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European spacecraft goes silent minute before difficult Mars landing

European space craft goes silentThe “Mars Curse” may have claimed another victim.

Europe’s Schiaparelli lander, scheduled to settle into the Martian dust at 10:48 am ET Wednesday, went silent a minute or so before its expected landing time.

Engineers hope to know more about the lander’s fate within a few hours. By that time they’ll have gotten a chance to receive and process data from Europe’s Mars Express spacecraft, now in orbit around Mars and listening for a signal from Schiaparelli.


Brazil impeachment leader arrested in corruption probe

Eduardo CunhaThe man who spearheaded the ouster of former Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been arrested as part of a sprawling probe into corruption at state-run oil giant Petrobras.

The office of Judge Sergio Moro confirms Wednesday's arrest of former Congressman Eduardo Cunha. He's accused of taking millions of dollars in bribes — accusations he denies.


Confessions of a Trump Fact-Checker

Trump liarWhen Donald Trump ludicrously accused Hillary Clinton, at the first presidential debate, of trying to fight the Islamic State for her “entire adult life,” Clinton didn’t offer a rebuttal. Instead, she issued a request: “Please, fact-checkers, get to work.”

They were already working. Thanks to the brazenness of Trump’s deceit, fact-checking, that unglamorous journalistic activity once mostly relegated to niche websites and little boxes beside newspaper articles, is having a moment. Big news organizations now assign teams of reporters to fact-check the debates in real time. CNN, among other networks, is using its bottom-screen chyrons to challenge Trump’s most obvious lies. And every day, full-time fact checkers take a false claim, or three, or four, and meticulously explain why it is wrong.


Two Americans killed in attack at Kabul army base

2 Americans killed in AfghanistanA gunmen in an Afghan army uniform has opened fire on a group of US soldiers, killing at least two Americans including a civilian in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.

The shooting took place at 11am local time (0630GMT) on Wednesday while international troops visited a military base in Kabul, according to Dawlat Waziri, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Defence.


70 Nobel Laureates Endorse Hillary Clinton

70 Nobel winners endorse HillaryIn an open letter released Tuesday and addressed to the American people, 70 Nobel laureates “strongly and fully” endorsed Hillary Clinton for the presidency.

“To preserve our freedoms, protect our constitutional government, safeguard our national security, and ensure that all members of our nation will be able to work together for a better future,” the letter began, “it is imperative that Hillary Clinton be elected as the next President of the United States.”

The Nobel recipients in economics, physics, chemistry, and medicine suggested that the next president must be someone displaying “vigorous support for science and technology” and someone with the intent to promote innovation with “sensible immigration and education policies” to bolster the scientific workforce.


Feds win round in legal fight over Obama transgender bathroom policy

Obama wins round in trans bathroom challengeThe Obama administration has won an early round in the legal battle over its drive to require local schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that correspond to the students' gender identity.

On Tuesday, a federal magistrate in Chicago recommended that a judge reject a preliminary injunction in which a group of students and parents sought to block enforcement of that policy and reverse local policies allowing a transgender girl to use girls' locker rooms at a high school in Palatine, Illinois.


Head Of Police Chiefs Group Apologizes For 'Historical Mistreatment' Of Minorities

Ppolice Chief apologizesThe head of the largest association of police chiefs in the U.S. has issued a formal apology on the group's behalf for "historical mistreatment of communities of color."

Speaking Monday at the annual meeting of the International Association of Chiefs of Police in San Diego, Terry Cunningham said his remarks on behalf of the group were aimed at breaking a "historic cycle of mistrust."

He said that policing is, in essence, a "noble profession" that has seen dark periods in its history.


Extremist militias recruiting in fear of Clinton winning election, activists say

US militiaIn the past 12 months, Jessica Campbell has had her car’s fuel line cut and its wheel nuts loosened. Late last year, she had a GPS tracker surreptitiously attached to her vehicle. She is now accustomed to being tailed by unfamiliar vehicles on Interstate 5 near her home in Cottage Grove, just outside Eugene, Oregon. Strangers have regularly come uninvited onto her property; someone even stripped the barbed wire on her fence “just to send a message”. Online, she has repeatedly been threatened with rape and death.

And last week, when she showed up at the Canyon City community hall in Grant County, she told me that someone shot at her and her entourage. They misread their GPS, took a wrong turn and stopped to get their bearings when a crack rang out with what Campbell thought was a .22 bullet whizzing by their vehicle.


Exxon Chooses War in New York’s Probe of Climate Change Research

Exxon chooses war against climate change investigationExxonMobil Corp. has finally made its move to block a New York state investigation into whether the oil giant covered up its knowledge about climate change.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched a sweeping fraud probe of Exxon in November 2015, based on suspicion that the energy company had misled investors, regulators, and the public on what it knew about global warming dating all the way back to the late 1970s. Even as it has fought parallel investigations by Massachusetts and the Virgin Islands, Exxon has cooperated with the New York probe, turning over more than 1 million pages of documents to Schneiderman’s office.


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