoft drags


Dow posts best month in 2011 but Microsoft drags
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stocks rose on Friday on strength from Caterpillar and other industrials, lifting the Dow and Nasdaq to their best monthly performance since December. | Full Article

Bernanke says economy needs more time to heal
April 29, 2011 03:43 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economy is not fully recovered from its deep recession, with housing still weighing on growth, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said on Friday in a speech spelling out ways the U.S. central bank has studied lower income communities. | Full Article
Microsoft stock in biggest one-day fall since 2009
April 29, 2011 04:21 PM ET
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp shares fell their most in almost two years on Friday, a day after the software company reported a dip in its Windows operating system sales. | Full Article
Caterpillar profit surges as demand recovers
April 29, 2011 02:47 PM ET
BOSTON (Reuters) - Caterpillar Inc recorded a fivefold profit surge and raised its 2011 profit forecast as customers bought new heavy equipment to replace old machines that aged during the economic downturn. | Full Article
Gasoline prices dent U.S. consumers' buying power
April 29, 2011 02:57 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumers increased spending for a ninth straight month in March as they stretched to cover higher costs for food and gasoline, with inflation posting its biggest year-on-year gain in 10 months. | Full Article
Obama promises help to rebuild tornado-hit South
April 29, 2011 03:38 PM ET
TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (Reuters) - President Barack Obama promised federal aid on Friday to the tornado-ravaged South after he got a close-up look at the "heartbreaking" impact of deadly twisters that killed at least 328 people. | Full Article
Royal newly-weds kiss, cheered by a million fans
April 29, 2011 03:55 PM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William and Kate Middleton married at Westminster Abbey on Friday in a sumptuous show of British pageantry that attracted a huge world audience and breathed new life into the monarchy. | Full Article
Court backs federal embryonic stem cells funds
April 29, 2011 02:53 PM ET
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An appeals court ruled on Friday the Obama administration can continue using federal money to fund human embryonic stem cell research, a possible avenue toward new treatments for many medical conditions. | Full Article
Syrian forces kill 15 in Deraa shooting: medic
April 29, 2011 03:35 PM ET
AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian forces killed 15 people when they fired on thousands of protesters trying to enter the southern city of Deraa, the heart of a six week uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, a medical source said on Friday. | Full Article
Mexico extradites once-powerful drug lord to U.S.
April 29, 2011 03:04 PM ET
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico extradited the once-powerful drug lord Benjamin Arellano Felix to the United States on Friday in a renewed sign of U.S.-Mexican cooperation in the drug fight. | Full Article
Hospitals to get cash boost for better care
Do low vitamin D levels matter during pregnancy?
China jails 14 for peddling tainted milk powder
Are some blood pressure drugs easier to take?
Acupuncture plus glasses may help treat "lazy eye"

NYT: Afternoon Business News: Europe Investigating Banks Over Credit Swaps


Europe Investigating Banks Over Credit Swaps

Regulators said they would investigate the role of the world's largest banks in a part of the derivatives market.

Wall Street Indexes End the Week on the Upside

Corporate earnings have helped propel the broader markets this week to their highest levels since 2008.
Your Money

Making Sure a Plan for Long-Term Care Adds Up

The Class Act, the part of last year's health care overhaul that aims to provide a framework for nationwide long-term care insurance, will need support from employers to ensure its success.
Off the Charts

After Mild Gains, Another Reversal for Real Estate

Recent sales volumes for both homes and commercial real estate were low, and many properties sold were in trouble before the sale.
Wealth Matters

Putting Your Doctor on Retainer

Internists are choosing to go into concierge medicine, focusing on wealthy patients who pay thousands of dollars for personalized attention any place and any time of day or night.

