Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 10:41 pm
This Sunday night, we headed back to Mars: NASA's MAVEN spacecraft fired its six main engines, slowing down enough so it could be captured by the gravity of the red planet and go into orbit.
MAVEN, which stands for Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution, is a distinctly un-sexy name for a project as cool as a sojourn to Mars. But whatever it's called, the probe is on a mission that should be of interest to everyone who likes living on Earth.
Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 8:31 pm
Last Friday, 43 veteran and reserve members of Israel's secretive spy organization, Unit 8200, claimed they'd been directed to spy on Palestinians for coercion purposes.
The group signed an open letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to the head of the Israeli army, accusing the spy agency of targeting innocent Palestinians and collecting data for political purposes, not national security.
An estimated 70,000 Syrian refugees have fled the violence brought by extremist group ISIS this weekend, choosing to cross into Turkey carrying whatever belongings they can manage.
The rush of predominantly Kurdish refugees came as fighters loyal to ISIS seized dozens of villages in the area. While a U.N. agency reported about 70,000 refugees this weekend, a Turkish official says 100,000 Syrians have come to Turkey for shelter in the past week.
Munich kicked off this year's Oktoberfest Saturday, beginning festivities in which the city expects to host 6 million visitors. Today's events included a parade celebrating Bavarian culture – and of course, the rampant consumption of beer, served in a traditional one-liter Mass mug.
Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 5:07 pm
Kenyans are marking the first anniversary of a deadly attack on an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi that sparked a siege and created new uncertainty over the reach of extremist violence in Africa. The attackers were identified as Islamist militants from Somalia, but few other details about the incident have emerged.
Habemus Praesidentem: there's white smoke in Kabul – figuratively speaking.
And like choosing a pope, selecting Afghanistan's new president has been a long and enigmatic process. Candidate registration began on Sept. 16, 2013. The first round of voting was on April 5. The second round on June 14.
And now, on Sept. 21, Afghan election officials announced that Ashraf Ghani is the country's the next president. He'll succeed President Hamid Karzai, who has ruled since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.