International / National / News / October 17, 2012

News briefs: Skydiver completes world record jump

Skydiver completes world record jump

ROSWELL, N.M. — An Australian man on Sunday completed a skydiving jump of more than 24 miles, reaching a maximum speed of more than 833 miles per hour, breaking the speed of sound. More than 8 million people watched live on YouTube as Felix Baumgartner, 43, broke a 52-year-old skydiving record. He trained for more than five years and overcame two previous failed attempts. He traveled in a hotair balloon and a 100-pound pressurized flight suit. Baumgartner was in a free fall for more than four minutes before deploying his parachute and landing in the New Mexico desert. The former soldier overcame low air temperatures, thin atmosphere and a possible loss of consciousness. (Source: CNN)

Cuba reforms longstanding travel laws

CUBA — The Cuban government announced this week that it will end a long-standing exit visa requirement in January. The policy required citizens to apply for the difficult-to-get document if they sought to leave the country even for a few days. The new policy will require that Cuban residents have only a passport and visa to leave the country. President Raúl Castro announced the change, yet another concession by the Cuban government to growing weariness among its people. Citizens can still be denied travel due to reasons of “defense and national security.” The policy also maintains limited travel rights for doctors, scientists, military officers and others as the government hopes to “preserve the human capital created by the [1959] Revolution.” (Source: The New York Times)

Feds: Rep. Jackson Jr. misused funds

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) allegedly misused campaign funds to decorate his home, according to federal prosecutors. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is nearing the end of a five-month investigation into the claims. Jackson made headlines in June after he suddenly disappeared from office, later citing health concerns. He initially said he was seeking treatment for exhaustion, but later revealed that he was receiving treatment at the Mayo Clinic for bipolar disorder. Jackson faced another federal investigation in 2008 after he allegedly played a role in former Ill. Governor Rod Blagojevich’s attempts to sell the Senate seat Barack Obama left after winning presidency. Jackson, who was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1995, is currently running for reelection. (Source: Wall Street Journal)

Obama, Romney debate women’s issues

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney focused much of their efforts in their second debate Tuesday on issues that affect women, vying for undecided female voters. The candidates discussed prospective policies like contraception and equal pay for women. Obama, who sought to solidify his advantage among women, argued that his policies are better suited for women. In response, Romney said that he had received “binders full of women” after he requested more female job candidates as Massachusetts governor. Parodies of the comment spread virally over the internet. The former governor argued that Obama’s policies as president have not effectively served women — and that those same policies will continue if he is reelected. Romney said he believes “every woman in America should have access to contraceptives,” but did not mention his objections to Obama’s policy that all employers should pay for it in health insurance. (Source: Washington Post)

TKS Staff

Tags:  Barack Obama Cuba Felix Baumgartner Jessie Jackson Jr. mitt romney Raúl Castro Skydiver

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