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NASA postpones Discovery launch
Cape Canaveral, December 8
NASA postponed space shuttle Discovery's lift-off on Thursday night because of thick, low clouds at the Florida launch site.

Fans throng Bollywood extravaganza

Kuala Lumpur, December 8
Hysterical fans greeted Bollywood heartthrobs Salman Khan and John Abraham who arrived here for the world premiere of the Hindi movie ‘Babul’ as part of the second Global Indian Film Awards function.


Bollywood stars John Abraham and Bipasha Basu arrive for the premiere of ‘Babul’ at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers on Thursday. — AP photo

Bollywood stars John Abraham and Bipasha Basu arrive for the premiere of ‘Babul’ at a cinema in Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers on Thursday

Indian American professor honoured
New York, December 8
An Indian American professor at Stanford University has been awarded the 2007 Medal of Honour by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the most prestigious technology associations in the world.



EARLIER STORIES


William pipped for honour
London, December 8
Prince William has been beaten to the coveted Sword of Honour prize at Sandhurst by a woman. Junior Under Officer Angela Laycock scooped the award which is given to the most outstanding student of each course at the military academy.

Japan may back nuclear deal
Tokyo, December 8
Japan, a key civilian nuclear power, is considering supporting a landmark nuclear deal between India and the US ahead of a visit by the Indian premier next week, an official said today.

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NASA postpones Discovery launch

Cape Canaveral, December 8
NASA postponed space shuttle Discovery's lift-off on Thursday night because of thick, low clouds at the Florida launch site.

The next opportunity for flight is at 9:13 p.m. on Friday (2:13 a.m. British time on Saturday), but meteorologists were forecasting a 90 per cent chance of another delay due to high winds stirred by a cold front pushing through central Florida.

"We gave it the best shot and did not get clear," said NASA launch director Mike Leinbach.

Replied Discovery commander Mark Polansky, "Try not to be too disappointed and we will be ready to support the next time we get a chance."

NASA is hoping to launch its third mission in six months and get a jump on the looming deadline to finish International Space Station assembly before the shuttle fleet is retired in 2010.

The launch will be NASA's first in darkness since before the 2003 Columbia disaster. Managers recently lifted the ban on night launches, imposed to ensure cameras had good lighting to spot any debris falling off the shuttle's fuel tank.

Debris damaged Columbia, triggering the break-up of the ship and the death of its seven astronauts as it re-entered Earth's atmosphere.

On the last flight, astronauts delivered new solar arrays to provide power for additional modules scheduled to be installed next year. The tricky task of wiring the arrays into the station's power grid falls to Discovery's crew.

At least 14 more missions are needed to finish the $100 billion (£ 51 billion ) outpost.

Discovery's flight is scheduled to last 12 days.

In addition to Polansky, the five-man, two-woman crew consists of Sweden's first astronaut, Christer Fuglesang, pilot William Oefelein, flight engineer Robert Curbeam and mission specialists Nicholas Patrick, Joan Higginbotham and Sunita Williams.

Only Polansky and Curbeam have made previous spaceflights. — Reuters

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Fans throng Bollywood extravaganza

Kuala Lumpur, December 8
Hysterical fans greeted Bollywood heartthrobs Salman Khan and John Abraham who arrived here for the world premiere of the Hindi movie ‘Babul’ as part of the second Global Indian Film Awards function.

More than 1,500 Malaysians, mostly women, stood patiently for more than three hours last night waiting for the stars at the TGV cineplex, adjoining the Petronas Twin Towers, one of the world's tallest buildings.

The crowd screamed names of their favourite stars as they entered the complex. While some had passes for the movie, most of the people had come just to see their favourite Bollywood stars. The organisers had booked all six halls in the cineplex for the show. Salman, wearing black trousers and black shirt, waved to the crowd, signed his name on a billboard outside the movie cineplex. — PTI

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Indian American professor honoured

New York, December 8
An Indian American professor at Stanford University has been awarded the 2007 Medal of Honour by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), one of the most prestigious technology associations in the world.

Thomas Kailath, Hitachi America professor of Engineering, Emeritus, at Stanford University, becomes only the second Indian American to receive the honour since it was instituted in 1917. C. Kumar Patel of AT&T Bell Labs, a research and development organisation, being the other.

Mr Kailath will receive a gold medal and $50,000 prize at a ceremony in June 2007, according to India West, an ethnic Indian newspaper.

His research has spanned a large number of disciplines, emphasising information theory and communications in the 1960s, linear systems, estimation and control in the 1970s, VLSI design and sensor array signal processing in the 1980s, and applications to semiconductor manufacturing and digital communications in the 1990s.

The IEEE is an international non-profit, professional organisation for the advancement of technology related to electricity. It has more than 360,000 members in around 175 countries.

“It is a very great honour and I am very happy. But I want to emphasise that it is a collective award. A lot of wonderful students and friends contributed. About 100 of those are among the very best,” Mr Kailath said. — IANS

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William pipped for honour

London, December 8
Prince William has been beaten to the coveted Sword of Honour prize at Sandhurst by a woman. Junior Under Officer Angela Laycock scooped the award which is given to the most outstanding student of each course at the military academy.

At one point, the 24-year-old Prince was a hot tip to scoop the accolade, having won a Sword of Honour when he was a cadet at Eton. But military chiefs decided Laycock, 24, was more deserving.

She is the third woman to win the honour and will be presented with the sword by the Queen at next week’s Sovereign’s Parade when the cadets pass out at the end of their gruelling 44-week course.

The awarded is given to the officer cadet considered by the academy’s Commandant, Major-General Peter Pearson, to be the best of the intake. — ANI

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Japan may back nuclear deal

Tokyo, December 8
Japan, a key civilian nuclear power, is considering supporting a landmark nuclear deal between India and the US ahead of a visit by the Indian premier next week, an official said today.

A newspaper reported that Japan would relay its potentially influential approval of the agreement during a summit with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. — AFP

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BRIEFLY

Ex-spy buried
London:
Family and friends paid their respects on Thursday at the moving funeral of Russian ex-spy Alexander Litvinenko, preceded by a memorial at a London mosque, two weeks after his shock death. A black hearse topped with white wreaths led a funeral procession of about 10 cars to Highgate cemetery in north London. — AFP

King pays tax
Kathmandu:
King Gyanendra has been compelled to pay tax for a parcel received at the airport for the first time in the 238-year-long history of monarchy in the country. At Tribhuvan International Airport, he paid Rs 53,739 as duty and tax on torch lights. — UNI

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