Shuttle Endeavour makes dramatic final flight
Flying as low as 1,500 feet around some of California’s most distinctive landmarks, the space shuttle Endeavour completed its final voyage Friday to cheers and many photos.
After taking off from Edwards Air Force Base on Friday morning, Endeavour headed north, buzzing the state Capitol in Sacramento, circling the Bay Area and soaring over a Golden Gate Bridge packed with onlookers.
As the sound of the plane’s engines drowned out the traffic on the bridge and tourists ran to get the best vantage point, screams of “Whooo!” could be heard as the shuttle flew over the suspension bridge.
~ Gates Tops Forbes 400 as Zuckerberg Slips
The 2012 Forbes 400 list was revealed this week, and for the 19th consecutive year, a technology magnate led the pack, with six more tech moguls rounding out the top 20 richest people in America.
Microsoft creator and always-billionaire Bill Gates’ name is old news, topping the list for almost two decades straight, while Oracle owner Larry Ellison kept his No. 3 spot, earning about $5 billion less than philanthropist Warren Buffet. But Amazon chief Jeff Bezos shot to 11th place, carrying with him $23.2 billion in net worth – higher than last year’s measly $19.1 billion.
The biggest change was Mark Zuckerberg. Following a rough year for the social network, the Facebook founder slipped from the No. 14 spot (where he touted $17.5 billion) to land at No. 36, with $9.4 billion. Two years ago, he jumped from 158 to 35, gaining the largest percentage growth in 2010.
Zuckerberg’s fortune could fit easily into Steve Jobs’s widow’s purse, as Laurene Powell Jobs “and family” were ranked 28th, making her the richest woman in America, with a bank account about $11 billion strong.
The President was courting the Hispanic vote at a Univision News forum on Thursday, and during the interview he agreed with anchor Jorge Ramos that his biggest failure so far has been his inability to enact immigration reform:
“Jorge, as you remind me, my biggest failure so far is we haven’t gotten comprehensive immigration reform done yet,” Obama said, adding: ”What I confess I did not expect, and so I’m happy to take responsibility for being naive here, is that Republicans who had previously supported comprehensive immigration reform — my opponent in 2008, who had been a champion of it and who attended these meetings — suddenly would walk away. That’s what I did not anticipate.”
~ iPhone 5 rollout draws big crowds worldwide
Apple fans queued in Asia, Europe and North America on Friday for the new iPhone 5, which appeared set to break sales records despite lukewarm reviews and complaints about its mapping system.
The crowds of eager buyers looked set to make the latest iPhone a huge commercial success for the trend-setting US tech giant. Some analysts say Apple may sell 10 million in just the first days of the launch.
“I’ve been waiting for eight days, I’m so happy right now,” said Keenen Thompson, one of the first among several hundred people outside the Apple store on New York’s Fifth Avenue.