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U.S. company ‘SpaceX’ postpones first satellite launch into space

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Private US company SpaceX postponed the launch of a rocket carrying its first telecommunications satellite on Thursday after two unsuccessful attempts at take-off.

The launch at a US Air Force base in Cape Canaveral, Florida was moved to Thursday after an attempt on Monday was aborted.

The unmanned Falcon 9 rocket launch was aborted for a first time on Thursday shortly after engine ignition at 5:39 pm (2239 GMT) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

A second attempt was made at 6:44 pm (2344 GMT) but was also scrapped.

SpaceX’s billionaire founder Elon Musk said on Twitter it would likely “a few days” before a further attempt is made.

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“We called manual abort. Better to be paranoid and wrong,” Musk wrote.

The precise reasons for the failure to launch were not specified.

It was to be the first launch with an improved version of the Falcon 9 after a test flight in California.

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SpaceX is eager to get into the commercial satellite launch business, estimated to be worth $190 billion a year, with competitive prices.

This time it was to launch a satellite for the Luxembourg company SES, the second largest in the world in that sector.

Until now, SES has used European Ariane rockets or the Russian Proton.

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These are much more expensive than the $55 million charged by SpaceX, said SES chief technology officer Martin Halliwell.

The SES satellite is due to provide television, cable TV and other services to countries including China, India and Vietnam.

The Falcon 9 has already succeeded in sending its Dragon capsules to the International Space Station under a contract with NASA.

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The capsule takes cargo into space and brings back material from scientific experiments.

[Image via Agence France-Presse]


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‘Do you love Puerto Rico?’: Fox News’ Shep Smith rips governor to shreds

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Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló was outed for cold and heartless comments he exchanged about his own island in wake of the horrific hurricanes that destroyed the island in 2017. He's also being forced to ask questions about the corruption involving the funding for hurricane relief. Nearly 1 million people have taken to the streets demanding accountability and action.

In his first interview, Rosselló may have assumed he'd meet a friendly audience on Fox News, but Shep Smith let him have it.

"The corruption is rampant in Puerto Rico," Smith said. "Economically Puerto Rico is in a fiscal crisis, $70 billion in debt and a 13-year recession. In the leaked 900 pages of profanity-laced messages, dubbed RickyGate, after you, sir, you made light of the casualties of the Hurricane Maria, you tossed homophobic and misogynistic remarks, You were calling the former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverit a whore. Of the oversight board that rules Puerto Rico's finances, you said, 'Go F-yourself. And when your representative to that board he said he is salivating to shoot the woman who is the mayor of San Juan, you said, 'You’d be doing me a grand favor.' So, attacks on woman, gays, dead relatives on your own island and after that who is left to support you? Is it even safe for you to govern?"

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Puerto Ricans launch biggest protest yet against governor

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Angry protesters blocked the main road in Puerto Rico's capital on Monday as they launched what was expected to be the largest yet of a wave of demonstrations seeking the resignation of the US territory's embattled governor.

Marching under sunny skies in San Juan, the demonstrators sang, chanted, danced and carried the territory's red, white and blue flag with a lone star.

Altogether, hundreds of thousands were expected to turn out.

Puerto Ricans are up in arms over alleged corruption involving money meant to be for victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017, which left nearly 3,000 dead.

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‘Simply astonishing’: Retired general sounds the alarm on Trump’s ‘utter breakdown’ in foreign policy process

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Ret. Gen. Barry McCaffrey on Monday sounded the alarm on President Donald Trump's foreign policy team, which he said had shown no indications that it is capable of dealing with a real crisis on the world stage.

While appearing on MSNBC, McCaffrey was asked about a quote from former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in which he said that the entire Trump foreign policy team is being held hostage to the president's impulsive tweets.

"I think the most important thing Panetta said here was the utter breakdown of a national security process," he explained. "It's simply astonishing! [Defense Secretary nominee Mark] Esper still hasn't been confirmed, you've had a series of acting secretaries of defense, no one really understands what [Secretary of State Mike] Pompeo, who is a very intelligent person, is up to."

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