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The European Union will accelerate space ambitions to keep up with the United States. USA And China

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PARIS – The European Union will invest more money in rocket launches, satellite communication and space exploration to preserve its often-unrecognized successes in space and keep up with the ambitions of the United States and China, its space chief said Sunday.

In recent decades, Europe has attempted to build independent access to space for the US pioneers. USA And Russia to help its industry, with successes such as the Ariane rockets or the GPS-rival satnav Galileo.

But the recent appearance of American competitor SpaceX and its reusable rockets, as well as China’s rapid advances, including the first landing on the other side of the Moon last year, is giving new urgency to Europe’s ambitions.

“Space is one of Europe’s strengths, and we are giving ourselves the means to accelerate,” European Commissioner Thierry Breton, whose report includes the space sector, told Reuters in an interview.

Breton, the former French head of IT company Atos, said that for the first time, the EU budget will be used to support new technologies for launching rockets, including reusable ones.

The EU will sign for the first time a billion euro agreement with Arianespace with guaranteed orders to give it more visibility, in exchange for more innovation.

“SpaceX has redefined the standards for launchers, making Ariane 6 a necessary step, but not the ultimate goal: We must start thinking about Ariane 7 now,” said Breton.

Breton, who expects the European Commission to provide € 16bn for space in his next budget, said he would propose a € 1bn European Space Fund to boost startups. It also wants to launch a competition to give free access to satellites and launchers to new companies, to stimulate innovation.

For the Galileo satellite system, Breton said he would push ahead with the end of 2024 rather than 2027 with the launch of a new generation of satellites, “the most modern in the world,” which can interact with each other and provide a more accurate signal. .

It wants to launch a new satellite system that can provide high-speed Internet access to all Europeans, and begin work on a Space Traffic Management system to avoid collisions, most likely with the rapid increase in the number of satellites.

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Trump administration warns against investing in Chinese companies

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The Trump administration warned of investing in Chinese companies due to the possibility of sanctions and boycotts for the Chinese Communist Party’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic and its strong-armed response to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, according to a report.

National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien and Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, wrote in a letter to the United States Railroad Retirement Board that investments in China opened their retirees to “unnecessary economic risks,” the report said. Tuesday the New York Times. .

The letter also noted that the investments would put money in the hands of companies “that raise significant humanitarian and national security concerns,” including some that supply the Chinese military.

Citing a “moment of increasing uncertainty,” O’Brien and Kudlow said “the possibility of future sanctions or boycotts that may arise from a wide range of problems, including the Chinese government’s culpable actions regarding the global spread of the Covid – 19 pandemic, the suppression of democracy in Hong Kong. “

The Railroad Retirement Board, an independent federal agency, managed $ 28.3 billion in assets at the end of 2018, according to the report.

He said the board has placed the assets in a diversified portfolio like many private sector retirement plans have.

The White House warning comes at a time of heightened tension between Washington and Beijing.

President Trump blamed China for confusing his response to the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan City.

And the world’s two largest economies have been involved in a trade war after Trump accused Beijing of treating American companies unfairly and stealing intellectual property.

Last week, China imposed a strict national security law in Hong Kong that cracks down on criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and penalizes “secession”, “subversion” and the organization of “terrorist activities”.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in an interview Monday with Fox News, said the United States is considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps over concerns that they collect data from users and share it with the Chinese Communist Party.

“I don’t want to go out in front of [Trump]But it’s something we’re seeing, “said Pompeo.” We’re taking this very seriously. We’re certainly seeing it. “

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Portland Police Union Blames City Officials for Riots: “Condemn Violence”

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The Portland police union criticized public officials for allowing protesters to destroy the city, as protesters once again taunted police on Tuesday night.

In a publication titled “This Cannot Continue,” Portland Police Association President Daryl Turner called on elected officials to “stand up and defend Portland.”

“Condemn violence and burning, looting and destruction of property,” said Turner. “Trust and support the decisions made by law enforcement leaders who simply want to keep residents, business owners and peaceful protesters safe.”

The Black Lives Matter protests have been going on in Portland for more than a month after George Floyd’s death by police. However, protests have frequently turned violent amid clashes between police, protesters and members of the anti-fascist group Antifa.

Looters also ravaged businesses in downtown Portland in late May.

Turner said the police have suffered verbal and physical abuse for too long.

“As the riots continue, it is obvious to everyone that this is no longer about George Floyd, social justice, or police reform,” he said. “They are a group of individuals who try to cause injury, mayhem and destruction by mutiny, looting, lighting fires, throwing stones, bottles, mortars, urine and feces at peaceful protesters, as well as the police.

Police confront protesters as demonstrated by supporters of the Black Lives Matter in Portland, Oregon.

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Black Lives Matter protests continue in Portland

Police arrest protesters as demonstrated by Black Lives Matter supporters in Portland, Oregon.

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“These violent criminal acts have dragged on for nearly 40 days non-stop, while the men and women of the Portland Police Office and its associated agencies have shown staggering restraint in the face of the most divisive moment this country has seen in history modern “.

Turner’s letter concluded: “Keep the people of Portland safe and free from riot, while respecting their First Amendment rights. Support police leadership. Support officers. Tell those who intend to burn and loot our great city ​​not welcome here. Put Portland first.

The protests were largely peaceful on Tuesday night, when crowds gathered to pay tribute to Summer Taylor, the 24-year-old protester who died after being hit by a high-speed car Saturday in Seattle, Oregon Live reported. . At one point, a fight broke out between protesters, prompting police to respond and fire two noisy ammunition.

Video from the scene shows protesters confronting heavily armed police.

The groups had planned a “peaceful sit-in” on Tuesday night, as well as a “Night of Wrath for Summer Taylor.”

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Kazakh beach dwellers beat unconscious seal so kids could take photos

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A seal was beaten to unconsciousness by a group of men on a beach in Kazakhstan, so that children could take photos with it, according to a report.

The defenseless mammal was swimming in the Caspian Sea in Kuryk when the men launched their attack, the Daily Mail reported.

The video of the haunting assault shows the men hitting the seal with long sticks near the shoreline, and another man hoisting a large rock over his head.

Local media reports said the attack continued until the animal passed out, the Mail reported.

“They beat the seal until he passed out. Then they took it out of the water so that the children could take photos and have fun, ”said one witness in one of the reports. “After that, they threw the motionless body back into the sea. I don’t know if he survived. “

The animal attack occurs the same week that people threw rocks at another seal that was swimming in the water. The video of that incident was released by Kazakh model Yevgeniya Mukasheva.

Caspian seals are listed as endangered species.

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