The Canadian Press
WASHINGTON — The Latest on former President Donald Trump’s second Senate impeachment trial (all times local): 8:20 p.m. House Democrats have wrapped up their first full day of arguments at the historic second impeachment trial of Donald Trump. Democrats finished their presentation Wednesday night after seven hours. They presented security footage, social media videos, police radio calls and Trump’s own Twitter posts to argue that he stoked the flames of violence, incited the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol and failed to act quickly to send help or call his supporters off. Five people died. The impeachment trial is set to resume at noon Thursday. Trump’s defence lawyers will present their arguments Friday and Saturday. ___ HERE’S WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FORMER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP’S SECOND SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL: Opening arguments begin in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial, with prosecutors saying they’ll prove Trump was no “innocent bystander” but the “inciter in chief” of the deadly attack at the Capitol aimed at overturning his election loss to Joe Biden. Read more: — Chilling Trump trial video: Police seek help, senators flee — Did someone say impeachment? Biden avoids wading into debate — Trump fumes, GOP senators baffled by legal team’s debut ___ HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON: 7:55 p.m. Donald Trump’s impeachment trial temporarily ground to a standstill when Republican Sen. Mike Lee of Utah objected to the prosecutors’ characterization of a phone call he fielded from the then-president just as senators were being evacuated during the Capitol siege. It had been reported that Trump mistakenly called Lee when he was trying to reach Sen. Tommy Tuberville, the Republican from Alabama. According to the reports, including an account Lee gave to the Deseret News in Utah, Trump was trying to reach Tuberville to discuss objecting to the certification of Electoral College votes. House prosecutor Rep. David Cicilline recounted news reports, but Lee objected and asked that they be stricken from the record as false. It’s unclear what aspect of the comments Lee wanted removed. But House impeachment managers agreed to strike the reference from the record. Lead prosecutor Rep. Jamie Raskin said they may revisit it later. ___ 7:30 p.m. House impeachment managers are making the case that Donald Trump repeatedly failed to act to call off rioters and stop the violence at the U.S. Capitol last month. Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas said Wednesday that Trump didn’t deploy the National Guard or any other law enforcement to help overwhelmed Capitol Police on Jan. 6 despite multiple pleas for him to do so. Castro says that despite the “bloodiest attack we’ve seen on our Capitol since 1812” unfolding on television, the president didn’t mention sending help or forcefully tell his supporters to stop the violence in the five tweets and video he posted online that day after the attack started. Castro said, “On Jan. 6, President Trump left everyone in this Capitol for dead.” ___ 7 p.m. House impeachment managers are focusing on Donald Trump’s silence on Jan. 6 as the siege began to unfold at the U.S. Capitol last month. Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, one of the prosecutors in Trump’s historic second impeachment trial, said Wednesday that the former president had a “breathtaking dereliction of duty” and violated his oath of office by failing to call off rioters. Cicilline noted that as senators were being evacuated, Trump mistakenly called Utah Sen. Mike Lee while trying to reach Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville to discuss contesting the counting of electoral votes. Cicilline says that while Trump did not stop the attack or address it, his phone call made clear his focus was the same as the rioters’: to stop the certification of the election and transfer of power. ___ 6:10 p.m. Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Mitt Romney say they are deeply disturbed by the evidence shown by Democrats against former President Donald Trump at his second impeachment trial. Speaking to reporters during a break Wednesday evening, Murkowski said the Democrats’ presentation was “pretty damning.” She added: “I just don’t see how Donald Trump could be reelected like this to the presidency again.” Romney said he was brought to tears watching a video shown of Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman directing him away from the mob. He called the video “overwhelmingly distressing and emotional.” Both Romney and Murkowski voted to advance the impeachment trial, though impeachment managers appear far short of the minimum 17 Republican votes they would need to convict Trump. ___ 5:30 p.m. Democrats at former President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are playing audio recordings of police officers begging for more help against rioters storming the Capitol, the fear and panic apparent in many of their voices. As the mob breached the Capitol, one officer told dispatch, “We’re