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'Voice of Mission Control' Jack King dies aged 84

Jack King in Mission Control for the Apollo 12 launch in November 1969. Credit: Nasa

The man known as "The Voice of Mission Control" has died aged 84, Nasa have announced.

Jack King was the Nasa public affairs spokesman who counted down the historic lift off of Apollo 11 on 16th July 1969.

Mr King died at a hospice facility following a lengthy illness, not far from Kennedy Space Centre.

He counted down hundreds of the early rocket launches and said in 2009, on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, that he still enjoyed hearing recordings of himself from that launch day.


US military 'shipped live anthrax via post' to other labs

A file image of anthrax spores under an electron microscope. Credit: Reuters

Biological warfare scientists accidentally shipped deadly live anthrax spores to other military labs across the United States, it has emerged.

US news network CNN broke the news that the samples were inadvertently shipped between a site in Dugway, Utah, and labs in nine other states,

The Pentagon has confirmed the incident, saying that the samples were supposed to be inactive and has insisted that there was no risk to the public.

Man shot after attack at New Orleans airport

A man attacked two Transportation Security Agents before a third agent shot him three times at a security checkpoint in the New Orleans international airport, the AP has reported.

Richard White, 63, entered the airport and went through the TSA line where boarding passes are checked when he was confronted by one of the guards, Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand told a news conference outside the airport.

White responded by spraying the guard with wasp spray, then struck a female officer with a machete, cutting her right arm, Mr Normand said.

White sprayed the male officer again before a third officer shot him, striking him in the left chest, left thigh and left facial area, the sheriff said.

Mr Normand said White was transferred to an area hospital but was "unresponsive".


United States: Palestinian Authority can't join ICC

The US has re-affirmed its position that the Palestinian Authority is unable to join the International Criminal Court as it is not a sovereign nation.

Reuters report that President Barack Obama spoke by phone on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about ongoing nuclear talks with Iran and about the Palestinian move to become a member of the International Criminal Court, the White House said.

"President Obama underscored that the United States does not believe Palestinian accession to the ICC is a constructive way forward," a White House spokesperson said, repeating the US position that the Palestinian Authority is not a sovereign state and does not qualify to join the court.

'Distraught' parent at Texas hospital surrenders

The father of a patient at a Texas hospital who became distraught over his son's condition has surrendered without incident.

They said he did not have a weapon.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said the man had been with his adult son inside a hospital room in the critical care unit of the Tomball Regional Medical Centre.

Earlier, police had said they believed he was holding at least two hostages.

Harris County Sheriff's Lt Joe Ambriz said a threatening situation arose around 7pm local time, but would not describe it or any details about the son's condition.

The authorities said around 11pm local time that the man was in custody and the hospital was no longer under any lockdown.

Houston hospital incident 'not hostage situation'

Authorities now say they do not consider an incident at a Texas hospital involving a distraught father to be a hostage situation, the Associated Press has reported.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office says that a man who was distraught about his son's medical condition and was with him inside a hospital room in the critical care unit of the Tomball Regional Medical Center, near Houston.

The sheriff's office said it was still unclear whether the man was armed.

Police and media reports earlier said the man was believed to be holding at least two hostages.

Fears over 'hostages' held a Texas hosptial

Credit: Google Maps

A man believed to be the father of a patient is thought to have taken at least two people hostage at a hospital in Texas.

It was not immediately clear if the man was armed.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office said it believed the man was a distraught parent of a patient and at least two people were being held hostage at the Tomball Regional Medical Centre, near Houston.

A supervisor at the county's emergency dispatch centre said the situation was in the critical care unit and began around 7pm local time.

The hospital is on a 150-acre campus about 30 miles north-west of Houston in the United States.

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