>> the space shuttle atlantis is blasted off from cape canaveral. it is the last ever fight for the shuttle program. four astronauts are on board carrying food and other supplies to the international space station. over the last 30 years, u.s. space shuttles have flown 135 missions. they became a powerful symbol of that country's technological achievements and a testament to the human spirit of discovery and invention. an estimated 1 million people lined the florida coast to watch the final takeoff. >> atlantis was on the launch pad with just 31 seconds left when the countdown was stopped. the glitch was picked and all systems were go for the last flight. >> it is the final lift off. >> the clouds parted and it was a picture-perfect liftoff. >> we got to with this something
really special and amazing. sometimes i talk about the hardware, but i am really talking about the teams and people that supported the launch that just occurred. >> the flight signals the end of three decades of the space shuttle. the launch of the last mission also provides memories of the setbacks the program suffered. the explosion of challenger in 1986 and the disintegration of columbia and its return to earth in 2003. for many spectators on friday, this was a sentimental moment. >> it is kind of savage program is coming to an end and they do not have a clear visionary program. that one lasted so long. >> nasa is already looking ahead to the future of the space program. >> until at least 2020 with humans on board. we will have to rely on rides from russian rockets for a
while. but we're implementing plans to get a commercial capability to get our folks there. >> that is still in the future. for now, the focus is on the last mission. atlantis is due to arrive at the station on monday. >> police arrested the former communications director of the british prime minister on friday in connection with the growing scandal that is quickly moving from fleet street to downing street. at the center are journalists who hacked into thousands of private voice mails. cameron has announced two public inquiries. one is into the problems facing "news of the world" in the other is into a new regulatory body for the british press. >> investigators searched the london home and confiscated
large amounts of material. he was arrested on friday. he used to spend a lot of time at 10 downing street. he went on to become prime minister david cameron's spokesman before resigning in february. cameron is now in political hot water. he has promised a vigorous response. >> everything that happened is going to be investigated. the witnesses will be questioned by a judge under oath. no stone will be left unturned. >> the pledge is not enough for the opposition labor party and its leader. he notes camerons close working relationship with colson. the prime minister still does not seem to get it. i am afraid he will not be able to lead the change we need in the way the press works in this
country. he cannot bring himself to apologize for hiring andy colson. >> it is thought the journalists tapped thousands of phone calls in pursuit of exclusive stores. the targets include british soldiers and terrorism victims as well as the parents of two murdered girls and other crime victims. one of the biggest british tabloids walls of the presses for the last time on sunday. it is the end of the paper but not a scandal in created. >> the death toll is now at 127 after a passenger airplane crashed at the airport in the democratic republic of the condo. government officials say at least 51 people were pulled alive from the wreckage. it belongs to the congress biggest airline. it was in route from the capital. officials say heavy rain was falling when it went down. >> an estimated half a million
syrians have defied syrian security forces to take part in the friday protests. it is believed to be the largest protest since the unrest began two months ago. demonstrators carried banners calling for the ouster of the regime. on thursday, the u.s. ambassador and his french colleague visited. syria condemned the visit and accused them of meeting with saboteurs. thousands of people took to the streets across egypt on friday. they were directing their anger at the new military rulers over the slow pace of reform. in cairo, the protesters packed tahrir square after friday prayers. >> the protesters are back on the streets of cairo. it has been five months since they toppled the regime of mark --mubarak, demanding a free and
democratic egypt. " we feel the demands of gone unrealized until now. we demand retribution for the protesters who died during the revolution. we need just trials. >> hosni mubarak ruled egypt for almost 30 years. egyptians are impatient to see him brought to justice. >> look at how he has been imprisoned. they put him in a five-star hotel with servants and people to help him. but protesters are demanding the punishment the former officials found guilty of crimes. they say the need for reforms offered by the current military hunta are not with their countrymen died for. >> southern sudan will become an independent state on saturday when it secedes from the north. one day before the world's biggest countries born, moon met
with sudanese officials and ask both sides to work hard to forge a peaceful coexistence. he condemned the recent fighting along the border. thousands of sudanese have been fleeing government troops and militia in the border region. in germany, opposition has failed. riyad thought to be paying for battle tanks. they argue the tanks could be used against protesters and pointed to saudi arabia's recent military intervention in bahrain. >> the chancellor arrives to cast your vote and listened in on the debate as it went into overtime. the opposition again demanded an explanation for the government decision. the request fell on deaf ears. >> there is no question the government and chancellor should
do away with the secrecy and provide information to the bund estag. she should but she does not want to. >> for the second time, the government has shied away from the debate. >> merkel remains adamant and refuses to provide information on the purported sale. the government says human-rights do play a decision in sales, but that strategic interests are also taken into account. even some conservative politicians voiced concerns over the secret to dealmaking. >> we're having the discussion for the second time this week. it clearly shows a lack of transparency. there are few incidents in the house with this is the case. >> her coalition partners easily carried all motions condemning the sale. >> we have the latest in business with some good news. >> europe's leading economy is living up to its reputation.
