Sunday, October 16, 2005

China's Shenzhou 6 returns to a chaotic world

Chinese taikonauts returned to China tonight. CCTV 9 brought extensive coverage to viewers around the world as Shenzhou 6, Divine Vessel, returned to Earth. This was in stark contrast to China’s first manned mission At 04:26 CCTV 9 reported the craft had broken through the ‘blackout area’. PCNE Chinese also brought extensive coverage, but there was no Live coverage of this historic mission on CNN, Sky News, BBC 24 nor ITN. And at 04:32 Beijing time, CCTV 9 reported the craft to have landed safely in the northern province of Inner Mongolia. The only Live shot was of scientists and engineers at the Beijing Aerospace Command and Control Centre. Although pictures were said to have been received by the centre from the taikonauts, no pictures were made immediately available to the media. But soon Live pictures said to be near the landing site showed helicopters over the area. Fei Junglong and Nie Haisheng blasted off Wednesday from the edge of the Gobi desert, in Gansu province.

They return to a world with many troubles. In Iran a bomb exploded in the south-west of the country and has been blamed on Britain by President Amedinajad. Britain denied any links. There was said to be a high turnout for Iraq’s constitutional vote, Saturday. Sixty one percent of registered voters cast their vote amid fears of an upsurge in violence. But few attacks were reported. Twenty attacks were said to have occurred in Baghdad, and a man was reportedly shot dead near a polling station. The US backed constitution has been widely criticised for swaying too heavily toward Shi’ite interests. Meanwhile, relief operations continue in Pakistan where death tolls are said to exceed 40,000 following a 7.6 earthquake, eight days ago.
[21:08 GMT 16/10/2005 / 05:08 BEIJING 17/10/2005]

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