Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
The International Monetary Fund’s 24-member executive board will meet Thursday to begin the process of selecting a new leader, said John Lipsky, the IMF’s acting managing director.
“We want this to happen as expeditiously as possible,” Lipsky said.
His comments came shortly after Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner urged the IMF to quickly select a new chief through an open process.
Lipsky took over this week after former chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid. Strauss-Kahn, who is has denied the charges, resigned late Wednesday. That set up a scramble to choose his successor.
Traditionally, the head of the IMF has been a European while an American has run the World Bank. Developing countries have long chafed at that arrangement and are pushing for officials from their countries to be considered this time.
The United States will play a critical role in the selection. The U.S. has the most votes among any individual country, although collectively Europe carries the most weight.
Geithner’s statement was ambiguous and leaves open the possibility that the U.S. could support a candidate from either group. Some analysts said the U.S. government will make its preference clearer behind the scenes while keeping a more impartial stance in public.
Lipsky stressed that the work of the IMF has gone on for the full week despite the uncertainty over Strauss-Kahn. He said that IMF board, in addition to dealing with the search process for a successor, had a meeting scheduled for Friday to review an emergency loan program for Portugal, one of three European nations whose huge debt burdens have required them to turn to the IMF for help.
Lipsky said the IMF faces “unique challenges of the moment.” But it has a highly qualified staff that is fully capable of carrying on the work of the organization, he said.
“Our cadre of department heads is the best this institution has ever had,” Lipsky said.
The IMF is heavily involved in delicate negotiations over financial assistance to troubled European countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland. The European governments are coalescing behind French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde.
NASA astronaut Mike Hopkins
On December 28, 2013, Expedition 38 crew member Mike Hopkins participating in the second of two space walks to replace a degraded pump module on the International Space Station. (NASA astronaut Rick Mastracchio is reflected in his helmet!)
The Soyuz TMA-10M
The Soyuz TMA-10M headed towards the International Space Station with crew members from Expedition 37 onboard.
40 years ago the Apollo 8 mission flew up to the moon, orbited it ten times and then returned to Earth. This picture was taken from that flight and shows the Earth as it seemingly rises in similar fashion to a sunrise.
Sunrise from Expedition 36
NASA Flight Engineer Karen L. Nyberg of Expedition 36 took this photo of the sun rising -- a sight they saw nearly 16 times per day due to the speed of the International Space Station's orbit around the earth.
A pair of NanoRacks CubeSats -- nanosattelite spacecrafts carrying experiments -- were launched by Expedition 38.