The Washington Post | Post Politics Afetrnoon Edition: Democrats dive into secret money game

The Washington Post
Politics Afternoon Edition


  1. Democrats dive into secret money game

    After taking a beating from outside Republican groups during the 2010 midterm election cycle, Democrats are now gearing up to match the effort in 2012, with one of the most prominent teams officially launching its drive Friday.
    » Read full article
  2. Obama in Alabama: 'Heart-breaking'

    President Obama walked through a tornado-ravaged neighborhood in Tuscaloosa on Friday and promised "maximum federal help" to the survivors of a series of deadly twisters that carved paths of destruction and claimed more than 300 lives in six Southern states.
    » Read full article
  3. Crime Scene: Court reverses stem cell ban ruling

    A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 lifted a preliminary injunction issued last year that banned such funding.
    » Read full article
  4. Fact Checker: GOP stretches on Medicare claim

    GOP lawmakers have dubiously suggested their Medicare plan will give retirees the same kind of plan as members of Congress receive.
    » Read full article
  5. The Fix: A real race in New York, poll indicates

    A few months ago, we wrote that there wasn’t much chance of a Republican civil war over the special election in New York’s 26th district in the Buffalo area. But it turns out there is a potential spoiler who could boost a Democrat into this historically Republican seat.
    » Read full article

CBS Evening News with Kate Couric: Royal couple enters married life on world stage

The CBS Evening News with Katie Couric newsletter

Hi everyone,
It was a glorious day here in London. Prince William was resplendent in red, while the former Kate Middleton wowed spectators with her remarkable poise and classic white wedding dress. The wedding of William and Kate - now the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge - went a long way toward taking the monarchy to modernity. Our team of correspondents, Michelle Miller, Mark Phillips, Elizabeth Palmer and Ben Tracy, will cover every aspect of the royal wedding - from the dress and its maker to the first kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, to the people in the crowd who turned out for a wedding that was "the epitome of Britishness." We also have a team of correspondents covering the devastation in the south, where the death toll from Wednesday's tornadoes now tops 300. Harry Smith will anchor our coverage from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, one of the hardest hit towns. President Obama toured the area today and promised federal help. And I'll have some final thoughts on a week that featured so much joy - and so much tragedy. Katie Couric

Tornado experts dissect disaster for answers Meteorologists are conducting what amounts to a forensic investigation of devastation in South to document size, power of tornadoes

Kate Middleton gets a fairy-tale ending From un-regal roots to her marriage to perhaps the most desired prince of all, Kate Middleton's story is the stuff of fairy tales

UK's Cameron: A joyful moment amid difficult times Katie Couric's conversation with British Prime Minister David Cameron about arming Libyan rebels, austerity measures and Friday's wedding festivities

MarketWatch | Market Pulse: U.S. stocks rise Friday; Dow climbs 4% in April

By Carla Mozee

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) - U.S. stocks rose Friday, and posted gains for the week and the month of April, with a climb in shares of Caterpillar Inc. /quotes/comstock/13*!cat/quotes/nls/cat CAT -0.01% helping to push the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed DJIA +0.37% up 47.23 points, or 0.4%, higher to 12,810.54. For the week, the Dow rose 2.4% and finished April up 4%, its heftiest monthly rise since December. The S&P 500 Index /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x SPX +0.23% closed Friday up 3.1 points, or 0.2%, at 1,363.61, with energy the best performer of the index's 10 industry groups. The Nasdaq Composite Index /quotes/comstock/10y!i:comp COMP +0.04% on Friday edged up 1 point, or 0.04%, to 2,873.54. For the week, S&P 500 Index rose 2% and ended April up 2.9%. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 1.9% for the week, and posted a 3.3% rise in April.

CBS NEWS | Political Hotsheet : America's royal wedding? Luci Johnson in 1966

The CBS News Political Hotsheet newsletter


A look back at the wedding for LBJ's daughter, the most extravagant White House wedding of the television age
Read full story
America's royal wedding? Luci Johnson in 1966

Santorum: Obama doesn't see USA as exceptional John Dickerson: Likely GOP presidential candidate hammers president for not seeing America as better than other countries -- though his evidence raises questions

WikiLeaks suspect Manning cleared to stand trial Army declares 22-year-old private suspected of spilling government secrets mentally competent; Transferred to medium-security facility

