Washington, May 1 - NASA will pay an additional $424 million to extend its contract with Russia’s federal space agency (Roscosmos) to transport US astronauts to and from the International Space Station (ISS), NASA said Tuesday.
About the move, America’s space chief said it underscores how diminished funding is hampering the US space programme.
“While our Russian counterparts have been good partners, it is unacceptable that we don't currently have an American capability to launch our own astronauts,” NASA Administrator Charles Bolden wrote in a blog post Tuesday.
Washington, May 1 - The US Tuesday called on Ukraine to release Yulia Tymoshenko, the jailed former prime minister and a leader of the ex-Soviet republic’s 2004 "Orange Revolution" who became a strident opponent of the current government.
“We reiterate our call that Mrs. Tymoshenko be released and that the practice of selective prosecution in the Ukraine end,” US State Department spokesman Patrick Ventrell told a news briefing.
Washington, May 1 - US President Barack Obama vowed Tuesday to make a new push to close the American military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as the US military sent extra medical personnel there to deal with prisoners on a hunger strike.
The prisoners are protesting conditions and their long detentions.
Guantanamo Bay is "contrary to who we are", unsustainable and harmful to US interests, Obama told reporters at the White House, pledging to "go back at this" and work with Congress to close the facility, which since 2002 has housed suspected terrorists and enemy combatants, captured in the US-led war on terror.
Washington, April 30 - Even as it acknowledges India as the world's most populous democracy, the Economist magazine's Index of Democracy 2012 ranks India 38th among 165 nations with an overall score of 7.52.
India also gets high scores for electoral process and pluralism (9.58) and Civil liberties (9.41).
The top three positions go to Norway (9.93) Sweden (9.73) and Iceland 9.65, while the United States is ranked 21st with an overall score of 8.11 in the fifth edition of the Index prepapred by the London weekly focusing on international politics and business.
Washington, April 30 - Federal agents investigating the deadly Boston Marathon bombings have visited the home of the dead suspect's widow even as they looked for his possible links with a couple of militants, according to various media reports.
Investigators are looking into possible links between Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and a Canadian boxer-turned-jihadist killed in a firefight with Russian forces in the southwestern republic of Dagestan in July 2012, while Tsarnaev was visiting the region, CNN reported citing sources.
Washington, April 30 - Citing the significant contributions of immigrants from India, a leading US think tank has suggested that America must roll out the welcome mat to high skill workers to remain competitive and innovative.
While much of the congressional immigration reform debate is focused on a 'path to citizenship' for 11 million illegal immigrants, including some 260,000 Indians, a proposal by Senate's "Gang of Eight" focusing on skilled workers "should attract broad support," it said, describing it as 'path to prosperity'.
Washington, April 30 - A California court has ruled Monday that a baby boy who had been seized by authorities in the US should be returned to his Russian parents, a Russian diplomat said.
Five-month-old Sammy Nikolaev has been in protective custody since April 24 when police and Child Protective Services (CPS) removed him from his parents after the family had a dispute with the baby’s doctors.
The parents had taken the baby from a hospital without proper discharge. The CPS officials claimed they had removed the boy due to "severe neglect."
“After five hours of deliberation and analysis of factual information presented by both sides, the judge decided to dismiss all charges against the parents,” Evgeny Avdoshin, Consul at Consulate General of Russia in San Francisco, said.
New York, April 27 : Indian American students shone in this years's California State Science Fair, grabbing the top award, six first place honours and various other awards.
Eesha Khare, a 12th grade student of Lynbrook High School in San Jose, California, won the top award for 'Project of the Year' in the senior grade at the fair held earlier this year, India-West reported Saturday.
Khare also won a $5,000 for her project, 'Design and Synthesis of Hydrogenated TiO2-Polyaniline Nanorods for Flexible High-Performance Supercapacitors'.
Washington, April 27 : Secretary of the US Air Force Michael Donley is to step down and return to private life, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced in a statement.
Hagel said that Donley has been "an invaluable adviser during my first two months as secretary of defense and has been an outstanding leader of the air force for nearly five years", reported Xinhua.
He added that Donley served during "a challenging time for the air force" and "helped instil a culture of responsibility, initiative, and professionalism to the service".(IANS)
Washington, April 27 : US President Barack Obama promised Friday an in-depth investigation into the possible use of chemical weapons in Syria, and said if that proves to be the case, it will change his "calculus" about how to deal with the crisis in the Middle Eastern country.
Use of chemical weapons in Syria would bring "increased urgency to what is already a significant security problem and humanitarian problem in the region", Obama said in a brief joint press appearance with visiting Jordanian King Abdullah II.
Washington, April 27 - Miffed over the brief detention of his Urban Development Minister Azam Khan at Boston airport, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav skipped a Harvard University event they had come to participate in.
Instead, UP Chief Secretary Jawed Usmani took the duo's place in a panel discussion on "Harvard without Borders: Mapping the Kumbh Mela" - a Harvard study of the pilgrimage at an annual symposium on South Asia hosted by the university's South Asia Institute (SAI).
Washington, April 27 - At least 10 people were injured in a crash between a rural transit bus and a freight train in Pennsylvania state in the US, a media report said.
WTAE-TV, which serves the Pittsburgh area, said the bus was carrying passengers to a programme for people with developmental disabilities when the train honked at it.
The bus was stopped on the tracks at a non-gated crossing over a rural road, but did not move, Xinhua said.
Police are investigating why the 60-year-old bus driver was stopped on the tracks, as well as the possibility that the thick morning fog was a factor.
Washington, April 27 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said he was "saddened by the loss of life" in the collapse of a building housing several garment factories in Bangladesh, which killed at least 304 workers.
"The secretary-general is deeply saddened by the loss of life and injuries caused by the collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of the capital, Dhaka, earlier this week," Xinhua quoted a statement by Ban's spokesperson Martin Nesirky as saying.
The UN chief extended his condolences to the government and people of Bangladesh.
New York, April 26 : ZenKars, a venture of an Indian American and his friend, won the 2013 Perlman Prize at the 2013 Wharton Business Plan Competition.
Awarded by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, the award also carries a cash prize of $30,000, according to a statement issued out of Philadelphia.
Founded by the student team of Indian American Venkat Jonnala and Jean-Mathieu Chabas, ZenKars is an online model connecting used cars from corporate directly to consumers targeting a $600-billion market.
Washington, April 26 - Former US President Bill Clinton has joined Twitter and attracted more than 400,000 followers within 24 hours on the social network.
Clinton, 66, posted his first tweet shortly before midnight Wednesday after US comedian Stephen Colbert told him he had established an official account for him April 9 during an interview on his popular Comedy Central television program, "The Colbert Report".
"Excited to join @ChelseaClinton and my good friend @StephenAtHome on Twitter!" tweeted the ex-president on his account @billclinton.