Chinese astronauts return home. BBC: 'Jing Haipeng, commander of the Shenzhou-9 crew, was the first to emerge from the return capsule, followed by his flight engineers, Liu Wang and the country's first woman astronaut, Liu Yang. Job well done. But their grin is shared across the whole Chinese nation today. ... The Shenzhou-9 mission posted a series of firsts. Liu Yang's presence in orbit obviously caught the headlines, but I was thinking more about the engineering milestones: the first manned automatic and manual dockings; the first long-duration spaceflight; and the first crew to live aboard a permanently orbiting module, Tiangong-1. ...' Space.com: 'By any measure, Shenzhou 9 — the nation's fourth human spaceflight mission, after efforts in 2003, 2005 and 2008 — appears to have been a big success. The spacecraft docked with the unmanned Tiangong 1 space module by remote control on June 18, and then again on June 24 while being piloted by the taikonauts (as Chinese astronauts are called). ...' The Telegraph has video.
US Ambassador to Kenya quits. 'The U.S. ambassador to Kenya has resigned just over a year after taking up the post, citing differences with Washington over priorities and his style of leadership, an embassy statement said on Friday. Scott Gration's departure came a week after the U.S. embassy warned of a threat of an imminent militant attack in the port city of Mombasa, angering the Kenyan government which said the advisory amounted to "economic sabotage". ...'
Syria: Hamas leader killed in Damascus. Ha'Aretz: 'A Hamas member was killed in Damascus Wednesday night, the French news agency AFP cited a senior official for the organization as saying, adding that Hamas suspected that the Mossad was behind the killing. The official, who spoke anonymously, said that "a group of people entered the home of Kamel Ranaja (also known as Nizar Abu Mujhad), and killed him. According to information that we have gathered, the Mossad is behind the attack." ...'