Obama visits storm-hit Alabama President Obama today toured areas of Alabama left in ruins after the tornadoes that have left at least 297 dead

Donald Trump avoided Vietnam with deferments Despite suggesting he escaped service solely through high draft number, website finds records saying he got student and medical deferments

CBS NEWS Coverage of Breaking Space News: 4/29 Update: Launch delayed at least 72 hours; quotes and details

CBS NEWS Coverage of Breaking Space News

-- Posted at 12:46 PM EDT, 04/29/11: Hydraulic system glitch grounds shuttle Endeavour
-- Updated at 01:35 PM, 04/29/11: Launch delayed at least 72 hours; quotes and details

CBS News

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--Problems with the shuttle Endeavour's hydraulic power system forced NASA managers to scrub Friday's planned launch on a space station assembly mission, disappointing thousands of spectators and spoiling a planned visit by President Obama and his family.

It also was a disappointment to commander Mark Kelly's wife, Gabrielle Giffords, who flew to Florida to watch the launch as she recovers from a January assassination attempt.

It's not yet clear how long it will take to resolve the problem, but launch is off until at least Monday, at 2:33:56 p.m. EDT (GMT-4), and possibly longer.

The problem cropped up as Kelly and his crewmates -- pilot Gregory H. Johnson, Michael Fincke, Gregory Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori -- were suiting up for launch.

Two heaters on one of the shuttle's three hydraulic power units failed, raising the possibility that temperature in propellant lines to drop below acceptable limits. The "astrovan" carrying the astronauts to launch pad 39A was stopped at the launch control center while engineers continued discussing the issue.

A few minutes later, Launch Director Mike Leinbach called off the countdown, ordering a scrub. The astrovan turned around and headed back to crew quarters.

President Obama and his family planned to visit the Kennedy Space Center as planned, but no details were immediately available.

The auxiliary power units, or APUs, provide the hydraulic power to move the shuttle's engine nozzles, wing flaps and landing gear brakes. Engineers suspect a blown fuse may be to blame but it's not yet clear what caused that or what might be needed to fix it.

"The exact problem was a thermostat on one of the fuel lines for that auxiliary power unit and we need to keep those lines warm to prevent them from freezing on orbit," Leinbach said. "So we have two thermostats, two heaters for each fuel line for each APU."

"And on auxiliary power unit No. 1, one of those two heater units failed and the trouble shooting we did on it proved it was a hard failure, we were not able to get it to come to life no matter what we did.

"We tried to let the line cool down just by normal means to see if the thermostat on that heater would kick in. That did not happen. We tried to command the heater from the cockpit of the orbiter, that did not happen either. So we know we had a hard failure in that heater string for that one auxiliary power unit. There was another heater upstream of that that's also exhibing some funny behavior."

As a result, engineers believe a failure occurred in or near a load control assembly, or LCA, in the shuttle's aft engine compartment. The data indicate "we probably have a short in that box or in one of the electrical lines to that box or from that box," Leinbach said. "We're not quite sure yet, we won't know until we get into the aft of the orbiter and do some detailed troubleshooting."

"But the issue is, we didn't want to commit to flight with only one of two heaters on those auxiliary power unit fuel lines??because of the chance if you lost that one good one on orbit, you run the very high risk of freezing the fuel in that line and therefore the auxiliary power unit would not function and therefore you wouldn't have full hydraulic power, which is a case you never want to get into for re-entry."

After draining Endeavour's external tank, engineers will open the aft engine compartment to gain access to the suspect hardware.

"Probably tomorrow afternoon we'll get into the aft, start putting in our platform set to get to this load control assembly, which is down inside the aft quite a ways and so it's going to take us a bit of time to get in and do that," Leinbach said. "And then once we're in the avionics bay we'll be able to do our troubleshooting."

Endeavour's launch window extends through May 4. If the shuttle is not off the ground by then, the team will stand down for three days to reload liquid oxygen and hydrogen fuel cell reactants and to give the Air Force time to launch an Atlas 5 rocket carrying a military missile early warning satellite. The shuttle launch window would re-open around May 8 and extend through May 29.


