Intermediate Word:  asseverate   (a) discontinue  (b) decapitate  (c) affirm  (d) make a fresh start
Difficult Word: - fata morgana  (a) mirage  (b) femme fatale  (c) fated to marry a comoner  (d) disconsolate

Rise of the Robots: Segway Platform Gives Mechanoids Motion - Space.com  A military project aimed at building smarter robots has given researchers the wheels they need to make their automatons go. Originally developed by New Hampshire-based Segway for a Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program, the firm's Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP) allows robot developers to focus more on the thinking power of their machines while providing a quick mode of transportation.     
Da Vinci Team Faces Insurance Deadline - SpaceDaily  On Nov. 1, Feeney's insurance policy expires. The coverage is required by the Canadian government to provide a financial safety net in case people or property not involved with the flight are hurt or damaged. Obtaining the insurance was so important that the government refused to issue a launch license to Feeney's team. Without the insurance, the launch license expires as well. Feeney, head of a team in Toronto called the da Vinci Project, has handled deadline pressures before. His group was the only one of 25 other teams registered to complete in the Ansari X Prize that even attempted to give the front-runner  a run for the $10 million cash award.    

Analysis: Russia Calls Oil Shots With China - SpaceDaily  Left: Does Russia finally have China over a barrel. AFP photo by Frederic J. Brown. China rolled out a lot more than the red carpet to court Russian President Vladimir Putin on his state visit last week, but Putin stayed silent on the one thing China's leaders wanted above all else - his green light for a pipeline to feed Siberia's oil wealth to their energy-hungry industrial juggernaut. But no progress was made on two key planks of Beijing's strategy - an $18 billion, 3,000-mile gas link from the massive Kovykta field in eastern Siberia, first proposed nearly a decade ago, and a 1,500-mile oil link from western Siberia to the heart of China's refining industry.   

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