International / National / News / May 27, 2010

News Briefs: May 27

GULF OF MEXICO — BP has announced that it has begun its latest attempt to plug the oil spill in the gulf by using mud and cement. The company has said it will be using submarines to pump mud into the gusher in hopes of eventually stopping the leak. It is estimated that roughly 26.5 million liters of oil have been spilled into the gulf since the oil rig exploded on April 20. (

 UNITED STATES — Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, announced on Wednesday that Facebook will change its security settings after criticism from Facebook users when the website automatically made some profile information public by default. The new changes began Wednesday. Zuckerberg said new privacy controls will make it simpler for people to select who can see their profile and also will allow website users to more easily block third parties from viewing their information. (

 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — On Wednesday, the shuttle Atlantis returned from its 32nd and final voyage after a quarter-century of operation and traveling 120 miles. About 1,200 guests lined the Kennedy Space Center runway to watch the shuttle as it landed after a 12-day journey. The shuttle will eventually head to a museum. (

 UNITED STATES — Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith and their colleagues have created the first artificial DNA cell. Created on May 20, this man-made DNA carries about 1,000 genes and is made out of synthetic lab chemicals. Venter has been trying to create this artificial life form for about 15 years. (

INDIA — On Saturday at about 6 a.m., an Air India plane overshot the runway of Mangalore’s Bajpe airport, crashing over a cliff and bursting into flames in a hilly area just outside of the airport. Of the plane’s 160 passengers — all Indian — and six crew members, eight survived the crash. It was the deadliest crash in India since a midair collision killed 349 people in November 1996. (

LONDON — On Wednesday, the United Kingdom gave the first public account of its stockpile of nuclear weapons, totaling 225 warheads, in order to gain stricter global controls of nuclear proliferation. This announcement followed the Obama administration’s disclosure of the United States’ stockpile of 5,113 nuclear warheads and “several thousand” more which are going to be put in the junk pile. (

SEATTLE — On Wednesday, Apple passed Microsoft as the biggest technology company in the world. After repeated success with the iPhone and now recently the iPad, Apple now has market capitalization (number of shares multiplied by the current share price) of about $222 billion while Microsoft has market capitalization of about $219 billion. (

Annie Zak

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