CBS News Space Updates:

NASA Shuttle Web:

NASA Station Web:

Spaceflight Now:


Magellan Minerals ( News Release) : Adopts Shareholder Rights Plans and Grants Stock Option

News Release #2011-08

Vancouver, B.C. April 29, 2011:  Magellan Minerals Ltd. ("Magellan" or the "Company") (TSX Venture: MNM) reports that its Board of Directors (the "Board") has implemented a Shareholder Rights Plan Agreement (the "Rights Plan") effective April 27, 2011.
The Rights Plan has been adopted to ensure the fair treatment of all Magellan shareholders in connection with any possible take-over bid for the outstanding common shares of the Company. If a take-over bid should occur the Rights Plan provides a mechanism to ensure that shareholders have adequate time to properly evaluate and assess a take-over bid without facing undue pressure. The Rights Plan also provides the Board with additional time to consider any take-over bid and, if applicable, to explore alternative transactions in order to maximize shareholder value. The Rights Plan is not designed to prevent take-over bids that treat the Company´s shareholders fairly.
The Rights Plan has been approved by the TSX Venture Exchange and is subject to shareholder approval at the Company´s annual general and special shareholders´ meeting to be held on May 27, 2011. If ratified by the shareholders, the Rights Plan will have a term of 3 years. The Board is not currently aware of any pending or proposed take-over bid for Magellan.  A summary of the Rights Plan is contained in the Company´s information circular, a copy of which will be available at
Magellan has granted stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants of the Company. The options entitle the holders to purchase 3,980,000 common shares in the capital stock of the Company at a price of $1.35 per share.  The options are exercisable until April 20, 2016 subject to vesting over 18 months.  A total of 1,740,000 stock options were granted to officers and directors of the Company.  The Company provides management incentive stock options to directors, officers, employees and consultants as part of the Company's overall compensation package. The Board acknowledges and appreciates their individual and collective commitment to the Company.
Magellan is a TSX Venture Exchange listed exploration company with a number of gold exploration properties in the Tapajos Province of northern Brazil and is focused on the Cuiu Cuiu and Coringa projects where drilling is currently in progress.
For further information, please contact:
Alan Carter, President and CEO
Tel: 604.676.5663

CBS NEWS: 1040a 4/29Update: Shuttle fueled for launch; Progress supply ship docks with space station

CBS NEWS Coverage of Breaking Space News

-- Posted at 06:50 AM EDT, 04/29/11: Weathering storms, Endeavour fueled for launch
-- Updated at 09:45 AM EDT, 04/29/11: Fueling complete; hydrogen vent line working normally
-- Updated at 10:30 AM EDT, 04/29/11: Progress supply ship docks with space station

CBS News

KENNEDY SPACE CENTER, FL--The shuttle Endeavour's external tank has been loaded with a half-million gallons of liquid oxygen and hydrogen rocket fuel and forecasters are hopeful low clouds will break up as a front moves through, clearing the way for launch on NASA's next-to-last shuttle mission.

Endeavour's fueling began at 6:22 a.m. and the tank went into "stable replenish" mode three hours later, at 9:24 a.m.. There were no problems with a 7-inch gaseous hydrogen vent line attached to the side of the tank that delayed the previous shuttle launching.

The only technical problem under discussion early today was a slight pressure differential between the propellant tanks in the shuttle's right-side orbital maneuvering system rocket pod. After troubleshooting, engineers decided to open a crossfeed valve to equalize pressures between the left and right rocket pods.

Forecasters monitoring fast-moving storm cells south of the Kennedy Space Center during the later stages of fueling said it appeared the bad weather would stay away from the launch pad, although low clouds and blustery winds at the shuttle's emergency runway could cause problems later.

But for now, the forecast remains 70 percent "go" for a launching at 3:47:55 p.m. EDT (GMT-4).

NASA originally hoped to launch Endeavour April 19, but the flight was delayed to make way for the launch and docking of a Russian Progress supply ship that blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The unmanned supply ship glided to a smooth linkup with the space station at 9:28 a.m. Friday.