german exports rose more than expected in the month of may. preliminary figures released by the national statistics office on friday show experts predict exports grew in the previous month, far exceeding analysts' predictions of just 1%. exports have led the way. europe's largest economy continues to grow at a moderate pace. exports were down slightly in april but bounced back strongly in may. germany exported goods and services totaling $92 billion euros, up 20% compared to the same time last year. germany now enjoys a trade surplus of nearly 15 billion euros. that is an increase of 50% over may 2010. right now, germany's export strength is driven mainly by demand from the emerging economies. brazil, russia, india, and china. exports to eurozone countries were also strong and up more
than 17% compared to the same month last year. >> it is a different picture on the other side of the atlantic. the labor market in the united states is struggling more than expected. the government said job creation is far weaker than expected and the unemployment rate in the united states rose unexpectedly last month to 9.2%. >> the american economy appears to be faltering. the federal reserve recently lowered its growth forecast. few companies are hiring. fewer consumers are buying. economic experts fear the u.s. could slide into recession again. the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high. the jobless rate has topped 9% for almost two months in the last two years. that has not happened since the 1930's. there is no sign of improvement. president barack obama said u.s. businesses were facing the challenges. >> from natural disasters to
spikes in gas prices, state cuts have cost thousands their jobs. the problems in greece and europe along with uncertainty over whether the debt limit in the united states will be raised of also made businesses hesitant to invest more aggressively. >> the bad news is slowing down consumption. that is putting the brakes on economic growth. ben bernanke has described the recovery as frustratingly slow. the government cannot do much. it is out of money for any more stimulus programs. >> european equity markets reacted negatively to the u.s. employment data on friday seeing it as a signal about the true state of the u.s. economy. we have this summary of the friday trading session in frankfurt. >> the very strong german export numbers helped until the new job
report came in. the u.s. jobless rate is much higher than expected. this shows the u.s. economy will take a long time until it is back on track again. the jobless numbers soured the mood on the floor in frankfurt. the dax ended in negative territory. corporate news did not help. investors also focused on the debt crisis. some people are saying the next candidate for state aid may be italy. >> we will stay in frankfurt for a closer look at the friday closing numbers. the dax was down. the leading blue chips index dropped by nearly 2%. across the land, the dow finished into the weekend with a loss of 0.5%.
it climbed back a bit in late trading. the euro is down against other major currencies. german media reports say deutsche bank is fast tracking the process of finding the successor to the ceo after dragging its feet on the issue for months. one option would be to appoint co-chief executives. there are several top candidates within the bank. the head of it regional management division is another possible candidate. reports say the supervisory board will be holding talks over the weekend to discuss the succession process. it is over to italy and back to you. >> italian prime minister has said he will not run for office
again when his term expires in 2013. in an interview with an italian newspaper, he named the justice minister as his preferred successor. silvio berlusconi's popularity has plummeted amid allegations of corruption and sex with an underage prostitutes. he rejects the allegations. the alliance suffered major losses in the local elections. prosecutors in france and started a preliminary investigation into the complaint against dominique strauss-kahn filed by the french writer who says he tried to rape her in 2003. the former head of the international monetary fund already faces charges of sexual assault and attempted rape of a new york hotel maid. she stepped forward shortly after his arrest and accused him of trying to assault her in paris. he has instructed his of lawyers
to file a complaint against her for slander. he has won the longest leg of the tour de france. the veteran sprinter crossed the finish line barely in front of others. >> the high road team did it all to premier their sprinter across the finish line first. it is their 17th victory. >> i am so proud of them. they were phenomenal. >> the remain intact almost all the way. the german writer intended to break away. the htc reigned him in and led cavindish in for the victory. he solidifies his standing as one of the all-time best.
