Daily News Roundup

November 27, 2018

Image: ABC News

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 27

The Mars InSight lander has touched down on the dusty Red Planet after sailing 548 million kilometres over a six-month voyage through deep space.

The landing, which took place just before 7:00am AEDT, saw the NASA spacecraft hurtle through the top of Mars’ thin atmosphere at 19,795km per hour.

Slowed by friction, deployment of a supersonic parachute and the firing of retro rockets, InSight descended 123km through pink skies to the surface in 6.5 minutes.

It sent back a photo shortly after landing showing a successful touchdown on the surface, with the camera’s transparent lens cap still on and covered in dust.

The vista showed a flat surface with few if any rocks — just what scientists were hoping for.

“I feel you, Mars,” NASA’s Twitter account for the probe posted.

Just over an hour later, the nano spacecraft Marco B cubesat — tasked with monitoring the Mars InSight lander’s journey — sent a farewell image of the Red Planet back to Earth.

Much better pictures from InSight on the surface of Mars will arrive in the hours and days ahead.

In 2016, the European Schiaparelli lander, the only spacecraft to attempt to land on the planet since the Curiosity Rover, crashed and burned.

InSight’s successful landing makes it the first spacecraft to study the Red Planet’s inner secrets.

It is equipped with instruments to detect planetary heat and seismic rumblings never measured anywhere but Earth.

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Ukraine will be under martial law for 30 days after the country’s Parliament voted to support President Petro Poroshenko’s motion, arguing it was needed to fight “growing aggression from Russia”.

Mr Poroshenko asked MPs to back his motion to impose martial law in the wake of the incident near Russia-occupied Crimea when Russian borders guards opened fire on three Ukrainian navy vessels before seizing the ships and their crew

Martial law will include a partial mobilisation and strengthening of the country’s air defence.

The measures before Parliament also included vaguely worded steps such as “strengthening” anti-terrorism measures and “information security”.

Parliament voted overwhelmingly for the motion following a five-hour debate.

Mr Poroshenko said martial law was necessary because of intelligence about “a highly serious threat of a ground operation against Ukraine”. He did not elaborate.

“Martial law doesn’t mean declaring a war,” he said.

“It is introduced with the sole purpose of boosting Ukraine’s defence in the light of a growing aggression from Russia.”

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Actor and comedian Tom Arnold says the Secret Service visited his house to speak to him about a tweet he sent threatening to body slam US President Donald Trump.

Arnold, best known for his role on Roseanne and his marriage to the show’s creator Roseanne Barr, said he heard “loud and clear” the message of the two agents, who visited his California home to warn him his language could have dangerous consequences.

The visit came a day before the arrest of a man dubbed the “MAGA bomber”, who is accused of sending homemade explosive devices to prominent Trump critics, including the Clintons and Obamas.

“Words matter. Tone matters. Words can incite violence. Be responsible,” Arnold said in a statement posted online.

He also used that statement to renew his criticism of the President, telling the Secret Service: “I’m sorry Donald Trump hasn’t listened to you all the times you’ve had this exact same conversation with him.”

On October 20, Arnold, who has become a vocal opponent of the President, tweeted about his desire to fight Mr Trump at an upcoming midterm election campaign rally.

The actor had said:

“I say put up or shut up @realDonaldTrump Me vs You. For America. First body slam wins. Any Rally. Any Time. Between now & the midterms. #FridayFeeling

He then followed up that statement with a reference to Kathy Griffin, who received a strong backlash last year after she shared a video of herself holding a mask covered in fake blood designed to look like Donald Trump’s severed head.

“Next time Kathy won’t be holding his fake head,” Arnold said in a tweet, which has since been deleted.

Arnold videotaped the interview with the agents, which lasted an hour and took place in the living room of his Los Angeles home on October 25.

The agents said they took all threats to the President’s life seriously, according to news site Mother Jones, which obtained the recording and posted a portion of it online.

“You’re a public figure,” one agent is heard telling Arnold.

“So, as we go on several interviews with more, like, individuals who are public figures … obviously we address anything that you may have tweeted or posted on Facebook.

“But what we have to worry about is your type of audience and you saying] something inciting those that follow you.”

 

This daily news roundup is curated with stories from ABC News.

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