Endeavour's crew -- commander Mark Kelly, pilot Gregory H. Johnson, Michael Fincke, Gregory Chamitoff, Andrew Feustel and European Space Agency astronaut Roberto Vittori -- got up at 6 a.m. After breakfast and final medical checks, Kelly and Johnson will get a weather update before donning their bright orange pressure suits and heading to launch pad 39A around noon to begin strapping in for launch.

Kelly's twin brother Scott, who just got back from a long-duration stay aboard the International Space Station, joked Thursday night in a Twitter feed that he was "ready if replacement is required." Kelly's wife, Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, flew to Florida Wednesday, her first major trip since an assassination attempt in January. President Barack Obama and his family are scheduled to fly in later today, landing at the nearby Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Thunderstorms pounded Florida's Space Coast late Thursday, delaying work to roll a protective gantry away from the shuttle to clear the way for fueling. But the storms dissipated enough before midnight to permit the rotating service structure to be pulled away about five hours behind schedule. Engineers worked through the early morning hours to make up lost time and fueling began on schedule at 6:22 a.m.

"Launch teams are not working any issues right now that would prevent us from launching on time at 3:47 p.m. Eastern today," NASA spokesman Allard Beutel said just before fueling began. "Currently, forecasters are calling for a 70 percent of good weather for this afternoon's launch."

The three-hour fueling procedure began when ultra-cold liquid hydrogen and oxygen began flowing through transfer lines to inlets on either side of the shuttle's aft engine compartment. Before entering the tank, the propellants circulate through the ship's three main engines to acclimate the propulsion system plumbing to cyrogenic temperatures.

Here is a timeilne for the remainder of today's countdown (in EDT):


Fri 04/29/11

04...25...00...11:17 AM......Final crew weather briefing
04...15...00...11:27 AM......Crew suit up begins
03...50...00...11:52 AM......Resume countdown (T-minus 3 hours)

03...45...00...11:57 AM......Crew departs Operations and Checkout building
03...15...00...12:27 PM......Crew ingress
02...25...00...01:17 PM......Astronaut comm checks
02...00...00...01:42 PM......Hatch closure
01...30...00...02:12 PM......White room closeout

01...10...00...02:32 PM......Begin 10-minute built-in hold (T-minus 20m)
01...00...00...02:42 PM......NASA test director countdown briefing
01...00...00...02:42 PM......Resume countdown (T-minus 20m)

00...59...00...02:43 PM......Backup flight computer to OPS 1
00...55...00...02:47 PM......KSC area clear to launch

00...49...00...02:53 PM......Begin final built-in hold (T-minus 9m)
00...24...00...03:18 PM......NTD launch status verification
00...09...00...03:38:55 PM...Resume countdown (T-minus 9m)

00...07...30...03:40:25 PM...Orbiter access arm retraction
00...05...00...03:42:55 PM...Launch window opens
00...05...00...03:42:55 PM...Hydraulic power system (APU) start
00...04...55...03:43:00 PM...Terminate LO2 replenish
00...04...00...03:43:55 PM...Purge sequence 4 hydraulic test
00...04...00...03:43:55 PM...IMUs to inertial
00...03...55...03:44:00 PM...Aerosurface profile
00...03...30...03:44:25 PM...Main engine steering test
00...02...55...03:45:00 PM...LO2 tank pressurization
00...02...35...03:45:20 PM...Fuel cells to internal reactants
00...02...30...03:45:25 PM...Clear caution-and-warning memory
00...02...00...03:45:55 PM...Crew closes visors
00...01...57...03:45:58 PM...LH2 tank pressurization
00...00...50...03:47:05 PM...SRB joint heater deactivation
00...00...31...03:47:24 PM...Shuttle GPCs take control of countdown
00...00...21...03:47:34 PM...SRB steering test
00...00...07...03:47:48 PM...Main engine start (T-6.6 seconds)
00...00...00...03:47:55 PM...SRB ignition (LAUNCH)


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