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November 26, 2018

MARS TOUCHDOWN

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — With just a day to go, NASA’s InSight spacecraft is aiming for a bull’s-eye touchdown on Mars.

The journey of six months and 300 million miles comes to a precarious grand finale this afternoon.

The robotic geologist named InSight must go from 12,300 mph to zero in six minutes flat, as it pierces the Martian atmosphere, pops out a parachute, fires its descent engines and lands on three legs.

It is NASA’s first attempt to land on Mars in six years, and anxiety is building.

Earth’s overall success rate at Mars is 40 percent. But the U.S. has pulled off seven successful Mars landings in the past three decades. With only one failed touchdown, it’s an enviable record. InSight could hand NASA its eighth win.

CYCLIST KILLED BY CAR IN FLORIDA

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — Police say one bicyclist has died and another has been critically injured after a car crashed into a group of 14 cyclists in South Florida.

Davie police Sgt. Mark Leone tells news outlets that five cyclists suffered minor injuries yesterday morning.

The group was riding along a state road in Davie, near Fort Lauderdale, when they were hit. According to authorities, the driver told police she was distracted but doesn’t remember from what.

Leone says speed, alcohol or drugs aren’t believed to be a factor.

Leone also says the driver reported that the sun was in her eyes just before the crash.

PICKUP TRUCK SLAMS INTO HOUSE

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Deputies in Florida say a pickup truck slammed into the front wall of a house, pinning a 71-year-old woman against a couch in her living room.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials say it took about 30 minutes to free the woman Saturday evening. She was flown to St. Joseph’s Hospital in critical condition.

The driver of the pickup truck fled after the crash. Deputies are still searching for him.

No additional details were immediately available.

SHOOTING AT MARIJUANA DISPENSARY

DETROIT (AP) — Authorities say a security guard working at a Detroit medical marijuana dispensary was shot twice during an exchange of gunfire with someone on the property.

Police say the guard, shot Saturday afternoon in the chest and arm, was in stable condition at a hospital. The suspect hasn’t been found.

Investigators say the security guard and a colleague saw a person on the property of the House of Zen. As one approached, the suspect got into a car and opened fire on the guards.

One guard returned fire and the other was shot.

GAZA STRIP - PIANO

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The only grand piano in the Gaza Strip is debuting to the public for the first time in over a decade after its restoration.

Japanese and local artists played the piano and sang to a rapt audience yesterday at a theater nestled in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s building.

The Japanese government donated the piano 20 years ago. But a 2014 Israeli airstrike in northern Gaza destroyed the theater that housed it. The piano survived but was unplayable and left in the abandoned theater.

A Belgian charity, Music Fund, sent in experts to restore the piano after it was discovered. The four-year project was completed last month.

The piano survived three wars and a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza since the Islamic militant Hamas group assumed power in 2007.

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