Jordan’s foreign minister did not elaborate on the timing of the diplomatic moves nor say whether he was referring to a UN Security Council or General Assembly resolution
John Young, an astronaut who walked on the moon in 1972 and even smuggled a corned beef sandwich into orbit during a career that made him the only person to fly with three Nasa space programmes, has died at age 87, officials said on Saturday. Young, who went to space six times, died on Friday night at his home in Houston following complications from pneumonia, Nasa spokesman Allard Beutel said in an email. The former US Navy test pilot was the ninth person to set foot on the moon, an experience shared by three others after Young. He eventually became one of the most accomplished astronauts in the history of the US space programme. He flew into space twice during Nasa's Gemini programme in the mid-1960s, twice on the Apollo lunar missions and twice on space shuttles in the 1980s. He was the only person to fly on all three types of programs. "Astronaut John Young's storied career spanned three generations of spaceflight. We will stand on his shoulders as we look toward the next human frontier," Robert Lightfoot, Nasa administrator, said in a statement. We're saddened by the loss of astronaut John Young, who was 87. Young flew twice to the Moon, walked on its surface & flew the first Space Shuttle mission. He went to space six times in the Gemini, Apollo & Space Shuttle programs. pic.twitter.com/l4nSwUCMIq— NASA (@NASA) January 6, 2018 Young, described in a Nasa tweet as "our most experienced astronaut," retired in 2004 after 42 years with the US space agency. The Apollo 16 mission in April 1972, his fourth space flight, took Young to the lunar surface. As mission commander, he and crewmate Charles Duke explored the moon's Descartes Highlands region, gathering 200 pounds (90 kg) of rock and soil samples and driving more than 16 miles (26 km) in the lunar rover to sites such as Spook Crater. Recalling his lunar exploits, Young told the Houston Chronicle in 2004: "One-sixth gravity on the surface of the moon is just delightful. It's not like being in zero gravity, you know. You can drop a pencil in zero gravity and look for it for three days. In one-sixth gravity, you just look down and there it is." John Young salutes the US flag during his 1972 lunar mission Credit: Nasa Young's first time in space came in 1965 with the Gemini 3 mission that took him and astronaut Gus Grissom into Earth orbit in the first two-person US space jaunt. It was on this mission that Young pulled his sandwich stunt, which did not make Nasa brass happy but certainly pleased Grissom, the recipient of the snack. Astronaut Wally Schirra, who was not flying on the mission, bought the corned beef sandwich on rye bread from a delicatessen in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and asked Young to give it to Grissom in space. During the flight, as they discussed the food provided for the mission, Young handed Grissom the sandwich. Nasa later rebuked Young for the antics, which generated criticism from lawmakers and the media, but his career did not suffer. His May 1969 Apollo 10 mission served as a "dress rehearsal" for the historic Apollo 11 mission two months later in which Neil Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon. Young and his crew undertook each aspect of that subsequent mission except for an actual moon landing. Commander John Young (l) and Robert Crippen during training in 1980 for the first space shuttle mission Credit: Nasa via AP Young's fifth space mission was as commander of the inaugural flight of Nasa's first space shuttle, Columbia, in 1981. He became the first person to fly six space missions in 1983, when he commanded Columbia on the first Spacelab trek, with the crew performing more than 70 scientific experiments. He never went to space again. Young had been due to command a 1986 flight that was canceled after the explosion of the shuttle Challenger earlier that year. "John was more than a good friend," former President George HW Bush said in a statement. "He was a fearless patriot whose courage and commitment to duty helped our nation push back the horizon of discovery at a critical time." Young was born on September 24, 1930, in San Francisco and grew up in Orlando, Florida. After receiving a degree in aeronautical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1952, he entered the Navy and graduated from its test pilot school. Nasa picked him in 1962 for its astronaut program.
Ayelet Shaked wants Haya Sandberg on the Jerusalem District Court, which Shaked aims to have greater sway in the West Bank
The head of the Coptic Church, Pope Tawadros II, led midnight mass in the cathedral of Egypt’s new administrative capital on Saturday, a service attended by President Abdel Fattah al Sisi. The mass, on the eve of Coptic Christmas which is celebrated on Jan. 7, was the first to be held in the newly-built cathedral and took place amid tight security. Sisi was cheered by worshippers as he entered the building.
If Rwanda agrees to collaborate, there will be scenes of evil in Israel the likes of which haven’t been seen since 1948. The lust for pure nationhood, religion and race knows no bounds in Israel
Allowing gender segregation on university campuses will only lead to discrimination against women in other realms of life
President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would "absolutely" be willing to talk on the phone to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader. North Korea agreed on Friday to hold official talks with South Korea next week, the first in more than two years, hours after Washington and Seoul delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programmes. Mr Trump, answering questions from reporters at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, expressed a willingness to talk to Mr Kim but not without preconditions. "Absolutely, I would do that," said Mr Trump. "I have no problem with that at all." The two foes have exchanged insults ever since Mr Trump took office, with the American president repeatedly calling Mr Kim "rocket man" for testing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. Kim Jong-un delivering his New Year address Credit: AP Earlier this week Mr Trump dismissed Mr Kim's taunt that the North Korean leader has a nuclear button on his desk, saying he has a bigger button. The talks between North Korea and South Korea are expected to cover the Winter Olympics, to be held in South Korea next month, and inter-Korean relations. Mr Trump suggested the talks might lead to an easing of tensions and took credit for the diplomatic breakthrough, saying it was a result of his steady pressure. "Look, right now they're talking Olympics. It's a start, it's big start. If I weren't involved they wouldn't be talking at all right now," he said. Mr Kim "knows I'm not messing around. I'm not messing around. Not even a little bit, not even one percent. He understands that," said Mr Trump. "If something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity, that would be a great thing for the world," he said.