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Grasswire Digest: March 14

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A joint European and Russian mission to Mars successfully took off this morning.

The ExoMars mission aims to both search for methane in the Martian atmosphere and demonstrates a landing on the planet’s surface in preparation for a potential rover launch in the future.


Eight cars on Amtrak Southwest Chief train 4 derailed overnight on Sunday, approximately 20 miles west of Dodge City.

Thirty-two passengers were transported to local hospitals with non-life-threatening injuries.



Australia’s Westpac Bank has closed all 1,400 of its branches, forcing locals in the Australian outback to travel long distances to manage their banking.

One of these branches is in Meekatharra, a community around 500 miles north of Perth, serving around 2,000 people with limited access to online banking.


In case you missed it

At least 34 people were killed with another 125 wounded after an explosion rocked central Ankara, Turkey’s Kizilay district.

At least 20 people, including six assailants, were killed when heavily armed gunmen opened fire in the Ivory Coast resort town of Grand-Bassam.

CBS News reporter Sopan Deb was arrested Friday night while covering Donald Trump’s canceled rally in Chicago.

According to early poll results, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union lost seats in Baden-Wurttemberg, Rhineland-Palatine, and Saxony-Anhalt to the populist anti-immigration Alternative fur Deutschland (Alternative for Germany) party.

Google DeepMind’s AlphaGo computer program took an insurmountable 3-1 lead over Go champion Lee Se-dol Saturday in a five-game series.



The Verge deep-dives on how Michelle Obama has managed to stay ahead of the new age of social media.

The Verge also deep-dived on the art of Twitter’s parody accounts.

In other news

Seven U.S. cities (Austin, TX; Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Kansas City, Missouri; Pittsburgh; Portland, Oregon; San Francisco) are in the running for the Department of Transportation’s Smart City challenge, a competition for cities to rethink urban transportation using technology.


General interestingness

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