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New $200 mil bird set to fly

World Brief

Oil-rich Venezuela has commissioned China to build and launch a $200 million satellite in 2008 to lessen its dependence on U.S. and European birds.

Telesur, the upcoming 24-hour Latin news channel backed by Venezuela and other Latin American countries, has aired test signals from a U.S.-owned satellite since May ahead of its July 24 launch.

“We could eventually gain carriage on this new satellite,” information chief Jorge Enrique Botero says.

The satellite will be named Simon Bolivar after the 19th century Venezuelan-born Latin American hero.

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