India failed in its bid to become just the fourth country to successfully land a spacecraft on the moon over the weekend, as the country's space officials said they lost contact with the Chandrayaan-2 moon lander during Friday's descent. The landing attempt, a follow-up to a highly successful mission that confirmed the presence of ice on the moon, was set to deploy an unmanned rover at the unexplored lunar south pole. The moon itself doesn't rotate on its axis (see 101), and scientists believe a number of craters on the moon's south pole that have never been exposed to damaging sunlight could hold keys to the early composition of the Solar System. The setback follows China's successful landing of a rover on the far side of the moon - now in day 271 of operation - and a failed attempt by Israel last November.
There may be an outside chance India establishes contact - researchers believe they've spotted the crashed lander on the moon's surface.
No More No-Deal Brexit.
The United Kingdom is expected to finalize a law today effectively preventing it from leaving the European Union without a package in place to guide its exit. The so-called no-deal Brexit scenario had been advocated by new Prime Minister Boris Johnson - with significant economic impact for both Britain and the EU, Johnson was using the threat of a no-deal Brexit to negotiate a broader package with EU leaders. The law comes after a high-profile conservative rebellion against Johnson over his handling of Brexit, including a senior lawmaker joining the Liberal Democrat Party last week and the resignation of cabinet member Amber Rudd over the weekend. Johnson looks likely to follow through on threats to call new general elections - the proposition is likely to fail in Parliament, leaving Johnson to either secure a deal by the October 31st deadline or request an extension from the EU.
Parliament is set to break until October 14th after this week.
Peace Talks Crumble.
President Trump called off peace talks between US officials and Taliban leaders, at least temporarily ending year-long negotiations between the two sides. The news comes just weeks after an agreement that would ultimately withdraw the 14,000 US troops still in the country seemed to be nearly finalized. The White House cited a series of Taliban attacks meant to destabilize the Afghan government, the latest being an attack Thursday that killed 11 including a US service member. On top of the attacks, the Taliban have reportedly been unwilling to go along with US terms for a deal, including negotiating with the Afghan government - negotiations to date have been between the US and the Taliban. President Trump was also said to have canceled a clandestine meeting with both Taliban leaders and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani at Camp David in Maryland. The news also comes three weeks ahead of Afghanistan's national elections, scheduled for September 28th.
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In The Know.
Sports, Entertainment & Culture.
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Science & Technology.
> 2020 Breakthrough Prize winners announced, include first image of a black hole, how humans sense pain, and more (More) | ...and Facebook launches $10M prize for tools to detect deepfake videos (More)
> Pilot study shows drug mixture reverses some signs of aging at the cellular level, resetting the body's "epigenetic clock" by average of 2.5 years (More)
> Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against use of electronic cigarettes as it investigates over 450 cases of mysterious lung disease; 5th death linked to vaping reported (More)
Business & Markets.
> US economy adds 130k jobs in August, below forecasts of 158k; unemployment rate holds at 3.7% (More) > NY attorney general announces 8 states have started antitrust investigation against Facebook; Sources say similar antitrust investigation to be launched today against Google parent Alphabet (More)
> Sources say Purdue Pharma, maker of OxyContin, expected to file for bankruptcy after settlement talks break down (More)
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Politics & World Affairs.
> Dorian moves out to sea after passing over Nova Scotia; official death toll in Bahamas hits 45, over 70,000 homeless (More) | 900,000 lose power as Typhoon Faxai hits Japan (More)
>Election 2020: Former South Carolina Governor and Congressman Mark Sanford announces Republican primary challenge to President Trump (More)
> Withdrawal of extradition bill fails to quell Hong Kong protests as demonstrations move into 14th week (More)
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Historybook: United States of America officially gets its name (1776); HBD actor Hugh Grant (1960); HBD actor Adam Sandler (1966); China founding father Mao Zedong dies (1976); Queen Elizabeth II becomes longest reigning monarch of the UK at 63+ years with crown (2015).
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