State, nation and world news Mar. 9, 2011

Spinnaker

Compiled by Spinnaker and wire servicesAround the STATE

Two Space crews say farewell to DiscoveryAfter more than a week together, the space shuttle and space station crews bade each other farewell, but saved their most heartfelt goodbyes for the most traveled rocket ship of all time.

After nearly 31 years on 38 previous missions, Discovery will be retired when it returns to Earth this week.

“Discovery has been a great ship and has really supported the International Space Station more so, I think, than any other space shuttle. We wish her fair winds and flowing seas,” said Scott Kelly, the space station’s commander.

Around the NATION

U.S. Gas Prices up 33 cents in Two WeeksThe latest Lundberg study of cities in the continental U.S., conducted Friday, showed the average price for a gallon of self-serve unleaded gasoline at $3.51, 32.7 cents above the last survey, two weeks ago said survey publisher Trilby Lundberg.

This was the biggest jump since a 38-cent hike in the summer of 2005, after Hurricane Katrina.

“The armed struggle in Libya has shocked international oil markets, and here it is at the pump,” Lundberg said.

Only three percent of Libyan oil exports head to the United States, but global economics still links the events in Libya to domestic gas prices.

The current average price is 61 cents below the all-time high, and 78 cents higher than a year ago, Lundberg said.

Around the WORLD

El-Qaddafi loyalists Stall Libyan Rebels’ Advance with Heavy Assault
Troops loyal to Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi attacked rebel forces in the coastal town of Bin Jawwad Sunda, pushing them east. This temporarily stops the anti-government fighters from their steady march toward Tripoli.The attack began at around 9 a.m., 12 hours later rebel cars, armored trucks and ambulances were fleeing east. At least 10 people were reported dead, by ambulance workers and doctors, although that number is expected to rise once they were able to reach Bin Jawwad.

The rebel defeat came just a day after they celebrated a major victory taking the port city of Ras Lanuf, continuing the pattern of a grueling conflict in which neither side can claim a clear advantage.