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August 19, 2020

Fuel leak prompts 17,000-vehicle recall by Toyota

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:29 pm

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Toyota announced on Friday that it will recall around 17,000 Lexus vehicles in response to risks of the fuel tank in the cars leaking after a collision.

The Lexus HS 250h model was subjected to the recall following a US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) investigation. Despite previously passing Toyota safety inspections, the conclusions of an NHTSA sub-contracted investigator were that; when the vehicles in question collided with an object at more than fifty-miles-per hour, more than 142 grams of fuel, the maximum allowed by US law, leaked from the crashed car.

According to Toyota, further tests did not show any additional failure of the fuel tank.

In response to the findings, Toyota issued a recall of all affected vehicles, since the company had no solution immediately available. The recall includes 13,000 cars already sold, as well as another 4,000 still at dealerships.

Toyota says it plans to conduct further tests to determine the cause of the leak. A Toyota spokesman, Brian Lyons, said that the company was “still working to determine what the root cause of the condition is.” It’s still unclear when exactly the recall will take place, or when dealerships will be allowed to sell this model again. Lyons said that Toyota is “working feverishly to get this resolved as soon as possible.”

Toyota isn’t aware of any accidents stemming from the leaking fuel tank in the affected vehicles, first introduced in the summer of 2009.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Fuel_leak_prompts_17,000-vehicle_recall_by_Toyota&oldid=4099641”

ISS Expedition 10 returns to Earth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:23 pm

Monday, April 25, 2005

With two space walks, 78 million miles and six months on board the International Space Station under their belts, Commander-Science Officer Leroy Chiao and Flight Engineer Salizhan Sharipov, the station’s 10th crew, landed in Kazakhstan in a Soyuz spacecraft at 6:08 p.m. EDT Sunday.

Also returning was European Space Agency Astronaut Roberto Vittori of Italy, who launched to the Station with the Expedition 11 crew and spent eight days doing experiments. He was aboard under a contract between ESA and the Russian Federal Space Agency.

The re-entry of the ISS Soyuz 9 spacecraft was perfect, returning the astronauts to Earth 53 miles northeast of the town of Arkalyk after 192 days, 19 hours and 2 minutes in space for the Expedition 10 crew. The recovery team reached the capsule in minutes.

They launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan last Oct. 13 at 11:06 p.m. EDT. During their increment they performed two spacewalks, continued station maintenance and did scientific experiments.

Notable accomplishments included replacing critical hardware in the Joint Quest Airlock; repairing U.S. spacesuits; and submitting a scientific research paper on ultrasound use in space. Chiao was also the first astronaut to vote in the U.S. Presidential election from space. The crew completed two spacewalks, including experiment installation and tasks to prepare the Station for the arrival of the new European Automated Transfer Vehicle next year.

Aboard the Station, Commander Sergei Krikalev and Flight Engineer and NASA Station Science Officer John Phillips, the Expedition 11 crew, are beginning a six-month mission. It will include the resumption of Space Shuttle flights and two spacewalks from the Station. Expedition 11 is scheduled to return to Earth on October 7, 2005. The two latest occupants of the station launched with Vittori from Baikonur April 14.

Krikalev and Phillips will have light duty for the next two days, as they rest after completing a busy handover period. For the past week, they have been learning about Station operations from the two men who called the ship home since October. Chiao and Sharipov briefed Krikalev and Phillips on day-to-day operations and gave them hands-on opportunities at Station maintenance. Chiao and Phillips restored the Quest airlock to working order for future spacewalks and practiced operating the Canadarm2 robotic arm.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=ISS_Expedition_10_returns_to_Earth&oldid=2507383”

August 17, 2020

Many infertile American women want sex selection

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:15 pm

Friday, March 11, 2005Many infertile American women would choose the sex of their next child if given the option.

A survey of 561 women being treated for infertility has found that 41% would use sex selection if it were offered at no cost.

Contradicting fears that such sex selection would cause gender imbalance, the survey found that women with no children would choose baby girls and boys in approximately equal numbers.

Furthermore, women with only daughters wanted to select a male child while women with only sons wanted to select a female child.

“Sex selection is a topic that’s almost taboo for physicians to talk about,” says study lead author Tarun Jain of the University of Illinois at Chicago. “Prior to this study, there has been no data to indicate what the demand might be.”

