While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 13 edition

Philae probe lands on comet in space first

The European probe Philae has made the first-ever landing on a comet, a crowning phase in a quest to explore the origins of the Solar System, the European Space Agency said Wednesday.

The robot lab landed on Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko around seven hours after separating from its mother ship Rosetta more than 510 million kilometres from Earth - although later there were fears that the probe's landing harpoons may not have fired and that Philae may not be securely anchored.

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Two window washers rescued from 69th floor of World Trade Center

Two window washers were rescued at the new World Trade Center on Wednesday after the cable secured to their platform snapped and left them dangling 69 floors up for nearly two hours.

Rescuers cut a window to reach the workers who clung to a platform suspended at a precarious angle at the south side of the building, a frightening 240m above ground at Tower 1 of the complex in lower Manhattan.

Some 100 firefighters were involved in the complex rescue operation at the building, which at more than 540m is the tallest in the United States.

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Surviving Virgin space pilot ‘unbuckled’ himself as craft split apart

The surviving pilot of the Virgin Galactic spaceship that crashed last month unbuckled himself and was thrown free from the disintegrating craft, investigators said Wednesday.

Peter Siebold told them he did not know that his co-pilot had prematurely unlocked a key system on the spaceship, which broke up over California’s Mojave Desert on Oct 31.

The co-pilot, Michael Alsbury, died in the accident shortly after mistakenly unlocking a so-called “feathering” system designed to slow the aircraft down during re-entry into the Earth’s atmosphere.

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EC chief Juncker says he's no 'best friend' of big business after tax uproar

European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Wednesday he was not "the best friend of big business" following an uproar over huge tax breaks agreed with top global companies when he was Luxembourg premier.

Breaking his silence on the affair, an under-fire Juncker went on the counter-offensive by announcing the Commission, the EU executive arm, would "push for (tax) harmonisation and fair rules among all".

Revealed last week, the tax breaks extended to household names such as Pepsi, IKEA and Deutsche Bank and are politically explosive at a time when cash-strapped EU governments have sharply cut budgets.

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Football: Zlatan Ibrahimovic back on shortlist for best goal award

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has once again made the shortlist of for Fifa's goal of the year award, giving him a chance to retain the trophy he won last year.

The shortlist featured three goals from the World Cup, including James Rodriguez's astonishing dipping volley for Colombia against Uruguay, and was dominated by acrobatic volleys and long-range shots.

Ibrahimovic, who the award last year with his speculative 25m overhead kick for Sweden against England, this time made the shortlist with a back-heeled volley in a French league match for Paris St Germain against Bastia.

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