still taking rocks, bottles and pieces of flag and metal pole.” In another recording, an officer says, “We have been flanked, and we’ve lost the line.” Democratic impeachment managers on Wednesday showed videos of badly outnumbered officers trying to fight rioters and protect the building. One clip shows Capitol Police Officer Eugene Goodman directing Republican Sen. Mitt Romney to safety. Capitol Police officers have previously told The Associated Press that they were not warned ahead of time of the potential of violence that day and were not trained or equipped to stop thousands of assailants trying to disrupt the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump. ___ 4:55 p.m. Democrats say Capitol Police evacuated House Speaker Nancy Pelosi from the Capitol complex entirely because they feared for her safety on Jan. 6. Prosecutors at Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial on Wednesday played audio of Pelosi’s barricaded staffers whispering for help and showed images of the mob trying to break down a door into Pelosi’s office. The 80-year-old Pelosi was a longtime political target of the former president, who derisively nicknamed her “Crazy Nancy.” House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett says Pelosi was rushed to a secure offsite location because some of the rioters publicly declared their intent to harm or kill Pelosi. Plaskett says that if the rioters had found Pelosi, they would have killed her. She says, “They did it because Donald Trump sent them on this mission.” ___ 4:50 p.m. Rioters at the Capitol were targeting former Vice-President Mike Pence, who refused to help his boss, former President Donald Trump, subvert the results of the 2020 election. In video showed Wednesday at Trump’s second impeachment trial, rioters chanted “Hang Mike Pence!” and “Bring out Pence!” as they roamed the halls searching for the former vice-president and other lawmakers. Outside, the mob set up a makeshift gallows on the field near the Capitol. Rioters got as close as 100 feet to Pence. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman helped guide rioters away from where he was hiding. House impeachment manager Stacey Plaskett said, “You can hear the mob calling for the death of the vice-president of the United States.” ___ 4:45 p.m. U.S. Capitol Police officer Eugene Goodman warned Republican Sen. Mitt Romney that rioters were headed his way shortly after the building was breached by a mob of Donald Trump supporters. Prosecutors at Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday played security footage from inside the Capitol on Jan. 6. Footage showed Goodman running toward Romney to warn him that the Capitol had been breached. After encountering Goodman, Romney turns around and runs. Footage also showed rioters screaming and breaking into the Capitol. Some of the rioters grabbed fire extinguishers from the walls as they stormed through the hallways. “Where are they counting the votes?” they yell. Goodman says: “Don’t do it. Don’t do it.” Goodman confronted the crowd with his hand raised toward them to stop. He then retreated up a staircase and they follow. Up the stairs, he directs them away from the Senate door and the chamber. Vice-President Mike Pence was about 100 feet away with his family. Goodman was later honoured by Congress for his heroics. ___ 4:40 p.m. House Democrats are showing video footage of Donald Trump’s supporters knocking down fences and fighting with police and pairing it with audio of officers making radio calls begging for backup. Prosecutors at Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday played police radio traffic in which officers described multiple injured officers, said “they’re throwing metal poles at us” and called for immediate reinforcements. After playing increasingly desperate calls from police, Democrats showed footage of rioters breaking down windows with a riot shield to climb into the Capitol. A never-before-seen security video from inside the Capitol shows rioters using a wooden beam to break windows and climb into the building. The first man climbing into the building was carrying a baseball bat and wearing body armour and is followed by a stream of people climbing through windows. ___ 4:30 p.m. Prosecutors at President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are using footage of the rally he headlined ahead of the riot on the Capitol to argue he incited the crowd. Rep. Madeleine Dean says that one of Trump’s key defences is that he says during his speech: “I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.” But Dean says that was a “few seconds” in a nearly 11,000-word speech and that it was the “only time President Trump used the word peaceful or any suggestion of nonviolence.” She says that wasn’t the overarching message. She said, “President Trump used the word ‘fight’ or ‘fighting’ 20 times, including telling the crowd they needed to ‘fight like hell.’” Choking back emotion, she said, “So they came, draped in Trump’s flag, and used our flag, the American flag, to batter and to bludgeon. And at 2:30, I heard that terrifying banging on House chamber doors. For the first time in more than 200 years, the seat of our government was ransacked on our watch.” ___ 3:25 p.m. At a break in Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, many Republicans appeared indifferent to the Democratic prosecutors’ case that the former president incited the violent attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6 — and made clear they were unlikely to convict. Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said the prosecutors’ case was “predictable” and included information that was already public. Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, another close ally of Trump, said the trial “is going to be pretty tedious.” He said the two sides would be better served to make their case “in a couple hours, and be done with this.” Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said Democrats have “put a real good team together,” but said he didn’t think anything had been said “by either side that has changed any votes.” Only six Republicans voted not to dismiss the trial on Tuesday, signalling that Democrats won’t have the minimum of 17 Republican senators they need to convict Trump. ___ 2:20 p.m. Democrats are arguing that former President Donald Trump “built” the mob that attacked the Capitol. Prosecutors at Trump’s impeachment trial on Wednesday said Trump fired up his supporters with lies about a stolen election and followed up with an invitation to a Jan. 6 rally near the White House. House impeachment manager Eric Swalwell detailed how Trump announced the rally on Twitter, writing on Dec. 19: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!” Swalwell said Jan. 6 was Trump’s “last chance to stop a peaceful transition of power.” Swalwell said Trump’s tweet wasn’t a “casual, one-off reference or a single invitation.” Swalwell said for the next 18 days, he reminded his supporters ”over and over and over” to show up. Swalwell said, “This was never about one speech. He built this mob over many months with repeated messaging until they believed that they’d been robbed of their vote, and they would do anything to stop the certification.” ___ 1:25 p.m. House Democrats prosecuting Donald Trump’s impeachment trial are methodically tracing his monthslong effort to undermine his supporters’ faith in the election results. They say they will show he is responsible for last month’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol. During arguments Wednesday, impeachment managers showed a flurry of excerpts from Trump speeches in which the then-president told supporters the only way he could lose is if the election results were rigged. The effort to challenge the results continued after the election, with Trump telling his supporters the election had been stolen and that they shouldn’t accept the results. Impeachment managers also pushed back at defence team arguments that Trump’s words were protected by the First Amendment. They said the case was not about protected political speech but rather about Trump’s incitement of violence. The Associated Press
Asteroid twice the size of the CN Tower to make fastest flyby of Earth this month – CTV Toronto
The biggest and fastest known asteroid of 2021 is expected to make a flyby of Earth later this month.
The space rock, officially called asteroid 231937 (designated 2001 FO32), will zoom past Earth on March 21 travelling at a speed of 123,887 kilometres per hour or 34.4 kilometres per second, according to NASA.
The asteroid is an estimated 1.1 kilometres wide, which is roughly twice the size of the CN Tower. Of the approximately 25,000 near-Earth asteroids that scientists know about, NASA says only about 3.5 per cent of them are larger than a kilometre.
Due to its size and proximity to Earth, asteroid 231937 has been classified as “potentially hazardous” by NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) and is being tracked by the space agency.
NEOs are defined as space objects, such as asteroids or comets, that come within 1.3 astronomical units (195 million kilometres) of the sun. If the object is larger than 140 metres across, it is considered a potentially hazardous object (PHO).
Nearly one hundred known asteroids are set to fly past Earth before the end of 2021, NASA says, but asteroid 231937 is set to be the largest and fastest.
However, NASA says the asteroid’s orbit is well known and poses no threat to humans.
According to the space agency, the asteroid will make is closest approach at 16:03 UTC (11:03 a.m. EST), at over two million kilometres away from Earth. NASA notes that this is nearly five times farther than the distance the moon orbits Earth.
Despite being two million kilometres away, NASA says this will be the asteroid’s closest encounter on record. According to NASA’s records dating as far back as the early 1900s, the space rock has not come closer to Earth and won’t do so again for 200 years.
Asteroid 231937 was discovered on March 23, 2001, by the Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research program in New Mexico, according to NASA. It orbits the sun every 810 days and is classified as an Apollo asteroid as it travels from inside Mercury’s orbit to the asteroid belt and back, crossing Earth’s orbit in an elliptical pattern.
