Campus News briefs

INTERESTED IN ROCKET SCIENCE? – On Nov. 13, the UVU College of Science and Health will present a lecture on rocket propulsion from noon to 12:50 p.m. in LI 120. Michael Jacobs of ATK Launch Systems will be talking about the Ares I rocket program. Ares I is the fleet of rockets being developed by NASA to replace the Space Shuttle fleet. ATK and Michael Jacobs are playing a critical role in the design of the Ares I launch system. Come learn about this new space program and Utah’s role in its development.

AMBASSADOR OF MOLDOVA TO VISIT – The Ambassador of Moldova will be speaking at UVU in the International Relations class on Nov. 17 from 9 a.m. to 9:50 a.m. in LA 219. He will be speaking about the transition to democracy in Eastern Europe and the security and peace building in Eurasia.

HUNGER BANQUET TO BENEFIT UTAH COUNTY FOOD BANK – Students and community members can help fight hunger in Utah by attending the 6th annual UVU Hunger Banquet on Nov. 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sorensen Student Center Grande Ballroom.

The keynote speaker will be Bill Hulterstrom, president and CEO of United Way Utah County. He will be speaking about how one person can make a difference and his theory of service. Jim Hunter of Community Action Services Food Bank will also speak.

Each year the proceeds from the UVU hunger banquet go toward an organization in need. This year the food bank was chosen since the need for food in Utah County has increased. In the month of October alone there was a 40 percent increase in food bank requests, Fleming said. The UVU Service Council is also doing a food drive throughout November to help stock the shelves of the Utah County Food Bank.

The banquet will include dinners for low-income, middle-income and high-income categories. Tickets are $7 at Campus Connection. For $2 off the ticket price, bring four cans of food to the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center in SC 101. For more information, call (801) 863-8786.

National News

FCC APPROVES PLAN TO EXPAND AIRWAVES – After the national transition from analog to digital occurs in February, the FCC plans to use those airwaves, called white spaces, for technical devices like cell phones and laptops that connect to the Internet. However, opponents of this new plan fear that it will disrupt the widespread public access of the airwaves. Some of these opponents include those in the entertainment industry and preachers who currently use microphones that use the airwaves. They fear that the devices could interfere with broadcast channels on nearby spectrum that are used in live performances and use the same frequencies. Proponents of the plan, including Google and Microsoft, say that the plan will unleash more technologies to consumers. Microsoft chairman, Bill Gates, and Google founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, have personally lobbied on behalf of the plan to FCC commissioners, claiming that people will benefit from the new technology. On the other hand, Broadway producers, the Walt Disney Co. and ministers warn that the new plan can cause interference with wireless microphones, broadcast channels and even university lectures.

TWO ASTRONAUTS CAST THEIR BALLOTS IN SPACE – ISS Commander E. Michael Fincke and flight engineer Gregg Chamitoff, who are currently orbiting the International Space Station, cast their votes using a laptop computer last week. The voting was secure and confidential and their ballots were transmitted digitally by Mission Control at Johnson Space Station. Fincke and Chamitoff were not the first astronauts to vote in space. In 1997, a Texas law was passed to allow voting in space, and five astronauts cast their ballots that year.

STUDY LINKS AUTISM WITH RAINFALL – U.S. researches have reported that children who live in the Northwest’s wettest counties are more likely to have autism, but they have not been able to understand why. One researcher from Cornell University, Michael Waldman, has been trying to find an environmental link with autism. Autism rates from state and county agencies for children born in Washington, Oregon and California between 1987 and 1999 were positively compared against daily precipitation rates for the states. However, no one knows what specifically causes autism. Doctors agree that there is a genetic factor related to autism but also speculate that something in the environment can perhaps trigger the condition in the womb. Another known trigger is a vitamin D deficiency caused by insufficient time in the sun. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control has launches a long-term study to find the cause.

World News

MEXICO – One of Mexico’s top politicians, Interior Secretary Juan Camailo Mourino, died as his government jet crashed into a Mexico City street. The crash caused dozens of vehicle fires and killed Mourino, along with seven others. The crash is considered an accident. Mourino, 37, helped lead Mexico’s fight against drug cartels. He was one of President Felipe Calderon’s closest advisers and was in charge of the country’s security.

TAIWAN – Hundreds of Taiwanese protesters surrounded a hotel on Nov. 5 where a Chinese official, Chen Yunlin, was attending a dinner banquet. The protestors threw eggs and burned Chinese flags. Yunlin is the highest-ranking Communist Chinese official to visit Taiwan and has been surrounded by protestors since he began his five-day trip in the country. Yunlin went to the country to sign a trade agreement with Taiwan to ease tensions, but many of the Taiwanese still distrust Beijing and see it as a big security threat.

CONGO – With gunfire and explosives, rebels fought pro-government militiamen in Kiwanja, Congo, for more than two days, causing thousands to flee for safety. Diplomats have worked to assemble a regional peace summit in Kenya to develop a solution to the situation. In a nearby village, Mabenga, a Belgian journalist and his assistant were kidnapped by the militia. The government is in negotiations for their release.

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