Balloon flight may be saved

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The Independent Online
A last-ditch diplomatic effort could still save the latest attempt to fly around the world non-stop by balloon.

The Breitling Orbiter 2 team has all but given up hope of continuing its attempt after being repeatedly refused permission to enter Chinese air space.

But a "very, very, very last chance" remains with the Chinese vice-Premier Li Lanqing, who has promised to take up the matter. The team will make the final decision at noon today. The crew must receive the go-ahead from China by then or loose the chance to pick up high-altitude jet stream winds.