Monday, April 19, 2010

360 News Briefs

Polish Leader Buried In Ceremony Of Patriotism

Tens of thousands of Poles bade farewell to President Lech Kaczynski on Sunday at a state funeral filled with pomp, pride and an outpouring of patriotism that his divisive and unpopular leadership had never generated.

Mourners applauded and chanted "We thank you!" as the caskets bearing Kaczynski and his wife, Maria, were carried slowly past pale-toned Renaissance buildings for burial among kings and poets in the ancient Wawel Cathedral.

360 Source: Toyota Agreeing To $16.4 Million Fine

A Transportation Department official says Toyota is expected to agree to a fine of more than $16 million for a four-month delay in telling the government about defective gas pedals on its vehicles.

Toyota faces a Monday deadline to accept or contest a record $16.4 million fine over evidence it knew about sticking gas pedals in September but did not issue a recall until January.

The Transportation official was not authorized to speak publicly and spoke only on condition of anonymity. The official said Toyota is expected to pay the full amount of the assessed fine and avoid contesting it in court.

Report: Countrywide Financial Being Probed

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that federal authorities are picking up the pace in a criminal investigation of former mortgage giant Countrywide Financial Corp. and its role in the meltdown in 2007 and 2008 of the U.S. housing and finance industries.

The Journal cited anonymous sources in reporting Sunday that one of several federal investigations now under way is a criminal probe of Countrywide. The paper didn't offer details on what charges could emerge.

A grand jury began hearing testimony about Countrywide last year. No criminal charges have been filed against corporate leaders in the larger federal probe. Three Countrywide executives face a civil lawsuit the Securities and Exchange Commission filed last year.

NASA To Astronauts: Rain Delays Likely For Return

NASA warned space shuttle Discovery's astronauts Sunday to expect rain delays as they wrapped up their two-week mission and got ready to come home.

Discovery and its crew of seven were scheduled to land Monday morning at NASA's Florida spaceport.

Shuttle commander Alan Poindexter said Sunday that he enjoys spending extra time in orbit and doesn't mind if Discovery can't make it back to Earth until Tuesday.

Mission Control promised to keep monitoring the weather in case the forecast improved. In the worst case, Discovery could always aim for the backup landing site in Southern California on Tuesday.

European Airlines Test Skies, Press To End Ban

Major airlines that sent test flights into European air space found no damage Sunday from the volcanic ash that has paralyzed aviation over the continent, raising pressure on governments to ease restrictions that have thrown global travel and commerce into chaos.

Is it safe to fly yet? Airline officials and some pilots say the passengerless test flights show that it is. Meteorologists warn that the skies over Europe remain unstable from an Icelandic volcano that continues to spew ash capable of knocking out jet engines.

European Union officials said air traffic could return to half its normal level on Monday if the dense cloud begins to dissipate. Germany allowed some flights to resume.

Eighty percent of European airspace remained closed for a devastating fourth day on Sunday, with only 4,000 of the normal 20,000-flight schedule in the air, said Brian Flynn, deputy head of operations for Eurocontrol, which supports the air traffic control network across the European Union's 27 states.

UGA Redshirt Freshman QB Dismissed From Team

University of Georgia redshirt freshman quarterback Zach Mettenberger has been dismissed from the Bulldog football team according to a Sunday announcement by UGA head coach Mark Richt.

The announcement said only that the dismissal is a result of violation of team rules.

A graduate of Oconee County High School in Watkinsville, Ga., Mettenberger had earlier been issued a minimum one-game suspension by Richt following an alcohol-related arrest in March.

Study Logs Oceans' Smallest Life Forms

An unprecedented number of tiny, ocean dwelling organisms is cataloged by a survey of the world's oceans.

One of the highlights was the discovery of a vast "microbial mat", covering an area equivalent to the size of Greece. Microbes are estimated to constitute up to 90% of all marine biomass.

The findings form part of the Census of Marine Life (CoML), a decade-long project that will present its full results in October.

On the Web:

Ocean Biogeographic Information System (Obis)

Wall Street Journal; NASA; Reuters; AP; BBC; University of Georgia; CoML.

No comments: