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UNF's #1 Student-Run News Source

UNF Spinnaker

State, nation and world news Feb. 16, 2011

Around the State
Former Kennedy Space Center worker charged with selling space shuttle tiles on eBay

A former Kennedy Space Center worker was charged with one count of grand theft and one count of possessing stolen property, after it was discovered he sold used heat-resistant tiles from space shuttles. He faces up to five years in prison for each charge.

David Abbey, 50, sold some of the used heat resistant tiles for nearly $900 each on eBay.  Police said he made more than $10,000 after selling the stolen tiles.

Abbey started working at KSC in 2000. Agents said he took the tiles during the 10-year period he worked there.

Agents say NASA reported the possibility of the thefts to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office.

Abbey is out of jail on a $10,000 bond.

Around the Nation
Proposed budget sees cuts in education

President Obama released the 2012 budget proposal Feb. 14. Some parts of an education grant program may be cut. The budget proposed eliminating Pell grants for summer school and making interest on federal loans for graduate students build up during school; currently, the interest tab doesn’t start running until after graduation.

The administration said those cuts would help preserve the maximum Pell grant of $5,500.

Obama proposed almost $7.8 billion for the National Science Foundation.

The administration proposed a $2.5 billion cut from a program that helps low-income people pay energy bills during periods of extreme weather.

The administration argues it is merely reducing funding to 2008 levels to account for lower energy prices. But the American Gas Association, an industry group that represents natural gas companies, predicts the cut will affect 3.2 million households and 9 million individuals.

For the current year, the White House projects a deficit of more than $1.6 trillion — higher than the Congressional Budget Office forecast. But outlays would drop in 2012 and stabilize in the $3.7 trillion range as deficits fall to $1.1 trillion in 2012, then $768 billion in 2013.

Around the World
Over 100 killed in southern Sudan clashes

More than 100 were killed and many others injured in clashes between the Southern Sudan government and forces loyal to a militia leader last week, a Southern Sudan official said.

Peter Aguer, spokesman for the Sudan People’s Liberation Army movement, said forces loyal to George Athor “attacked the town of Fanjak.”

Aguer said SPLA soldiers, 39 civilians and 30 attackers were killed.

In addition, Athor’s forces also attacked the town of Bor, where four SPLA soldiers and 12 attackers died.

The clashes took place Feb. 8-9 and left a total of 105 dead, Aguer said.

Athor took up arms in 2010 when he was not elected governor of the southern Sudanese state of Jongeli. He accused the southern Sudan government of election fraud but signed a truce in January, days before the referendum.

Compiled by Spinnaker and wire services

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