Of 561 survey respondents, 229 would want to select the sex of their future child.

Among these, 45% had no children and 48% had children of all the same sex.

Half would choose to select the sex of their next child even if they had to bear the cost.

About 55% would choose sperm separation, 41% would choose preimplantation genetic diagnosis and 4% would choose neither.

Sex selection is controversial. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists opposes it for nonmedical reasons and so does the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

The American Society of Reproductive Medicine supports it for nonmedical reasons for family gender balancing provided methods used are safe and effective.

“As the techniques gain more popularity, physicians will have to decide if they will offer the procedure to patients with and without children,” says Jain.

The research is reported in the journal Fertility and Sterility.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Many_infertile_American_women_want_sex_selection&oldid=438382”

August 15, 2020

Plastic Surgery In India Taboo Turned Trend

Filed under: Plastic Surgery — Admin @ 3:29 pm

Plastic Surgery in India Taboo Turned Trend

by

drtejinderbhatti

Who doesn t want to look beautiful? Someone has said that a beautiful face is the best recommendation for ever. A face will have its value only if you have got a perfect body to accompany it. People are very much more aware of their looks than they used to be a few years back. There had never been a time when facial values were of so much worth in past. A good looking person always grabs the attention of others and is benefitted with favor in many ways. Many deals are won only because of the looks of the negotiator. You might easily remember the beautiful face you saw last on the streets, in a moving car, in a party, or somewhere else. You do want to look at it again and again. This is the magic of beauty. There are many boys who are born handsome and girls who are born beautiful. But, unfortunately, there are many who are not so handsome or beautiful. Despite of having better qualities in all other respect, they lack the competence only because of inferior looks. In most of the cases the things could have turned in their favor had they could get a little improvement in their nose, chin, or chicks. They keep wishing if they could get a thinner nose, slightly modified chin, or a little more lifted cheeks. Thanks to the new technology, it all is possible now with cosmetic surgery treatment.

Cosmetic surgery is a branch of plastic surgery. Earlier plastic surgery meant a rare surgery which was performed only when a person has got his / her limbs or skin damaged or broken due to any accident. No normal man or women would have thought of using plastic surgery treatment just for the sake of improving their looks. It was a just like a taboo that time. But is is very much in practice today and has emerged as a trend now. There are many expert plastic surgeons in India and some of them are very qualified and experienced in this field of physical art. Some common treatments that are being offered in the plastic surgery clinics in India are liposuction, breast augmentation, breast enlargement, tummy tuck, face lift, body lift, nose job, scar removal, and burns treatment.

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Plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery in India has reached to a matured level today. The cost efficiency of cosmetic surgery treatment in India has made it a preferred destination for plastic surgery treatments all over the world. Almost all age of people, of all the genders, are availing of this service to improve their prospects. Many people have benefitted from the treatment and have revolutionized their prospects positively. There are many celebrities today who have gained much popularity after the use of cosmetic surgery.

Recently Chandigarh has emerged as a prime destination for plastic surgery treatment in entire India. The credit goes to the advance facilities, and expert professionals, and skilled attendants and above all cost effectiveness. If you are thinking of using any plastic surgery or cosmetic surgery, do check your prospects with a surgeon in Chandigarh first.

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Article Source:

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August 11, 2020

Toothpaste fills cavities without drilling

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:28 pm

Thursday, February 24, 2005

A paste containing synthetic tooth enamel can seal small cavities without drilling. Kazue Yamagishi and colleagues at the FAP Dental Institute in Tokyo say that the paste can repair small cavities in 15 minutes.

Currently, fillers don’t stick to such small cavities so dentists must drill bigger holes. Hydroxyapatite crystals, of which natural enamel is made, bond with teeth to repair tiny areas of damage.

Yamagishi and colleagues have tested their paste on a lower premolar tooth that showed early signs of decay. They found that the synthetic enamel merged with the natural enamel. The synthetic enamel also appears to make teeth stronger which will improve resistance to future decay. As with drilling, however, there is still the potential for pain: The paste is strongly acidic to encourage crystal growth and causes inflammation if it touches the gums.

The paste is reported in the journal Nature.

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Toothpaste_fills_cavities_without_drilling&oldid=440078”

Bill Clinton jokingly named professor at Columbia University

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:24 pm

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Columbia University President Lee Bollinger Wednesday jokingly named Bill Clinton to a professorship.

