December 23, 2017 GMT

Liberia to move ahead with Dec 26 runoff poll

MONROVIA, Liberia — Liberia’s Supreme Court has denied a request from the governing Unity Party to halt the Dec. 26 presidential runoff, ruling that the National Elections Commission has acted within the law in setting the election date.

The second-round vote between former soccer star George Weah and Vice President Joseph Boakai had at one point been on hold after the third-place candidate’s Liberty Party alleged first-round voting irregularities. The Supreme Court cleared the way for the runoff the beginning of December ordering the voter lists be fully cleaned up.


The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the balloting date, when voters are choosing a successor to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Africa’s first female leader and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

NASA astronaut in historic space photo dies at 80

HOUSTON — NASA astronaut Bruce McCandless, the first person to fly freely and untethered in space, has died. He was 80.

He was famously photographed in 1984 flying with a hefty spacewalker’s jetpack, alone in the cosmic blackness above a blue Earth. He traveled more than 300 feet away from the space shuttle Challenger during the spacewalk.

“The iconic photo of Bruce soaring effortlessly in space has inspired generations of Americans to believe that there is no limit to the human potential,” Sen. John McCain said in a statement. The Arizona Republican and McCandless were classmates at the U.S. Naval Academy.

NASA’s Johnson Space Center said Friday that McCandless died Thursday in California. No cause of death was given.

— Compiled from The Associated Press