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Jun 20, 2007 at 10:05am IST

World wipes: News on Friday

New Delhi: One of the three surviving astronauts of the Mercury 7 programme dies, Cuban army recruits try to hijack a passenger plane and Queen Elizabeth II arrives in US.

Walter Schirra dies

Walter Schirra, the third American to orbit the earth and one of three surviving astronauts of the Mercury 7 programme died at the age of 84.

In 1959 he orbited the earth six times in his Sigma 7 capsule. He flew as commander of Apollo 7 and command pilot on the Gemini 6 mission.

Hijack Attempt

Two Cuban army recruits tried to hijack a passenger plane at Havana airport . The recruits reportedly deserted their post at an army base, killing one soldier and wounding another during their escape.

They seized control of a city bus carrying passengers to the airport and used them as hostages to break into the airport terminal. One hostage was killed before police were able to arrest the recruits.

Queen in USA

Queen Elizabeth II arrived in the US to be a part of Virginia's celebration of the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, America's first permanent English settlement.

This is the Queen's third official visit to the United States. The Queen will conclude her US visit next week. During her stay she is scheduled to meet survivors of the Virginia Tech shooting.