Clinton heads to Algeria
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton embarked Sunday on a five-day trip overseas to increase pressure on Mali’s al-Qaida-linked rebels and help Balkan nations end long-simmering ethnic and political disagreements. Clinton moved up her departure for Algeria by a day to beat the onslaught of an East Coast storm. With Algeria’s president, she’ll discuss the crisis to the south in Mali, where European and African countries are considering military intervention against radical Islamists. Clinton then visits Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo and Albania. She is aiming to advance each of their NATO and European Union aspirations. Serbia doesn’t recognize Kosovo, and the two dispute borders and minority issues. Bosnia’s power is divided among ethnic lines. Clinton also plans to visit Croatia, a new NATO member and a European Union state as of next year.
Statue of Liberty reopens
The Statue of Liberty officially reopened to the public Sunday after a renovation project. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and a group of U.S. Military Academy cadets were the first to visit. The statue had been closed for a year to undergo a $30 million interior renovation project. Visitors had been restricted to the grounds on Liberty Island during that time. The renovation included replacing the stairs to the crown, as well as creating wheelchair access to one of the observation decks at the top of the pedestal.
CAPE CANAVERAL, FLA.
Private capsule returns
An unoccupied space capsule carrying medical samples from the International Space Station splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Sunday, completing the first official private interstellar shipment under a billion-dollar contract with NASA. The California-based SpaceX company gently guided the Dragon into the water via parachutes at 12:22 p.m., a couple hundred miles off the Baja California coast. Astronauts aboard the International Space Station used a giant robot arm to release the commercial cargo ship 255 miles up. The supply ship brought back nearly 2,000 pounds of science experiments and old station equipment.
Compiled from wire reports.