Mice return from space
A capsule carrying mice, lizards and other small animals returned to Earth on Sunday after spending a month in space for what scientists said was the longest experiment of its kind. Fewer than half of the 53 mice and other rodents who blasted off on April 19 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome survived, news agencies reported, quoting Vladimir Sychov, deputy director of the Institute of Medical and Biological Problems and the lead researcher. Sychov said this was to be expected and the surviving mice were sufficient to complete the study.
US ‘spy’ leaves Moscow
A US diplomat accused of being a CIA spy after he was caught allegedly trying to recruit agents last week left the country on Sunday, NTV state television channel said. Ryan Fogle flew out of Moscow. The government announced last week that it had caught Fogle as he prepared to recruit a member of the security forces.
Tornadoes batter Oklahoma
Tornadoes ravaged portions of Oklahoma on Sunday, reducing parts of a mobile home park to rubble, killing a 79-year-old man and injuring 21 people. The tornado in Shawnee was one of several that touched down on Sunday. Twisters, hail and high winds also struck Iowa and Kansas as part of a massive, northeastward-moving storm system that stretched from Texas to Minnesota. “It looks like there’s been heavy equipment in there on a demolition tour,” Pottawatomie County Sheriff Mike Booth said.
Balloon crash kills tourist
A Brazilian and a Spanish tourist died yesterday and 23 people were hurt when a hot-air balloon crashed in a famed beauty spot, officials said. The accident occurred over Cappadocia’s sculpted rock formations when the balloon collided with the basket of another balloon above and crashed to the ground, the area’s governor Abdurrahman Savas told Anatolia news agency. Savas said most of those hurt suffered bone fractures, including one person who was in serious condition.
Journalists demand probe
Dozens of journalists rallied outside the Ministry of the Interior in Kiev after police initially refused to investigate the beating of two journalists at an opposition rally. Olha Snitsarchuk, a journalist with Channel 5, and her husband, Vladislav Sodel, a photographer with the Kommersant daily, were punched and kicked by a group of beefy young men as they attempted to record a clash between the men and opposition activists during a protest on Saturday. Sodel told the rally that several policemen ignored his pleas to intervene and watched indifferently as the reporters were thrown on the ground and hit. The ministry opened a probe only after a public backlash.
This story has been amended since it was first published.