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European Space Agency: Milky Way telescope ready after glitches

A billion-dollar telescope designed to provide the most detailed map yet of the Milky Way is ready to start work after teething problems, the European Space Agency (ESA) said on Tuesday. “Following extensive in-orbit commissioning and several unexpected challenges… Gaia is now ready to begin its science mission,” the agency…

NASA’s Opportunity rover breaks out-of-this-world distance record

The US space agency’s Opportunity rover has now clocked more miles on Mars than any man-made vehicle to reach another celestial body, NASA said. Since arriving on the Red Planet in 2004, the solar-powered robot has journeyed across 25 miles (40 kilometers) of Martian terrain. That surpasses the previous record,…

EU hits Russia with economic sanctions as fighting intensifies in Ukraine

After months of hesitation, the EU finally agreed Tuesday to impose economic sanctions against Russia, hoping to make it change course in Ukraine as fighting intensified around cities held by pro-Moscow rebels. The new measures impose restrictions on the finance, defence and energy sectors so as to increase the cost…

World’s largest solar boat searches for prehistoric village in the Argolic gulf

The world’s largest solar boat, the catamaran PlanetSolar, will embark on a Greek mission to find one of the oldest sites inhabited by man in Europe, an organiser said Monday. Starting on August 11, a team of Swiss and Greek scientists will seek a “prehistoric countryside” in the southeastern Peloponnese…

US ‘gravely concerned’ about 15-year-old American held in Israeli jail

The United States on Monday urged Israel to expedite the case of a 15-year-old American citizen held for three weeks on charges of rock-throwing, amid concerns he has been mistreated in custody. Mohammed Abu Nie — who has dual American and Palestinian citizenship — was arrested in east Jerusalem on…

US calls on Iran to free Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian

The United States on Monday called on Iran to release a Washington Post reporter, his wife and two freelancers arrested in Tehran last week. Tehran’s chief justice Gholamhossein Esmaili on Friday confirmed the arrest of Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, 38, and his wife Yeganeh Salehi. “We call on the…

Treasury secretary: Corporate ‘inversion’ deals hurt US finances, increase budget deficits

US Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew warned Monday that the surge in companies moving offshore via mergers to skirt US taxes could weaken the country’s finances. Taking aim at “inversion” deals, Lew said Congress needs to amend tax laws to eliminate takeovers of foreign companies by US firms with the primary…

Senior US military officers weigh risks of aiding Ukraine in fight against pro-Russian forces

Senior American military officers are discussing the possibility of providing Ukraine with more precise intelligence that would allow it to target missiles held by pro-Russian forces, US officials said Monday. But no decision is imminent and some officials are concerned such a move could backfire by escalating the conflict between…

Mexico and California question Texas border troop plan

Mexico’s foreign minister and the visiting governor of California questioned Monday plans by Texas to deploy troops to stem the flow of immigrant children, saying they need humanitarian aid instead. Governor Jerry Brown, on a visit focused on boosting trade with California’s southern neighbor, said the Texas plan must be…

U.S. accuses Russia of violating 1987 arms treaty by testing cruise missile

Washington (AFP) – The United States has found that Russia violated a 1987 arms control treaty by testing a ground-launched cruise missile, a senior US official said late Monday, calling the matter “very serious.” The finding comes in a 2014 report that concluded Russia was in violation of the Intermediate-Range…

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