Space station dumps ton of trash into Pacific

By wire services
Published September 8, 2005

MOSCOW - The crew aboard the international space station put out the garbage Wednesday, loading a Russian cargo ship with more than a ton of trash and jettisoning the spacecraft, which fell into the Pacific Ocean, officials said.

Fragments of the Progress M-53 splashed in the Pacific at 10:13 a.m., Mission Control said in a statement.

Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev and U.S. astronaut John Phillips on board the station had loaded the ship with 1.12 tons of waste and used equipment.

The routine move freed up a docking port on the station for the arrival of the next cargo ship, the Progress M-54, which is due to lift off from the Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan today.

Elsewhere . . .

JURY INDICTS BUSH ATTACKER: A man who admitted throwing a live grenade toward President Bush during a rally in the Soviet republic of Georgia was indicted Wednesday by a U.S. grand jury on charges of trying to assassinate the president. Vladimir Arutyunian already faces terrorism and murder charges in Georgia in the May 10 incident in the capital of Tbilisi and the killing of a policeman in a shootout before his arrest in July. Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili were behind a bulletproof barrier addressing a rally of thousands in Tbilisi in May when the grenade, wrapped in a plaid cloth, landed about 100 feet away. It did not explode.

FORMER DOMINICA PREMIER DIES: Eugenia Charles, who gained widespread attention as she stood beside President Ronald Reagan when he announced the invasion of Grenada, died Tuesday (Sept. 6, 2005) at age 86. Miss Charles, the Caribbean's first woman prime minister, was known as the region's "Iron Lady," died at a hospital on the Caribbean island of Martinique, where she was taken for treatment of a broken hip, said longtime associate Dr. Bernard Yankey on Wednesday. Miss Charles was prime minister from 1980-95 and survived two coup attempts. She won fame for standing with Reagan at the White House on Oct. 25, 1983, when he announced the invasion of Grenada.

SLAYING A CHALLENGE TO ABBAS: Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas vowed to hunt down the killers of a powerful former security chief whose gangland-style slaying Wednesday laid bare Gaza's raging power struggles just days before Israel hands over control of the coastal territory. A shadowy militant group claimed responsibility for killing Moussa Arafat, cousin of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, in a burst of gunfire. The assailants burst into Moussa Arafat's home, dragged him out in his pajamas and gunned him down in the dusty street; they kidnapped his oldest son, Manhal, a senior security commander.

FRAUD CHARGES MAR EGYPTIAN ELECTION: For the first time Egyptian voters had a choice of candidates for president Wednesday in an election the United States hopes will be a key step toward democracy across the Middle East. But the ballot was marred by charges of fraud and the near-certainty the vote would give longtime President Hosni Mubarak another six years of power.

FORMER RUSSIAN PRESIDENT HOSPITALIZED: Boris Yeltsin was hospitalized Wednesday after falling and breaking his leg at a villa in a resort town on the Italian island of Sardinia, officials said. Yeltsin's spokesman, Vladimir Shevchenko, told Russia's ITAR-Tass news agency the former president broke his thigh bone in a bad fall.

CHIRAC SKIPS FIRST CABINET MEETING: French President Jacques Chirac skipped a weekly Cabinet meeting Wednesday for the first time since taking office in 1995, as authorities kept the country in suspense for a fifth day about what exactly ails the hospitalized 72-year-old leader. Officials have cryptically referred to Chirac's illness as "a small vascular accident" that affected his vision in one eye.