India is the only nation so far to reach Mars on its first attempt.

By JOANNA SUGDEN

India put a satellite into Mars orbit early Wednesday, the only nation to have done so on a maiden voyage and the first in Asia to reach the red planet.

As the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked on, space scientists at mission control in Bangalore, India’s tech capital, announced that the Mangalyaan orbiter had entered Mars orbit after a 10-month voyage from Earth.

Mangalyaan, Hindi for Mars craft, cost $74 million to send into space, making it by far the cheapest of recent missions to Mars. The U.S. spent $671 million getting its Maven satellite to Mars orbit, where it arrived late Sunday.

Read more » The Wall Street Journal
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/09/24/indias-mangalyaan-enters-mars-orbit/?mod=e2tw

Asma Jahangir, Snowden honoured with ‘alternative Nobel’

By Agencies

STOCKHOLM: Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir and Edward Snowden are among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the “alternative Nobel.”

The 1.5 million kronor ($210,000) cash award was shared by Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Also read: Herald exclusive: An interview with Asma Jahangir

The former National Security Agency contractor, who was honoured for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. split the honorary portion of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.

Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honours efforts that prize founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

The prize is awarded annually “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”, according to the foundation.

As an honorary award winner, Snowden, would not receive the customary 500,000 kronor ($70,000) prize money, but the foundation said it would “fund legal support for him” without disclosing the amount.

Read more » DAWN
http://www.dawn.com/news/1134056