While those interested in catching a glimpse of the asteroid won’t be able to do so with their eyes, EarthSky reports that stargazers may be able to see it using a telescope 20 centimetres or larger in diameter to detect the asteroid’s motion in real time.
The asteroid will be relatively low in the southern sky, but EarthSky said observers might spot it moving between the constellations of Scorpius and Sagittarius just before dawn.
Organic matter was discovered on an asteroid – The Saxon
In both interesting and important news in the field of space research, researchers have just discovered water and organic matter in a sample of an asteroid in our solar system. The asteroid in question is called Itokawa and the sample, which is actually a single grain, was taken during the first Hayabusa mission carried out by Jaxa or Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency in 2010.
According to the results, the water and organic matter detected did not come from outside but from the asteroid itself. Researchers at the University of London’s Royal Holloway thus suggest that the space object evolved over a period of billions of years by incorporating water and organic matter in the same way it did. is happening on Earth. According to scientists, the asteroid went through phases of extreme heat, dehydration, but also phases where it broke. He was, however, able to reform and rehydrate using the materials he was able to collect.
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It is known that this study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, also shows that S-type asteroids, that is, those which are most common among those that come to Earth, may contain the primordial components of life. According to specialists, this could change everything we know about the history of life on Earth. Indeed, research has so far focused on type C asteroids.
The Hayabusa mission
According to the explanation of Dr Queenie Chan of the Department of Earth Sciences at the Royal Holloway, the Hayabusa mission was a robotic mission developed by JAXA. Its goal was to bring back samples from a small asteroid close to Earth called Itokawa in order to analyze them in laboratories on Earth.
Dr Chan said that the in-depth study of the sample, dubbed “Amazon”, showed the preservation of primitive organic matter, that is to say that was not heated, but also of organic matter. having been heated, in a space measuring 10 micrometers in length. The part that has been heated indicates that the asteroid has been exposed to a temperature above 600 ° C in the past. But the presence of primitive organic matter nearby shows that it arrived on the surface of Itokawa after the space object cooled.
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A basis for future research
Compared to these results, Dr Chen said these were very interesting since they reveal the most intricate details in the history of an asteroid. These results also show that the evolution of the asteroid is very similar to that of the prebiotic Earth.
Scientists hope that these first results will serve as a basis for the analysis of other samples. The Haybusa 2 mission has just brought back samples of another asteroid named Ryugu last year. We can thus hope for other equally important discoveries in the weeks or months to come.
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A large asteroid known as Apophis zipped silently past the Earth – SlashGear
On Friday, a large asteroid roughly the size of the Eiffel Tower zipped past the Earth. The asteroid posed no hazard to the Earth on this flyby as it was more than 40 times as far away from Earth as the moon. However, on April 13, 2029, Apophis will get much closer to the Earth.
Scientists considered this week’s flyby a dress rehearsal for 2029, when Apophis will get incredibly close to the Earth. That year, Apophis will get closer to the Earth than some of the highest-orbit satellites surrounding the planet. The asteroid measures 1120 feet wide and is made of rock, iron, and nickel.
Scientists believe it’s shaped roughly like a peanut and its near pass by the Earth on Friday gave them a closer opportunity to inspect the asteroid. Apophis was too far away to be seen by the naked eye so scientists used the NASA Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex in California and the Green Bank Telescope in West Virginia to image the asteroid it flew by.
The planetary radar study was meant to give researchers a baseline for the significantly closer flyby in 2029. Apophis is expected to get as close as 19,800 miles to Earth on its next pass. Scientists say that Apophis has a very complicated spin state that sees the asteroid spinning and tumbling simultaneously.
Interestingly, during its closest approach in 2029, Apophis will be briefly visible by the naked eye over Western Australia. In that area, the asteroid will be as bright as the stars in the Big Dipper. Its closest pass to Earth will happen at 6 PM EDT on April 13, 2029. It won’t hit the Earth in 2029 or on its next pass in 2036. However, there is a slight chance the asteroid hit the Earth in 2068.
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