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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma and at least two other states said Friday that they have denied efforts by Russian officials to be present at polling stations during the election, requests the U.S. State Department's spokesman dismissed as "nothing more than a PR stunt."
A tiny lander despatched to Mars on a trial run had crashed and possibly exploded on the Red Planet, mission control said Friday, confirming Europe's second failed attempt to reach the alien surface. The paddling pool-sized Schiaparelli craft "crashed on the surface of Mars", Thierry Blancquaert told AFP from European Space Agency (ESA) mission control in Darmstadt, Germany -- ending two days of uncertainty about the lander's fate. The image contained a white spot, thought to be the doomed lander's parachute spread out on the alien surface, some 170 million kilometres (106 million miles) from Earth.