More than 200,000 people flocked to a former air force base near Rome, N.Y., for three days of music at Woodstock ’99. Featuring nearly 50 acts, including Alanis Morissette and The Tragically Hip, it was staged 30 years after the famed celebration of peace and love in a farmer’s field 120 km away.
Shuttle launched, pioneers honoured
Twice delayed by weather and a technical glitch, the space shuttle Columbia blasted into a five-day orbit on Friday, capping a historic week in the U.S. space program. Under the direction of the first female shuttle commander, Col. Eileen Collins, the fivemember crew released the $2.3-billion Chandra X-ray Observatory into orbit. At 22,000 kg, the powerful X-ray telescope is the heaviest payload ever transported by a shutde. Astronomers expect the Chandra to help them learn more about the mysterious dark mat-
ter that is believed to fill the universe, and better determine the distance to celestial objects. It will also search for black holes and view galaxies, quasars and exploded stars.
Earlier in the week, on the 30th anniversary of the first landing on the moon, the three crew members of that Apollo 11 mission received the prestigious Langley Gold Medal for aviation, first given to the Wright brothers in 1909. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, Edwin A. (Buzz) Aldrin and Michael Collins “blazed a path farther than any we have known,” said Vice-President AÍ Gore in ceremonies at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington.
Death of a Mideast peace broker
Moroccan television and radio stations stopped regular programming and broadcast readings from the Koran when King Hassan, absolute monarch for 38 years, died of a heart attack in a Rabat hospital. The king, 70, was succeeded by his son, Crown Prince Sidi Mohammed. Hassan was revered as a descendant of the prophet Mohammed. He helped bring about the 1979 peace treaty between Israel and Egypt and subsequent agreements between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization and with Jordan.
Massacre in Kosovo
Fourteen Serb farmers were shot dead in the bloodiest single attack in Kosovo since NATO peacekeepers arrived in mid-June. The massacre was believed to be the work of ethnic Albanian extremists. Meanwhile, NATO officials accused factions of the Kosovo Liberation Army of hiding stockpiles of weapons in anticipation of the midSeptember deadline for disarmament.
The quest for peace
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak held talks in Washington and London, then reopened negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. Barak also planned sessions with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah. Elected in May, the Israeli leader has set a goal of completing peace talks with the Palestinians and Syria within 13 months.
A fatal Japanese hijacking
A 28-year-old man wielding a 20-cm knife forced his way into the cockpit of an All Nippon Airways jumbo jet in flight and stabbed the pilot fatally in the neck and shoulder. He briefly flew the Boeing 747 before being overpowered by crew members.
Body in a suitcase
Police in Lebanon reportedly arrested Yousif Wahid, wanted in connection with the murder of Fatima Kama, 28, a Montreal singer whose stabbed body was found stuffed into a suitcase at London’s Heathrow Airport. Witnesses say they saw Wahid with a suitcase leaving the London building where Kama was staying on the night she disappeared. British police also arrested Wahid’s brother, Abdel, who had rented an apartment to Kama, and charged him with assisting an offender.
Reviewing the accord
Former U.S. senator George Mitchell, who brokered the 1998 Good Friday accord to bring peace to Northern Ireland, is attempting to revive the stalled process. While the Irish Republican Army has refused to disarm before taking its place in a provincial government, Protestants will not sit with the IRA unless it hands in its guns.
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