In opening remarks at the Kraft Program Series, “Challenges of New Democracies,” he said that “the last time he was here I said that ‘one more lecture,’ and he’d be up for tenure. So, this is it. Today we welcome professor Bill Clinton.”

Mr. Clinton and former Czech President Václav Havel were guest lecturers at the Morningside Heights campus. Havel is midway through a seven week writing residency at Columbia.

Both nations former leaders spoke about the challenges they faced during their times in office in order to bring the former Warsaw Pact countries into the West.

Havel mentioned that no one anticipated the rise of criminal mafias in the post-communist period, and that he and other dissidents imaged a swift transition from communism to democracy. He cited Czechoslovakia‘s 1948 destruction of civil society as a significant delay.

Clinton urged the United States to use its international economic power to improve the world.

Citing an even distribution of “intelligence and ability… throughout the world,” with India and China’s enormous population, he said that it’s only a matter of time when “other people get their act together” and “have more people than we do” when, “as a nation, we won’t be dominant.”

Acknowledging increasing American reliance upon Chinese economic growth, Clinton said the Chinese government will shortly have “a trillion dollars in cash reserves” while the United States has “a combined annual budget and trade deficit of a trillion dollars.”

Mentioning the Bush administration’s tax cut given to him and others in his income tax class, he said that the United States “had to borrow money from (the Chinese government) to pay for my tax cut.”

He also suggested that increasing American foreign aid to 0.7% of the U.S.’s $11 trillion Gross Domestic Product aid through cuts in the Department of Defense budget would “create a world with more partners and fewer adversaries.”

Mr. Bollinger also mentioned the war in Iraq.

Criticizing a “dubious construction of a very vaguely identified threat of WMDs in Iraq,” Mr. Havel questioned why planners failed to anticipate civil instability after initial combat operations.

Mr. Clinton declined comment citing his recent testimony before the Baker-Hamilton Commission and his wife Hillary’s position as New York senator. He added, however, that “whatever she says, I’m for.”

He acknowledged that it is an international best interest policy if Iraq “held together rather than falling apart, we would be better off if it had some measure of security and couldn’t become a base for terrorist operations.”

Retrieved from “https://en.wikinews.org/w/index.php?title=Bill_Clinton_jokingly_named_professor_at_Columbia_University&oldid=3853289”

August 5, 2020

Lib Dems launch manifesto

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:32 pm

Thursday, April 14, 2005

An exhausted Charles Kennedy returned to the election campaign to launch a twenty page Liberal Democrat manifesto targeted at disaffected Labour voters, promising a fairer tax system and withdrawal from Iraq.

Entitled The Real Alternative the manifesto pledges to reduce the lowest rate of income tax, but increase the rate on those earning over £100,000 to 50%. The party would also scrap the unpopular local council tax in favour of a new local income tax. The manifesto also promises to remove hidden “stealth taxes”.

Under this system the party claims the poorest 15 million (25%) of people in Britain would be better off, and the middle 50% would be paying no extra tax.

The manifesto promised to scrap the controversial university tuition fees, increase services for pensioners and add £100 a month to the state pension, and train 21,000 new primary school teachers and 10,000 new police. A Lib Dem government would make eye and dental checks free, and reduce the cost of prescription medicine.

The Liberal Democrats were the only one of the three largest parliamentary parties to have consistently voted against the Iraq war, and the manifesto has promised an exit strategy with a phased withdrawal of Britain’s 8,000 troops still in the country.

“We reject a foreign policy based on ‘my ally right or wrong’,” Kennedy said. “And we say that war should always be a last resort.”

Kennedy, who became a father on Tuesday, admitted he’d had little sleep before the manifesto launch, and stumbled while answering questions on the proposed tax system.

August 4, 2020

Diverse Your Portfolio To Include Forex Trading

Filed under: Forex Broker — Admin @ 3:46 pm

Diverse Your Portfolio To include Forex Trading

by

Mike Gibson

David was an executive in an MNC. He was on a healthy salary and enjoyed numerous perks. He had a happy family with his aged parents, wife and two children. He was, however, the sole bread earner in the family. So, they led simple lives and David hardly managed to make a saving of few hundreds of dollars at the end of every month. He invested those in fixed income instruments so that he can earn some fixed returns. He could not afford to take much risk for reasons understandable.