of the international beethoven festival in bonn 2011. order your tickets online. >> welcome back. it is the end of an era in space travel. the shuttle atlantis launched on friday at the start of the final mission ever for the shuttle program. for many americans, there's a big degree of this dog just connected to the shuttle. 1 million people traveled to florida to catch a glimpse of the final lift off. we begin our in depth with a look at how the shuttle revolutionized space shuttle as well as some of the challenges it has faced over 30 years of operation. ♪ >> the space shuttle is the symbol of the u.s. space program for more than three decades. it began with the dream of flying weekly missions into
orbit. they were on hand for the debut of the prototype. no one had seen a spaceship like it. after vertical lift off, it could glide back and land like an airplane and ready for another mission began. -- it again. >> everyone wondered what spaceflight with wings would be like. it was supposed to be simpler with less acceleration. it was uncharted territory for nasa. >> it also paved the way for other countries to join nasa it in exploring space. the europeans build a research lab specially designed for the shuttle's loading bay. it is your ticket to manned space flight. -- it was europe's ticket to
manned space flight. the first one lifted off in 1981. the new spacecraft was a game changer for astronauts. pilots were needed but so were scientists to carry out research in zero gravity. the german physicist was one of the scientists. he travel into space in october of 1985 on the challenger. his work was overseen by colleagues in germany. he carried out more than 70 experiments, it still had time to take in the stunning view. ♪ >> it was interesting how we looked out in the beginning, or at least i did.
i thought i knew a lot about geography. i had no idea where we were. we spun around the window until geographic north was pointing up. after a few days, we could stay put. we could still recognize where we were. >> then came 1986 and the challenger disaster. millions watched live as the shuttle exploded shortly after liftoff. a seal on one of the solid rocket boosters was to blame. seven members died in the blast. the shuttle fleet was grounded. it took more than two years to return to space and complete one of the programs biggest successes -- the hubble space
telescope. it enabled humans to peer into distant galaxies. shuttle astronauts were. the telescope five times and carried out equipment upgrades. -- shuttle astronauts repaired telescope five times and carried out equipment upgrades. in the late 1990's, it began transporting the building blocks for the international space station. it traveled to the iss more than 40 times. the shuttle was the lifeline between the space station and earth. by 2003, the iss was halfway done. then nasa was struck by another tragedy. colombia broke up on its return to earth, killing all seven people on board. nasa decided to stop the program shuttle when the iss was completed. that created a logistical problem.
the shuttle is the only craft capable of carrying large equipment to the iss. the europeans think they have the solution with their new atv supply vessel. it still needs a heat shield to survive the journey back to earth. the technology has been developed and tested. >> we should not have to test much longer. if we get the go ahead, we could start tomorrow. the capsule could be ready to go in four years. >> that would be the big first step toward another dream, taking people into space with the european rocket and bringing them home safely again. >> space shuttltravel has always captured the imagination of people around world. the shuttle opened in new chapter in the field. it was the first time in manned
spacecraft could be reused for further missions. the program is now coming to a close. america will be dependent on other countries to put its astronauts into space. that means hundreds of highly trained american scientists and astronauts are looking for work. >> the shuttle docking with the iss. he shows the journalist how is done. for years, he has trained astronauts in the simulator. >> unfortunately, i am in the same boat as a lot of the work force here at johnson space center. i do not know what my future holds. our jobs in the space shuttle program will be ending. we're not sure what the next program will hold. >> the uncertainty has forced nasa and many suppliers in houston to lay off thousands of workers. losing the space shuttle also
means losing valuable expertise. the shuttle is the flagship of the american aerospace industry. that pride is on display here at the space center in houston. many do not understand why the shuttle is being retired without a replacement. >> i think it is a terrible thing they are retiring it. they need to continue it and find the money to do it. >> it is sad to see it retire. it is good to see things move on and to the next step. >> but who will take the next step forward? many americans want their country at the forefront of space exploration. >> i would love to see as going to mars. i was watching a program the other night about how they're making a space suit to handle the pressure.
i think that would be very useful. >> hopefully in my lifetime, a person setting foot on another planet would be very exciting. i hope we will continue to support that as a country. >> back at the training center, three astronauts to demonstrate the docking maneuver. sps-135 will be the final space shuttle mission was just four members on board. >> i was talking about it earlier. the last person to fly the space shuttle will leave it on the runway for its place in history. >> after that, houston will still have astronauts -- but nothing to carry them into orbit. >> that has been our in-depth marketing the start of the final space shuttle mission. we leave you with a look at the latest news headlines.