First up, a setback for the European Space Agency. Working together with Russia, the ESA is testing its ability to land a spacecraft on Mars. Its scientists are hoping to find out whether life has ever existed there.
But the latest lander it sent named Schiaparelli appears to have crashed on the red planet, instead of landing softly as planned. It looks like its parachute and landing rockets malfunctioned and Schiaparelli didn't send back any signals after its high speed descent through the Martian atmosphere on Wednesday.
This wouldn't be the first lander the ESA has lost on Mars. But the agency says another part of its $1.5 billion mission involving a craft that's orbiting Mars is working. And ESA officials are moving forward with plans for a bigger project. They want to send a rover to Mars in 2020.
Next to the Philippines. The Pacific island nation has been hit by two typhoons in one week and both of them were the equivalent of category four hurricanes. At least three people were killed last Sunday when Typhoon Sarika made landfall in the northern Philippines. Thousands had to leave their homes.
And then on Thursday, the cleanup began again, this time for a typhoon named Haima. It hit the northeastern Philippines, affecting crops, buildings and as many as 2.7 million in some way. Both systems were headed to China afterward where hundreds of thousands were evacuated and recovery teams were deployed.
Meantime, a political storm is brewing between the Philippines and the U.S. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has spoken out recently against U.S. President Barack Obama. And though the U.S. and the Philippines historically had been allies, President Duterte appears to be pivoting, realigning his country more closely with China. During his visit to China on Thursday, he announced his, quote, "separation from the United States".
Analysts are trying to figure out what exactly that means.
MATT RIVERS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Militarily, the United States and the Philippines are treaty allies, with a mutual defense obligation.
The U.S. regularly rotates military troops and equipment through the Philippines and the two countries have also conducted several joint naval patrols in the South China Sea this year.
A true separation as President Duterte suggested would mean an end to both the treaty and the troop presence. But President Duterte has made statements before that his staff then has been forced to walk back or clarify. CNN reached out to Duterte's office for more details on his announcement, we receive no reply.
In the past, Duterte has expressed anger over the U.S. military presence but said the treaty would remain because his advisers told him it was necessary. He did however cancelled joint military exercises set for next year. What Duterte meant by separating economically is less clear, though U.S.-Philippine trade is worth tens of billions of dollars. In that same speech, the president also indicated what he has said for months now, that he wants to leave the U.S. behind in exchange for new, stronger allies.