At the beginning of each month, he sat down with his wife calculating the monthly expenses and making allocations accordingly. One salary and so many bills to pay! they wondered. The grocery bills, the medical bills and the medicine cost of his parents, the school fees of the children, the car fuel cost as well as the electricity and telephone bills; to name a few. Besides the standard and fixed expenditures there are the contingent expenses like surprise invitation or the sudden malfunctioning of any home appliance or car breakdown etc. On the top of these suddenly he came to know that there has been a resource cutting drive in his company at the wake of global recession and he lost his job in a two weeks notice. It was difficult for the whole family, David could not think of any solution. However, he had to find himself a solution and had just one month in hand in which time he could manage his finances with the money he received from the office. He updated his resume and applied for the different jobs available in the smaller and local companies. He knew he will have to settle for much lesser salary but there was nothing he could do, given the economic scenario. After much search, finally he found himself a job in a local company. He received a better position for his experience but the company paid him almost 30% less. David and his wife consulted and decided that now since the children are little grown up, his wife can also make time for some work from home. Since she had commerce stream in her university days, she preferred to do something related to the finance sector. They researched on the net and finally zeroed in on trading forex. Davids wife went through several sites, reading in details the Forex Trading Guide and trying hard to get a grip of the Forex Trading Systems

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But nothing concrete was working out till one day she found a site called the Envelope Profit System, which shook all her pre notions and prior understanding of the manual Trading Forex

mechanism. She was impressed by the kit and appreciated the comprehensive and timely help extended by the expert team of the portal. Slowly she managed to understand the nuances and she could make gains without taking much risk. There was no hedging or martingale involved and the trading was carried on a secured MT4 platform.

The understanding of when to make entry and when to exit actually made the whole exercise stress free. Also she could manage to earn good return by spending just few minutes every day. Their earning from this source made up for the reduction of income in the regular service.

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Article Source:

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August 3, 2020

2008-09 Wikipedia for Schools goes online

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:20 pm

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Monday saw the latest edition of the vetted version of Wikipedia, which is aimed at educational use, go quietly online. The extensively revised version covers over five thousand topics, targeting the eight to seventeen years age group. Partnerships with the Shuttleworth Foundation and the Hole in the Wall project will see it distributed in South Africa and India as well as copies being available globally via the offices of SOS Children UK’s umbrella organisation, SOS Kinderdorf worldwide.

First launched in 2006 as a 4,000 article edition, the extract of Wikipedia has employed hi-tech distribution methods, as well as offering a website version which has steadily climbed up in ranking to above other reviewed Wikipedia rivals and copies; the 2007 version was available on the BitTorrent peer to peer network to keep distribution costs down and was equivalent to a fifteen-volume printed encyclopedia. Monday’s release is compared to a twenty-volume print edition.

Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen.

Key to the process for selecting articles is the English National Curriculum and similar educational standards around the world. The initial vision was to bring this wealth of knowledge to schools where access to the Internet was poor or unavailable, but copies of Wikipedia for Schools can be found on many first world school intranets and web servers. Among the compelling reasons to adopt the project are the vetting and additional study materials which overcome the oft-publicised concerns many educators have with the million article plus Wikipedia that anyone can edit.

In today’s press release announcing the launch, Wikimedia Foundation Executive Director Sue Gardner expressed delight at seeing the project bring out a new version, “Our goal is to make Wikipedia accessible to as many people as possible around the world, and SOS Children is a great partner that helps us make that happen. Wikipedia is released under a free content license so that individuals and institutions can easily adapt, reuse and customize its content: we encourage others, like SOS Children, to do exactly that.”

Running 192 schools in the developing world, SOS Children sees Wikipedia for Schools as a key piece in fulfilling the educational aspect of their mission. SOS Children’s Chairwoman, Mary Cockcroft gave us an introduction and, a Wikipedia administrator himself, the charity’s CEO Andrew Cates spoke to Wikinews at length about the project.

You are part of SOS-Kinderdorf International, can you explain a little about how this works in terms of distributing funds raised in the UK and involving UK citizens in work outside the country?

