Space porn: These images are (quite literally) out of this world
European leaders meeting in Brussels have agreed to use euro zone bailout funds to directly recapitalize struggling banks, Reuters reported.
A decision was reached just before dawn on Friday, after 14 hours of marathon talks, with leaders agreeing to create a supervisory body for euro zone’s banks by the end of the year.
European Council chairman Herman Van Rompuy said the move aimed to break the “vicious circle” between banks and governments, as it will enable lenders to receive a financial boost without adding to government debt.
Al Jazeera reported the decision marks a victory for Italy and Spain, which are facing spiraling borrowing costs – that risk forcing them out of the capital markets – adding that Germany had backed down somewhat on demanding that countries implement tough reforms in exchange for bailout funds.
Van Rompuy described the decision to directly recapitalize euro zone banks as a “breakthrough,” while the German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was “very satisfied that we took good decisions on growth.”
While euro zone leaders agreed to begin implementing the decisions by July 9, the EU’s existing bailout fund will continue to provide aid until the new fund, the European Stabilization Mechanism, begins operations, the BBC reported, adding that money may not be available until the end of the year.
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.
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