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August 6, 2014

The European Space Agency's Rosetta spacecraft has spent the last 10 years chasing down a comet hurtling through space at about 34,000 mile per hour — and if everything goes as planned on Wednesday morning, Rosetta will catch her prey.

At about 4:45 a.m. (EDT) on Wednesday, Rosetta is projected to catch up with Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko and maneuver to enter into orbit around the comet — a first for human space exploration. The key event will be an engine burn expected to last about 6.5 minutes. You can watch live, via this ESA livestream:

Since launching from French Guiana in 2004, Rosetta has traveled four billion miles, taken samples from two asteroids, and zoomed close to the Earth, Mars, and Jupiter. Its ultimate goal is to send its lander, Philae, to the surface of the 2.5-mile-wide Comet 67P in November and gather samples for earthlings to analyze. ESA scientists want to study the possibility that comets crashing into the Earth in its early years deposited the organic material from which all life sprung.

If you want to learn more about Rosetta's historic mission, The Week has this primer and Space.com has a helpful infographic. Peter Weber

12:37 a.m. ET
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Roy Moore's "claim that the Senate race has become a religious war, and a Christian one at that, has put one group in an awkward position: Christians," say Campbell Robertson and Laurie Goodstein at The New York Times. On Sunday, pastors around Alabama refrained from discussing Moore, the Republican nominee in the Dec. 12 U.S. Senate race, but they've been asked about little else since a growing number of women came forward to say Moore initiated a physical relationship or sexually assaulted them when they were teenagers as young as 14 and he was in his 30s.

"It was a known fact: Roy Moore liked young girls," Faye Gary, a retired police officer in Moore's hometown of Gadsden, Alabama, tells the Times. "It was treated like a joke. That's just the way it was." Now it's out in the open, the allegations "have created a dilemma" for many pastors, Robertson and Goodstein write. "They want to denounce what Mr. Moore was accused of doing, but in many cases they want to do so without denouncing Mr. Moore himself," who's still supported by many in their congregations.

Some religious leaders in Alabama have openly denounced Moore, a Southern Baptist, and called him unfit for office. but most pastors "still endorse Moore, underlining the unwavering support he has received from his conservative Christian base," reports Christopher Harress at Al.com. Pastor David Floyd of Marvyn Parkway Baptist Church in Opelika said he doesn't "believe those women" and called the allegations a Democratic smear.

Pastor Franklin Raddish of the nationwide Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries told AL.com from South Carolina home that the accusations against Moore are part of a "war on men" that has ramped up with the national reckoning about sexual misconduct. "More women are sexual predators than men," he added, dubiously. "Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don't hear about that because it's not PC." Peter Weber

12:23 a.m. ET
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AL.com is standing by its reporting on Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore, and has rejected Moore's claim that the website has turned public opinion against him, with the company's attorney writing, "Any damage to Mr. Moore's reputation was self-inflicted and had already occurred long before AL.com's recent reporting."

Since The Washington Post first published the account of a woman who said when she was 14 years old Moore made sexual advances toward her, AL.com, part of the Alabama Media Group, has done extensive reporting on the matter, interviewing additional women who have accused Moore of sexual misconduct and following up on other stories, like Moore being banned from the Gadsden Mall for bothering teenage girls. Trenton Garmon, an attorney for Moore, his wife Kayla, and their Foundation for Moral Law, sent a letter Nov. 14, to Alabama Media Group, accusing AL.com of making "false reports and/or careless reporting" about subjects related to the Moores.

In response, Alabama Media Group's attorney, John Thompson, sent Garmon a letter Thursday saying the company "rejects" the demand it stop reporting on Moore, writing, "Alabamians — for that matter, all Americans — have a right to know about the individuals who wish to represent them in public office. Like every political candidate, Mr. Moore is subject to scrutiny and analysis by the media and the general public regarding his fitness for public inquiry."

Any lawsuit "would be frivolous and could not be brought in good faith," Thompson said, but if one was filed, "we are confident that litigation would not only demonstrate that AL.com exercised the utmost diligence and employed high journalistic standards in reporting these stories, but would also reveal other important information about your clients." Read Thompson's entire letter at The Washington Post. Catherine Garcia

November 19, 2017
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team has requested that the Department of Justice hand over documents related to President Trump's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the investigation of the Trump's campaign and any connections to Russian officials, a person familiar with the matter told ABC News on Sunday.

The special counsel is reportedly looking into whether Trump attempted to obstruct the federal investigation, and the request for documents, delivered within the past month, is the first such request from Mueller's team to the Justice Department. Specifically, ABC News reports, Mueller has asked for communications between DOJ officials and their counterparts at the White House. Catherine Garcia

November 19, 2017
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For two months, surfer Conrad Carr gave up the ocean for land, walking more than 1,000 miles from New York to Florida to help animals affected by hurricanes.

After his friend dared him to walk 1,000 miles, promising to give him $100 for every mile completed, Carr decided to take him up on his offer. Some of his famous friends, including Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth, helped spread the word about Carr's journey, and more donations came in for the cause. "The animals don't have a voice, and I saw the Humane Society was right on the front lines," he told USA Today. "You gotta save all those guys struggling out there."

His journey lasted from September to November, and he's happy to have brought awareness to the plight of animals struggling due to hurricanes. "You feel a lot better when you go out there and do something good for someone who can't," he said. Catherine Garcia

November 19, 2017
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Actor Jeffrey Tambor announced Sunday he will be leaving Amazon's Transparent, after two members of the show's crew said he sexually harassed them.

"Playing Maura Pfefferman on Transparent has been one of the greatest privileges and creative experiences of my life," he told Deadline. "What has become clear over the past weeks, however, is that this is no longer the job I signed up for four years ago." Tambor said he apologizes if any of his actions were ever "misinterpreted by anyone as being aggressive," but called "the idea that I would deliberately harass anyone ... simply and utterly untrue." Because of the "politicized atmosphere that seems to have afflicted our set," he added, "I don't see how I can return to Transparent."

Amazon is investigating the allegations, and prior to Tambor's announcement, there was talk of writing his character out of the show, Deadline reports. Catherine Garcia

November 19, 2017
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A U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent died Sunday after he was injured while on duty in Texas, the agency said in a statement.

Rogelio Martinez, a 36-year-old from El Paso, and his partner responded to activity in the Big Bend area when they were injured; a Border Patrol spokesman said he could not disclose what happened to the agents. Martinez died in the hospital, and his partner, whose name has not been released, remains in serious condition. Authorities are searching for suspects and witnesses to the incident, with the FBI taking over the investigation. Martinez became a border agent in August 2013. Catherine Garcia

November 19, 2017

President Trump responded on Twitter Sunday to comments from LaVar Ball, the father of a UCLA basketball player, which downplayed the president's role in getting his son, LiAngelo Ball, and two other student athletes, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, released from shoplifting charges in China.

"Who?" the elder Ball said to ESPN Friday when asked about Trump's actions. "What was he over there for? Don't tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out." Trump reportedly spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping about the players while visiting Beijing on his tour of Asia this month, and he did not appreciate Ball's remarks:

In previous tweets this past week, Trump took credit for the athletes' release, wondered if they would thank him, and told them to "HAVE A GREAT LIFE" and be wary of "many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!" Bonnie Kristian

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