Mary Cockcroft: SOS Children[‘s Villages] is a “club” of member charities in 130 countries helping orphans and vulnerable children. The club elects SOS-Kinderdorf International as secretary. SOS is a large organisation whose members in aggregate turned over $1bn in 2007, and whose projects include owning and running 192 schools and family-based care for 70,000 children. However much of these funds are raised locally, with for example the member charities in each of India, Pakistan and South Africa raise considerably more funds in their own country than SOS UK does from the UK. Nonetheless SOS Children UK principally raises funds to finance projects in the developing world, and has only financially small projects in the UK (such as the Schools Wikipedia, which is very low cost because of extensive use of volunteers). This year we expect about 80% of our UK income will leave the UK for overseas SOS associations, and some of the remaining 20% will pay for project oversight. We do not spend money in the UK on Direct Mail or TV advertising. Our UK office is involved in overseeing projects we finance and a small number of high-skilled volunteers from the UK help overseas. However around 98% of SOS staff worldwide are local nationals, as are most volunteers.

((WN)) How much work does the UK charity actually carry out within the home country? Are there failings within the government system for orphans and other needy children that you feel obliged to remedy?

MC: We are deeply unhappy about the situation of children in out-of-home care in the UK. However our care model of 168 hour-a-week resident mothers does not fit with the UK philosophy for children without parental care. Internationally SOS always has a policy of sharing best practice and we are working to improve understanding of our way of working, which appears to us to have far better outcomes than the existing one in the UK. Ultimately though the legal responsibility for these children lies with government and we cannot remedy anything without their invitation.

((WN)) Who first came up with the idea of doing a vetted Wikipedia extract? What was the impetus? Was it more for the developing world than first world?

Andrew Cates: I honestly cannot remember who first suggested it, but it came from somewhere in the Wikipedia community rather than from the charity. The original product was very much pitched at the developing world where the Internet is only available if at all over an expensive phone line. I worked in West Africa 1993-1996 and I know well at how thirsty for knowledge people are and how ingenious they will be in overcoming technical obstacles if the need for infrastructure is removed.

((WN)) In reading past year’s announcements there’s some pride in the project being picked up and used in the first world, was this expected or a pleasant surprise?

AC: It was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think we had realised what the barriers schools faced in using the main Wikipedia were. It isn’t just pupils posting material about teachers or meeting strangers: the “Random Article” button on every page could potentially deliver an article on hardcore porn. We had already started when discussion broke on banning Wikipedia from classrooms and I am sure we benefited from it.

((WN)) Can you give an outline of the selection and vetting process? Is it primarily Wikipedians working on this, or are people from the educational establishment brought in?

AC: It was a long and painful process, even with a really good database system. Articles were taken into the proposal funnel from three main sources: direct proposals for inclusion from Wikipedians, lists which came from the Release Version team and proposals drawn up from working through National Curriculum subjects by SOS volunteers. In a few cases where we felt articles were missing we asked the community to write them (e.g. Portal:Early Modern Britain, which is a curriculum subject, was kindly written just for us): These “proposals” were then looked at by mainly SOS volunteers (some onwiki, some offline). Our offices are in the middle of Cambridge and we get high quality volunteers, who skim read each article and then compared two versions from the article history by credible WP editors a significant period apart (this picks up most graffiti vandalism which runs at about 3% of articles). Once they had identified a “best” version they marked any sections or text strings for deletion (sections which were just a list of links to other articles not included, empty sections, sex scandals etc). A substantial sample of each volunteers work was then doubled checked for quality by one of two office staff (of whom I was one). We then have a script which does some automated removals and clean ups. Once we had a selection we posted it to relevant wikiprojects and a few “experts” and got any extra steers.

((WN)) Will you be making use of BitTorrent for distribution again this year? Was it a success in 2007?

AC: BitTorrent was a bit disappointing in that it got us the only substantial criticisms we received online. A lot of people find it too much effort to use. However for the period we offered a straight http: download we had huge problems with spiders eating vast bandwidth (the file is 3.5G: a few thousand rogue spider downloads and it starts to hurt). As per last year therefore our main two channels will be free download by BitTorrent and mailing the DVDs free all over the world. At a pinch we will (as before) put straight copies up for individuals who cannot get it any other way, and we have some copies on memory sticks for on distributors.

((WN)) Is it your opinion that the UK Government should be encouraging the adoption of projects like this as mainstream educational resources?

