News Headlines - 16 May 2021

China's Zhurong Mars rover touches down on the red planet

China's space program took a major leap today when it successfully landed the Zhurong rover on Mars, marking the country’s first landing on another planet. Teams will now prepare to roll the rover off its landing platform and onto the dusty Martian surface to begin a mission to search for evidence of water and hints of past life.
The touchdown makes China the second country in history to deposit a rover on the surface of Mars. After months in orbit around the red planet, the Tianwen-1 spacecraft released the Zhurong rover for a landing in Utopia Planitia, a vast plain that may once have been covered by an ancient Martian ocean. The 529-pound rover survived a perilous descent to the surface, including atmospheric entry, slowing from supersonic speeds with a parachute, and finally using retrorockets to safely alight on the ground.
Named for an ancient Chinese fire god, the 529-pound Zhurong rover is similar in size to NASA’s Spirit and Opportunity rovers, which landed on the red planet in 2004 and sent back exciting images and data about the planet’s surface conditions. China’s rover could make additional important discoveries concerning water and past habitability on the planet, paving the way for future human missions to Mars.

Hong Kong tycoon Jimmy Lai's Taiwan paper to stop print edition - Nikkei Asia

The Taiwan arm of Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai's Apple Daily is to stop publishing its print version, the newspaper said on Friday, blaming declining advertising revenue and more difficult business conditions in Hong Kong linked to politics.
The Taiwan Apple Daily was set up in 2003 as a sister paper to the original Hong Kong edition... But in an open letter to readers published on its website, the Taipei-based paper blamed the "monopoly" of digital platforms for advertising revenue for what it described as large losses for a key source of income, as well as the situation in Hong Kong... The newspaper said "pro-China forces" in Hong Kong were boycotting various advertising resources, making the operation of the Hong Kong Apple Daily "extremely difficult".

Doctors held over ‘mercy killing’ accused in another death : The Asahi Shimbun

Two doctors indicted on a murder charge in the death of a woman with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have been arrested on suspicion of murdering the father of one of the doctors.
Naoki Yamamoto and Yoshikazu Okubo, both 43, were arrested on May 12 on suspicion of killing Yamamoto’s father, Yasushi, in March 2011, police sources said... Yamamoto and Okubo were indicted in August 2020 on a charge of murdering a Kyoto woman with ALS who contacted the doctors through social media asking for their help to end her life through lethal injection.

Yokohama Police to give up search for 12-foot python, YouTubers picking up slack | SoraNews24

In the evening of 6 May, a man in Totsuka Ward, Yokohama City, came home from work but noticed something was amiss. It didn’t take him long to realize what it was and called the police to report that his 3.5-meter (12-foot), 13 kilogram (29-pound) reticulated python had escaped from its vivarium.
To make matters worse, the owner had left his window open a crack while he was gone, giving one of the world’s largest breeds of snake ample opportunity to escape... A week since its escape, the python is still yet to be found. These animals are excellent hiders and seldom need to come out to feed. They are also strong swimmers and could cover a fair bit of distance by river if desired. So, with no sign of the animal and little prospects of finding it, the authorities announced they would likely give up the search on 14 May.

Shohei Ohtani Unleashed - The New York Times

Ohtani has frequently been referred to as the Japanese Babe Ruth, and in Texas on April 26, he became the first American or National League player since Ruth, on June 13, 1921, to start a game on the mound while leading his league in home runs.