Nation and world news in brief for Wednesday, March 13, 2024

This undated photo shows, from left, Roscosmos cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mohgensen, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa. (NASA/via AP)

Russia cosmonaut Konstantin Borisov, left, ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, NASA astronaut Jasmin Moghbeli, and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) astronaut Satoshi Furukawa are seen inside the SpaceX Dragon Endurance spacecraft onboard the SpaceX recovery ship MEGAN shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Fla.,, Tuesday, March 12, 2024. (Joel Kowsky/NASA via AP)

Four astronauts from four countries return to Earth after six months in orbit

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Four astronauts from four countries caught a lift back to Earth with SpaceX on Tuesday to end a half-year mission at the International Space Station. Their capsule streaked across the U.S. in the predawn darkness and splashed into the Gulf of Mexico near the Florida Panhandle.


NASA’s Jasmin Moghbeli, a Marine helicopter pilot, led the returning crew of Denmark’s Andreas Mogensen, Japan’s Satoshi Furukawa and Russia’s Konstantin Borisov. They moved into the space station last August. Their replacements arrived last week in their own SpaceX capsule.

Director Roman Polanski is sued over more allegations of sexual assault of a minor

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A woman has sued director Roman Polanski in a Los Angeles court, saying the director raped her when she was a minor in 1973. The woman aired her allegations at a news conference Tuesday. She said Polanski took her to dinner, gave her tequila, and raped her at his home afterward. The woman did not give her name or her age. She first filed the lawsuit in June, but the law did not initially allow her to use Polanski’s name. A judge since ruled she can. Polanski, the Oscar-winning director of “Rosemary’s Baby,” has been living in Europe since fleeing there after similar allegations in 1978.

US lawmakers say TikTok won’t be banned if it finds a new owner

U.S. lawmakers are threatening to ban TikTok but also say they are giving its Chinese parent company a chance to keep it running. The premise of a bipartisan bill headed for a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives is that TikTok fans in the U.S. can keep scrolling through their favorite social media app so long as Beijing-based ByteDance gives up on owning it. But it’s not going to be as simple as lawmakers are making it sound, according to experts.

Michigan man who was shot in face with ghost gun sues manufacturer, friend

(AP) A 19-year-old Michigan man who lost his right eye after being shot with a firearm made from a ghost gun kit is suing his former best friend who accidently shot him and the Pennsylvania company that sold his friend the kit. The lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in Washtenaw County Circuit Court, alleges that JSD Supply sold two ghost gun kits in April 2021 to Guy Boyd’s then-17-year-old friend without verifying the teen’s age or whether he could legally possess a pistol. Boyd was shot in the face less than two months later. The lawsuit accuses JSD Supply and Boyd’s former friend of negligence. Ghost guns are privately made firearms that don’t have serial numbers.

Massive explosion in Pittsburgh area home kills man and woman

CRESCENT, Pa. (AP) — Authorities say a massive explosion killed two people and destroyed a house in the Pittsburgh area near the Ohio River. Allegheny County emergency dispatchers say the blast in Crescent Township in the northwest Pittsburgh suburbs was reported shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday. Aerial images from the scene show smoking ruins with the structure reduced to rubble and some large pieces lodged in trees above. The Crescent Township fire chief says a man and woman were found dead at the scene. The county medical examiner’s office will confirm their identities and determine the cause and manner of death. The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

Man bitten by crocodile in Florida Everglades after capsizing sailboat

HOMESTEAD, Fla. (AP) — Officials say a 68-year-old man fell off a sailboat in the Florida Everglades and was bitten by a crocodile while trying to swim to shore. The National Park Service says the rare crocodile bite occurred Sunday at the Flamingo Marina in Everglades National Park. Officials said the park visitor capsized while sailing and tried to swim to land with his boat when witnesses saw him go under water. Park rangers responded and treated a cut on the man’s leg. He was taken to a hospital in stable condition. A wildlife official says Florida has about 2,000 adult crocodiles and its last documented case of one biting a human happened in 2014.

Russia says it killed 234 fighters while thwarting an incursion from Ukraine

(AP) Russian officials say Ukrainian long-range drones have smashed into two oil facilities deep inside Russia. At the same time, an armed incursion claimed by Ukraine-based Russian opponents of the Kremlin unnerved a border region just days before Russia’s presidential election. The attack by waves of drones across eight regions of Russia displayed Kyiv’s expanding technological capacity as the war extends into its third year. The cross-border ground assault also weakened President Vladimir Putin’s argument that life in Russia has been unaffected by the war, though he remains all but certain to win another six-year term by a landslide. The Russian Defense Ministry said that Moscow’s military and security forces killed 234 fighters while thwarting the incursion.

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