AC: Clearly yes. We have had a very enthusiastic reaction from schools and the teaching community. We think every school should have an intranet copy. We expect the Government to catch on in a few years. That is not to say that Wikipedia is as good as resources developed by teachers for teachers such as lesson plans etc. but it is a fantastic resource.

((WN)) You’re a Wikipedia administrator, all too often a thankless task. What prompted you to get involved in the first place? What are the most notable highs and lows of your involvement with the project?

AC: Funnily the thing I have found most amazing about Wikipedia is not widely discussed, which is the effect of Wikipedia policies on new editors. I have seen countless extreme POV new editors, who come in and try to get their opinions included slowly learn not only that there are other opinions to consider but that elements of their own opinion which are not well founded. Watching someone arrive often (on pages on religions for example) full of condemnation for others, gradually become understanding and diplomatic is one of the biggest buzzes there is. The downside though is where correcting things which are wrong is too painfully slow because you need to find sources. I was a post-doc at Cambridge University in combustion and I know the article on Bunsen burners has several really significant errors concerning the flame structure and flow structure. But sadly I cannot correct it because I am still looking around for a reliable source.

((WN)) Do you believe schools should encourage students to get involved contributing to the editable version of Wikipedia? Does SOS Children encourage those who are multilingual to work on non-English versions?

AC: I think older students have a lot to learn from becoming involved in editing Wikipedia.

((WN)) To close, is there anything you’d like to add to encourage use of Wikipedia for Schools, or to persuade educators to gain a better understanding of Wikipedia?

AC: I would encourage people to feed back to the project online or via the charity. The Wikipedia community set out to help educate the world and are broadly incredibly well motivated to help. As soon as we understand what can be done to improve things people are already on the task.

((WN)) Thank you for your time.

Gunman kills self and hostage in Texas NASA building

Filed under: Uncategorized — Admin @ 3:16 pm

Friday, April 20, 2007

Around 1:40 p.m. CDT, NASA employees reported that two shots were fired in the NASA Building 44 in the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. A SWAT team later reported that Bill Phillips, a contract engineer with Jacobs Engineering, had killed David Beverly as well as himself, leaving a female hostage physically unharmed.

Phillips entered a conference room with gun drawn and ordered all but one person out. Phillips barricaded himself on the second floor of the two-story building, with David Beverly and another female hostage. The building was evacuated and police were summoned. NASA security, Houston police and a SWAT team were on the scene.

Houston news reported at 5:22 p.m. CDT that Bill Phillips, the gunman, and David Beverly, the hostage, were both dead. Police reported that the SWAT team heard one shot and decided to engage, but before they reached the room they heard another shot. When SWAT reached the scene, the male hostage was dead from a bullet to the chest, the gunman was dead from a bullet to the head, and the female hostage, Fran Cranshaw, was gagged and bound to a chair with duct tape, but was otherwise unharmed.

All NASA employees had first been warned to stay in their buildings but were later told by NASA they were free to go home if their working day was over. Mission Control locked its doors during this incident, as this is a standard procedure in such situations. No NASA Mission has been affected by this incident, according to NASA.

In the first press conference, police said that communication to the gunman had not yet been established, but that negotiators had already tried it two times unsuccessfully.

The motive of the hostage-taking, and whether the three people had any connection to each other, is currently under investigation.

The Houston Chronicle reports that last month Phillips had received one e-mail from his employer, Jacob engineering Inc., “describing problems with his work and offering suggestions on improvement.” Jacobs printed that e-mail on March 18, the same day he bought the 38-caliber gun that police suspect was used in the shooting.

Despite reassurances by Cranshaw and Beverly, Phillips would not believe that management was not going to fire him, according to Cranshaw. During the 3-hour standoff, Phillips used a dry-erase board in the room indicating he was tired of being called “stupid,” police said last Saturday.

Michael Sampson, the co-manager of the space agency’s Electronic Parts and Packaging Program, who had known Beverly for ten years, described him as friendly, peaceful person, with a positive attitude to his co-workers.

Relatives describe Phillips as a loner who always kept to himself. He had lost his father in 2003, but had decided not to return to his hometown in Tennessee. Smith, a cousin of Phillips, remarked that in the Christmas card he had received from him last year, Phillips said that he was feeling lonely and without family, but nothing in the card suggested anything so tragic.

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