- - Monday, November 26, 2012

MOSCOW — The United States and Russia on Monday named the two men who will spend a year aboard the International Space Station to gather more data on the impact of outer space on humans to help prepare for future interplanetary missions.

Navy Capt. Scott Kelly of NASA and Mikhail Kornienko of the Russian space agency Roscosmo will take part in the mission, set to start in spring 2015.

A key goal is to help reduce health risks for planned NASA missions around the moon, an asteroid and, ultimately, Mars.

Capt. Kelly has logged more than 180 days in space, and Mr. Kornienko traveled to the station in 2010. They will start training for the mission early next year.

Capt. Kelly’s twin brother, Mark, is the husband of former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, who was targeted in a 2011 assassination attempt, and was the skipper of Space Shuttle Endeavour on its last mission in 2011. He retired then.


China lands first jet on its aircraft carrier

BEIJING — China has successfully landed a fighter jet on its first aircraft carrier, which entered service two months ago, the country’s official news agency confirmed Sunday.

The Liaoning aircraft carrier underscores China’s ambitions to be a leading Asian naval power, but it is not expected to carry a full complement of planes or be ready for combat for some time.

Xinhua News Agency said the landing exercise marked the debut of the J-15 stealth fighter jet, a carrier-based fighter-bomber developed by China from Russia’s Sukhoi Su-33.

The Defense Ministry’s website carried photos of the jet taking off from and landing on the carrier.

Citing unnamed naval sources, Xinhua said the carrier platform and J-15 capabilities met all requirements and achieved “good compatibility.”


Iranian warships returning to Sudanese port

KHARTOUM — Iranian warships will return Friday to Sudan, a Sudanese army spokesman said, one month after a similar port call followed Khartoum’s accusation that Israel had bombed a military factory.

Sudan’s links to Iran have come under scrutiny after Khartoum accused Israel of the Oct. 23 airstrike against the Yarmouk compound, which led to speculation that Iranian weapons were stored or manufactured at the Khartoum factory.

“Two Iranian warships [will] also visit Port Sudan harbor on [Friday] and stay at the harbor for three days within the military maritime cooperation,” said Sawarmi Khaled Saad, the Sudanese army spokesman quoted by the official SUNA news agency.

A Pakistani naval vessel also will stop at the Red Sea port for two days, beginning Thursday, Mr. Saad said. During their visit, the three ships will get “fuel and other logistic materials,” he said.

A pair of Iranian warships spent about two days in Port Sudan late last month in a visit Mr. Saad said supported “strong political, security and diplomatic relations between the two states.”


Rebels patrol in city as deadline nears

GOMA — Rebels allegedly backed by Rwanda and Uganda stepped up their patrols Monday of this key eastern Congo city, which they seized last week, even as a midnight deadline for them to withdraw, issued by a regional bloc, loomed.

The M23 rebels said Monday that they plan to move their headquarters to this city of 1 million later this week, another sign that they did not intend to leave by midnight.

The Congolese military, which suffered a humiliating defeat when it lost Goma last week, was regrouping in the town of Minova, 36 miles to the south.

But it appeared disorganized and not in position to launch an immediate assault on Goma.

The deadline was issued by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region on Saturday in Kampala, the capital of neighboring Uganda.

The regional group is attempting to negotiate an end to the fighting and did not threaten any consequences if the rebels don’t depart.

Rwanda and Uganda belong to the group, but they are hardly neutral. Both countries back the rebels, according to a U.N. report released Wednesday, and they would be unlikely to go to war with M23 over the seizure of Goma.


16 die after drinking cough syrup

LAHORE — Sixteen people have died in Pakistan after drinking cough syrup suspected of being toxic, police said Monday after three additional victims died in hospitals.

All those affected by the syrup were drug addicts who apparently drank it to get high, said police Officer Multan Khan.

Officer Khan said the victims died at various hospitals in the eastern city of Lahore over the past three days. Two people were still being treated at the city’s main hospital.

Police arrested the owners of three drugstores where the cough syrup was sold and sent a sample for analysis to determine whether it was toxic, Officer Khan added.


Fire kills 14 at workshop for disabled

BERLIN — A fire broke out Monday at a workshop for disabled people in southwestern Germany, killing 14 people and injuring at least six others, authorities said.

Markus Straub, a spokesman for local firefighters, said there was no immediate information on why the building in Titisee-Neustadt, a town in the Black Forest near the city of Freiburg, caught fire Monday afternoon.

The center employs about 120 people with either mental or physical disabilities in a variety of jobs, including metalwork, woodwork and electrical installation, according to the facility’s website.

There usually are 100 to 120 people in the building at any time, police spokesman Karl-Heinz Schmid told Suedwestrundfunk radio.

The facility is run by the Catholic Church’s Caritas organization.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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