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‘I WANT TO TALK’: GRINER OPENED UP DURING HER LONG TRIP HOME

WASHINGTON (AP) – WNBA star Brittney Griner didn’t want quiet time as soon as she boarded a U.S. government plane that would bring her home. “I’ve been in prison for 10 months, listening to the Russians. I want to talk,” Griner said. That’s according to Roger Carstens, the special presidential envoy for hostage affairs, who helped secure the basketball star’s release and bring her back to the U.S. last week. Carstens told CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday that Griner walked throughout the plane, introducing herself to every member of the flight crew, shaking their hands, and “making a personal connection with them.”

JAPANESE COMPANY’S LANDER ROCKETS TOWARD MOON WITH UAE ROVER

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – A Tokyo company is aiming for the moon with its own private lander. The lander blasted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday atop a SpaceX rocket. On board is the United Arab Emirates’ first lunar rover and a toylike robot from Japan that’s designed to roll around in the gray lunar dust. It will take nearly five months for the lander and its experiments to reach the moon. The company ispace designed the craft for minimal fuel. That’s why it’s taking a slow, low-energy path to the moon that will have it flying 1 million miles away, before looping back to the moon.

PIONEERING BLACK FEMINIST DOROTHY PITMAN HUGHES DIES AT 84

NEW YORK (AP) – Dorothy Pitman Hughes, a pioneering Black feminist, child welfare advocate and lifelong community activist who formed a powerful speaking partnership with Gloria Steinem and appeared with her in one of the most iconic photos of the second-wave feminist movement, has died. She was 84. Hughes died Dec. 1 in Tampa, Florida. She was perhaps best known for her community activism, especially at the center she established on Manhattan’s West side for child care and support for working parents, including job training. Hughes appeared in a famous 1971 photo with Steinem in which the two raised their arms in the Black Power salute.

JOSEPH KITTINGER, WHO SET LONGTIME PARACHUTE RECORD, DIES

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – The U.S. Air Force pilot who held the record for the highest parachute jump for more than 50 years has died. Retired Col. Joseph Kittinger died Friday in Florida at age 94. Kittinger gained worldwide fame in 1960 when he jumped from a balloon-lifted gondola that took him nearly 20 miles above the New Mexico desert. Dressed in a pressure suit, he hit speeds of more than 600 miles per hour before the thickening air and then his parachute slowed him down. Kittinger also served as a fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. He was shot down in 1972 and spent 11 months in a Hanoi prisoner of war camp.

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