India’s anti-satellite missile test created at least 400 pieces of orbital debris, the head of NASA says — placing the International Space Station (ISS) and its astronauts at risk. NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine said Monday that just 60 pieces of debris were large enough to track. Of those, 24 went above the apogee of the ISS, the point of the space station’s orbit farthest from the Earth. “That kind of activity is not compatible with the future of human spaceflight.” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced on March 27 that the country had achieved a “historic feat” by shooting down its own low-orbit satellite with a ground-to-space missile.
Mozambique has confirmed more than 1,000 cases of cholera as an outbreak of the water-borne disease spreads following a tropical cyclone last month which has so far killed at least 598 people in the southeast African nation. The number of cholera infections rose from 246 on March 30, the health ministry said in a statement on Monday. The outbreak is compounding what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has described as one of the worst weather-related disasters in African history. More than 820 people have died in flooding across Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi.
A second woman has accused former US Vice-President Joe Biden of inappropriate touching, as the leading Democrat mulls a White House bid. Amy Lappos said Mr Biden had touched her face with both hands and rubbed noses with her a decade ago. Mr Biden has said he did not believe he has ever acted inappropriately. The former Delaware senator, who served as Barack Obama’s vice-president in 2009-17, is seen as a possible frontrunner in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The reign of Japan’s next emperor will be known as the Reiwa era, after the new imperial name was unveiled before an expectant nation on Monday morning. The new era will begin on 1 May, a day after the emperor, Akihito – whose era is known as Heisei (achieving peace) – makes way for his eldest son, Crown Prince Naruhito, in Japan’s first imperial abdication for more than 200 years. The prime minister, Shinzo Abe, said the term “symbolises our nation’s profound public culture and long tradition”.
Shamima Begum, the British schoolgirl who ran away to join Isis, has said she has accepted she will probably never return to the UK – but insisted she was “brainwashed” by the terrorist group. Speaking for the first time since the death of her third baby in March, the 19-year-old said she “really regretted everything” and asked for a second chance. Ms Begum claims she left London for Syria in 2015 because she believed “everything that I had been told, while knowing little about the truths of my religion”.
The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee a prisoner sentenced to capital punishment “a painless death,” a divided Supreme Court said on Monday, paving the way for the execution of a convicted murderer who sought to die by lethal gas rather than lethal injection because of a rare medical condition. Russell Bucklew, 50, had argued that lethal injection might inflict undue agony by rupturing blood-filled tumors on his face, head, neck and throat caused by a congenital condition called cavernous hemangioma in violation of the Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, which bars cruel and unusual punishment. Bucklew failed to show that lethal gas could be “readily implemented” as required under Supreme Court precedent, the court ruled.