BBC News with John Jason
The first man to set foot on the moon Neil Armstrong has died at the
age of 82. He'd undergone heart bypass surgery earlier this month. As
commander of the Apollo 11 mission in July 1969, Armstrong made
the first footprint on the dusty surface. Pallab Ghosh reports.
It is one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.
Thousands of people were involved in the Apollo missions that led to
this moment, but it was Neil Armstrong’s ice cool nerves that ensure
that lunar module Eagle landed safely. He had to take manual control
of the spacecraft as it descended toward the surface, taking it toward
region’s drone with boulders and craters. He and his fellow crew
members returned to earth to a hero’s welcome. But Neil Armstrong
soon retreated from the lime light, preferring the quieter life as a
professor of engineering.
Buzz Aldrin, a fellow member of the Apollo 11 mission and the second
man on the moon, gives the BBC’s reaction to Mr. Armstrong’s death.
I was fortunate enough to be one of those crew members and to fly
with outstanding test pilot Neil Armstrong. So it is very sad indeed
that we are not able to be together as a crew on the 50th anniversary
President Obama has accused his Republican election rival Mitt
Romney of holding his extreme positions on economic and social
issues. In an interview with Associated Press news agency, the
president said Mr. Romney had locked himself into such policies and
would carry them forward if elected.
The oppositional commander of Afghanistan’s most prominent
militant group the Haqqani network has been killed in an American air
strike, according to his family. A relative told the BBC that Badruddin
Haqqani died last Tuesday. Local officials and tribesmen also see his
death, but the U.S. military has not yet verified it. From Islamabad,
There are growing indications that the al-Qaeda linked Haqqani
network has lost one of its key leaders. Badruddin Haqqani has been
described as the operational commander of the Haqqani group,
masterminding and directing ambitious attacks on high profile targets.
He was also responsible for training camps and for extorting funds
from contractors. If confirmed, his death would be a considerable
victory for U.S. forces. The Haqqani network is one of their most
Torrential rains and near hurricane strength winds have battered Haiti
as Tropical Storm Isaac made landfall west of the capital,
Port-au-Prince. Officials said a young girl is the first confirmed fatality.
She died when a wall fell on her. A spokesman for the British charity
Oxfam said the girl was among four fatalities it had heard of.
You are listening to the latest World News from the BBC.
The police commissioner of New York has said it appears that all nine
bystanders wounded in a shooting incident in the city on Friday were
hit by police gunfire. Commissioner Ray Kelly said the victims were
struck by the fragments or bullets fired by police, the officers’
responding to a fatal shooting near the Empire State Building.
The authorities in Venezuela say 26 people have been killed in a huge
explosion of the country’s biggest oil refinery. The governor of Falcon
state Stella Lugo said a ten-year-old boy was among the dead, more
than 80 others have been injured. Most of the victims were National
Guard troops stationed at the Amuay refinery. The Venezuela’s
authorities say it was caused by a gas leak.
Eyewitnesses in the Libyan capital Tripoli have told the BBC that
mosque tombs belonging to followers of Sufi Islam have been
demolished by bulldozers. Sufi is long established in North Africa but
Salafis have increasingly targeted their shrines and practices.
Bethany Bell reports.
Witnesses blamed the attack on ultra conservative Salafi Muslims who
regarded the shrine as idolatrous. The police, they said, stood by and
watched. It is the second attack against Sufi shrine in Libya in two
days. Libyan Deputy Prime Minister Mustafa Abushagur said the
destruction of shrines and mosques was a crime. The graves of the
holy men were revered in the mystical Sufi sect of Islam. But many
Salafis feel Sufis and their shrines as hierarchical.
Egypt has fully reopened its Rafah border crossing, Gaza’s only
gateway to the outside world that bypasses to Israel. It was closed
three weeks ago when 16 Egyptian soldiers were killed by militants. It
was partially reopened a week later to allow Palestinians on the
Egyptian side of border back into Gaza. Correspondents say Egypt’s
decision signals an improvement in its relations with Gaza's Islamist
Hamas government which deteriorated after the attack.
That is the latest BBC News.