Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 23rd 2014 Contents A44
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt February 23, 2014
SAN DIEGO---A training
exercise designed to
showcase the US govern-
ment s ability to recover
a space capsule at sea was
scrubbed after NASA ran
into trouble off the
coast, the space agency
Crews had difficulty
tying down a mock-up of
the Orion capsule aboard
an amphibious warship off
the shores of San Diego.
NASA said cables
attached to the capsule
weren t strong enough to
handle turbulence and
snapped off twice while it
was in the well deck of the
USS San Diego before it
could be moved out to sea
With the Orion mock-
up still on the Navy ship,
teams could not practice
fetching the spacecraft
from the ocean.
"Even though the test-
ing didn t go as we had
planned, we re learning
lessons that will help us
be better prepared to
retrieve Orion," Bill Hill of
NASA headquarters said
in a statement.
Engineers were trou-
bleshooting the problem,
and it was not clear when
the test would be resched-
Before the latest test was
called off, NASA said crews
successfully retrieved parts
of the spacecraft, including
the parachute and a pro-
Obama met with Tibet s Dalai Lama
on Friday over the strong objections
from China that the US was meddling
in its affairs. The White House took
pains to ensure the meeting was not
portrayed as a conference of two heads
Obama played host to his fellow Nobel
laureate in the White House s Map Room
rather than the Oval Office, where the
President traditionally brings dignitaries
Beijing decries the Dalai Lama as an
anti-Chinese separatist because of his
quest for greater Tibetan autonomy. The
White House calls him a respected cul-
tural and religious figure who is com-
mitted to peace.
Beijing had protested the meeting after
the White House announced it Thursday
night. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman
Hua Chunying called it a "gross inter-
ference in China s domestic politics,"
accusing Obama of letting the Dalai
Lama use the White House to promote
"It will inflict grave damages upon
the China-US relationship," she said.
Beijing frequently protests meetings
with the Dalai Lama, and the dust-ups
have become something of a diplomatic
ritual for Obama, who faced Beijing s ire
when he met with the Tibetan leader in
2010 and again in 2011. In his first year
in office, Obama put off a meeting with
the monk in what was seen as a move
to placate China.
How much does it matter?
"I have severe doubts that the Chinese
would proceed to do anything in response
or retaliation that would undermine
much larger Chinese interests" with the
US, said Jonathan Pollack, a China scholar
at the private Brookings Institution.
In a carefully worded statement after
the meeting, the White House said
Obama offered his "strong support for
the preservation of Tibet s unique reli-
gious, cultural and linguistic traditions"
and for human rights protections for
Tibetans in China. The statement said
Obama "reiterated the US position that
Tibet is part of the People s Republic of
China and that the United States does
not support Tibet independence."
The Dalai Lama told Obama he s not
seeking Tibetan independence, and both
leaders said they hoped talks would
resume between Beijing and the Dalai
Lama s representatives.
The Dalai Lama gave up his political
role as the leader of the Tibetan gov-
ernment-in-exile in 2011. The White
House said Obama supports the Dalai
Lama s approach of "neither assimilation
nor independence for Tibetans."
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama poses for a "selfie" with blogger and
activist Alek Boyd during a break between panel discussions at an event titled
Happiness, Free Enterprise, and Human Flourishing on February 20, at the
American Enterprise Institute in Washington. AP PHOTO
This February 19 photo released by NASA shows
crews testing a test version of Orion's forward bay
cover, NASA's next-generation space capsule.
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