SWEDEN

Comet disintegrates

Once billed as the comet of the century, Comet ISON apparently was no match for the sun. Scientists said images from NASA spacecraft showed the comet approaching for a slingshot around the sun on Thursday, but just a trail of dust coming out on the other end. “It does seem like Comet ISON probably hasn’t survived this journey,” U.S. Navy solar researcher Karl Battams said in a Google+ hangout. Phil Plait, an astronomer who runs the “Bad Astronomy” blog, agreed, saying “I don’t think the comet made it.” Still, he said, it wouldn’t be all bad news if the 4.5-billion-year-old space rock broke up into pieces, because astronomers might be able to study them and learn more about comets. “This is a time capsule looking back at the birth of the solar system,” he said. The comet was two-thirds of a mile wide as it got within 1 million miles of the sun, which in space terms basically means grazing it.

IRAQ

Bombings, attacks kill 29

Three car bombs exploded at outdoor markets and on a street full of shops near Iraq’s capital, the deadliest of a series of attacks across the country that killed at least 29 people Thursday, officials said. The deadliest attack took place Thursday afternoon in the city of Hillah when three separate car bombing struck two outdoor markets and a line of shops, killing nine people and wounding 21, police said. Authorities said that all the blasts happened in a five-minute period. Hillah is about 60 miles south of Baghdad.

HONG KONG

Dozens hurt in ferry crash

Hong Kong authorities say 85 people have been injured in a predawn accident in which a high-speed ferry heading for Macau hit an unidentified object off an outlying island. The hydrofoil carrying 105 passengers and 10 crew struck the object at 1:15 a.m. today. The ferry was towed back to the Hong Kong ferry pier and the injured were sent to a hospital. A government spokesman said three people were in serious condition and 46 were stable. The ferry company said preliminary checks found no significant damage. The Marine Department is investigating the accident, which has not affected sea traffic in the area.

Compiled from wire reports.