While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Nov 27

Nasa's latest Mars craft lands for unprecedented seismic mission

Nasa's Mars lander InSight touched down safely on the surface of the Red Planet on Monday (Nov 26) to begin its two-year mission as the first spacecraft designed to explore the deep interior of another world.

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles said the successful landing was confirmed by signals relayed to Earth from one of two miniature satellites that were launched along with InSight and flying past Mars when it arrived shortly before 3pm EST (4am Singapore time).

Members of the mission control team burst into applause and cheered in relief as they received data showing that the spacecraft had survived its perilous descent to the Martian surface.


Ukraine introduces martial law citing threat of Russian invasion

Ukraine on Monday (Nov 26) imposed martial law for 30 days in parts of the country most vulnerable to an attack from Russia after President Petro Poroshenko warned of the “extremely serious” threat of a land invasion. 

Poroshenko said martial law was necessary to bolster Ukraine’s defences after Russia seized three Ukrainian naval ships and took their crews prisoner at the weekend. 

Parliament approved the introduction of martial law after Poroshenko reassured some sceptical lawmakers that it would not be used to curb civil liberties or delay elections scheduled for next year. 


China orders probe into scientist claims of first gene-edited babies 

Beijing has ordered an investigation into claims by a Chinese scientist to have created the world's first genetically-edited babies, a move that would be a ground-breaking medical first but which has generated a barrage of criticism.

A video posted on YouTube by university professor He Jiankui said that the twin girls, born a few weeks ago, had had their DNA altered to prevent them from contracting HIV, prompting a heated debate among the scientific community.

As experts cast doubt over the claimed breakthrough and others decried it as a modern form of eugenics, China's National Health Commission ordered an "immediate investigation" into the case, the official Xinhua news agency reported early Tuesday (Nov 27), citing a statement on the NHC's website.


Person arrested after six die in Switzerland apartment fire

Six people, including children, died when a fire broke out in an apartment building northwestern Switzerland, apparently due to "incorrect use of articles for smokers," police said Monday (Nov 26).

One person was arrested following the deadly blaze, which happened in the early hours of Monday in the town of Solothurn, north of the capital Bern.

"There were more than 20 people in the building. Most were evacuated by the fire brigade, but for six people, including children, the help came too late," Solothurn police said in a statement.


Football: River president blasts Boca chief over final 'betrayal'

River Plate president Rodolfo D'Onofrio hit out at his Boca Juniors counterpart on Monday (Nov 26) accusing his rival of "betrayal" following the postponement of the weekend's Copa Libertadores final due to an attack on the Boca team bus by River fans.

In a humiliating weekend for South American football, the second leg of the final was postponed twice amid scenes of violence and confusion.

The match had been scheduled for Saturday but the two presidents agreed to delay the continental showpiece by 24 hours after some Boca players suffered cuts from broken glass and the effects of smoke inhalation when their bus came under fire from River fans throwing sticks and stones and spraying pepper spray.