Trump floats idea of election delay
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump, lagging in the polls and grappling with deepening economic and public health crises, on Thursday floated the startling idea of delaying the Nov. 3 presidential election.
His campaign to sow doubt about the election's outcome drew immediate pushback from Democrats and Republicans alike in a nation that has held itself up as a beacon to the world for its history of peaceful transfer of power.
Trump suggested the delay as he pushed unsubstantiated allegations that increased mail-in voting due to the coronavirus pandemic would result in fraud. But shifting Election Day is virtually impossible and the very idea represented another bracing attempt by Trump to undermine confidence in the American political system.
The date of the presidential election — the Tuesday after the first Monday in November in every fourth year — is enshrined in federal law and would require an act of Congress to change.
More seals means more sharks in New England
PORTLAND, Maine — Seals are thriving off the Northeast coast thanks to decades of protections, and that victory for wildlife has brought a consequence for humans — more encounters with sharks.
Seals are a favorite prey of large sharks such as the great white. The death this week of swimmer Julie Dimperio Holowach, who was killed by a great white off Harpswell, Maine, might have happened because the shark mistook her for a seal, authorities said.
Swimmers off the New England states have learned to be more mindful in recent years due to a spate of sightings of great whites, the apex predator made famous in the movie “Jaws.” A shark that killed a man off Cape Cod in 2018 was also believed to be a great white.
Congress honors USS Indianapolis crew
WASHINGTON — Congress has awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, its highest honor, to surviving crew members of the USS Indianapolis, the ship that delivered key components of the first nuclear bomb and was later sunk by Japan during World War II.
The ship, with 1,195 personnel aboard, delivered enriched uranium and other parts of the atomic bomb ‘‘Little Boy" that was later dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, in August 1945.
Four days after delivering its top secret cargo, the ship was sunk by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. Of nearly 900 men who went into the Philippine Sea, just 316 survived before being rescued nearly five days later. The death toll of 879 was the largest single disaster at sea in U.S. Navy history.
NASA rover heads for Mars
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — The biggest, most sophisticated Mars rover ever built — a car-size vehicle bristling with cameras, microphones, drills and lasers — blasted off for the red planet Thursday as part of an ambitious, long-range project to bring the first Martian rock samples back to Earth to be analyzed for evidence of ancient life.
NASA’s Perseverance rode a mighty Atlas V rocket into a clear morning sky in the world’s third and final Mars launch of the summer. China and the United Arab Emirates got a head start last week, but all three missions should reach their destination in February after a journey of seven months and 300 million miles (480 million kilometers).
The plutonium-powered, six-wheeled rover will drill down and collect tiny geological specimens that will be brought home in about 2031 in a sort of interplanetary relay race involving multiple spacecraft and countries. The overall cost: more than $8 billion.
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