Close call
September 16, 2019

Israel's election is set for Tuesday, but it was almost delayed as a result of a now-abandoned military operation that might have had "far-reaching implications," Haaretz reports.

Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat reportedly met with the head of the Central Elections Committee, Justice Hanan Melcer, to prepare him for the possibility of postponing the elections before Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly made a last-second decision to nix the military operation last week. The alleged operation, which would have been a retaliatory response to a rocket launch from Gaza, may have been a large-scale operation, Haaretz reports.

Therefore, Ben-Shabbat reportedly felt it was necessary to discuss with Melcer about the possibility of delaying the elections, which would have required approval from the Knesset. Eventually, though, Netanyahu reportedly backed down after a meeting with senior Israeli defense officials, some of whom reportedly objected to Netanyahu's plan. Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz called Haaretz's report on the military plan a "complete lie," but either way, the election will go on as planned. Read more at Haaretz. Tim O'Donnell

November 16, 2014

An Afghan member of parliament and women's rights advocate survived a bombing attack on her car Sunday, telling Reuters that she "survived because of my people's prayers."

Shukria Barakzai, who secretly operated a school for girls under Taliban rule, received minor wounds in the suicide attack. Three bystanders were killed and 10 injured, a police spokesman said. Several bombings have targeted government officials in recent weeks, and Barakzai is an ally of President Ashraf Ghani. Catherine Garcia

October 17, 2014

On Sunday, all eyes will be on Mars as a comet comes incredibly close to the red planet, at a distance of less than 87,000 miles.

Comet Siding Spring — named after the Australian observatory where it was discovered last year — is about 5 miles wide. It started making its way from the remote Oort cloud a few million years ago, and it will be the first from this region studied by a spacecraft. While NASA plans on moving its orbiters from the comet's dust trail just to be on the safe side, the Curiosity rover and the Hubble Space Telescope will attempt to capture images of the comet. "This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," planetary scientist Roger Yelle of the University of Arizona told USA Today.

On this planet, people in South Africa and Australia will be able to see the comet through the assistance of binoculars. If you were on Mars, you'd see shooting stars and an aurora, and possibly an intense fireball. Catherine Garcia

June 3, 2014

A man's relaxing beach day in northern Germany almost ended with a plane landing on him. Astonishing video footage obtained by the German tabloid Bild shows a small plane coming within inches of a beachgoer as it was trying to land at a nearby runway.

"I had seen five planes land before this one came in," said Rainer Schmidt, who recorded the viral video. "I instantly realized that this one was coming in to land far too low." The aircraft barely managed to avoid hitting the man, and then plowed through a wooden fence before landing.

The 52-year-old pilot has reportedly apologized to the sunbather. He also had this to say: "I didn't see him because he was lying down and I'm just very grateful it worked out well and I didn't land on him." --Jordan Valinsky

May 21, 2014

A baby bear cub was trapped on a Canadian highway's concrete divider when its quick-thinking mother scooped it up and hauled it to safety. Good job, bear mom. Bad job, other cub who hopped on the barrier and almost spilled out into the road. --Jon Terbush

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