NASA Completes Historic Rocket Launch in Outback Australia 

NASA, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, has successfully completed its first rocket launch from a commercial space facility outside of the United States. A 13-meter rocket blasted off Monday from a site in the Australian outback. A 13-meter sub-orbital rocket took off from the newly built Arnhem Space Centre in Australia’s Northern Territory Monday. Lift-off was delayed by about two hours because of strong winds and heavy rain. The launch was the first of its kind in Australia in more than 25 years and the first of three scheduled NASA missions from the site. Researchers hope the information gathered from the flights will help them understand how light from a star could affect the habitability of nearby planets. They have said that this type of study can only be carried out in the Southern Hemisphere. The unmanned flight briefly scanned the Milky Way, measuring X-Ray emissions and analyzing the structure of stars. Brad Tucker, an astrophysicist at the Australian National University, told Australian television that the launch is part of a project to boost the domestic space industry. “When you build a satellite you have to go overseas to do it and so the fact that we are now seeing this build-up of launching from Australia this is, kind of, that final piece of the puzzle to having, you know, a really massive industry in this sector of space and then we see that that, kind of, the first group that says, yes, we want to do it, we want to be a part of the story is Nasa, you know, it just, kind of, gives the street cred[ibility] so to speak that you are on the right track from what you are thinking,” he said. The Arnhem Space Center is the world’s only commercially owned equatorial launch facility. The center is built on Aboriginal land. Tribal elders hope the project will provide jobs and opportunities for young First Nations people. Officials said the center combines one of the “oldest cultures in the world with some of the most advanced technology ever.” The next NASA rocket will be launched …

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Microsoft: Russian Cyber Spying Targets 42 Ukraine Allies

Coinciding with unrelenting cyberattacks against Ukraine, state-backed Russian hackers have engaged in “strategic espionage” against governments, think tanks, businesses and aid groups in 42 countries supporting Kyiv, Microsoft said in a report Wednesday. “Since the start of the war, the Russian targeting [of Ukraine’s allies] has been successful 29 percent of the time,” Microsoft President Brad Smith wrote, with data stolen in at least one-quarter of the successful network intrusions. “As a coalition of countries has come together to defend Ukraine, Russian intelligence agencies have stepped up network penetration and espionage activities targeting allied governments outside Ukraine,” Smith said. Nearly two-thirds of the cyberespionage targets involved NATO members. The United States was the prime target and Poland, the main conduit for military assistance flowing to Ukraine, was No. 2. In the past two months, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Sweden and Turkey have seen stepped-up targeting. A striking exception is Estonia, where Microsoft said it has detected no Russian cyber intrusions since Russia invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24. The company credited Estonia’s adoption of cloud computing, where it’s easier to detect intruders. “Significant collective defensive weaknesses remain” among some other European governments, Microsoft said, without identifying them. Half of the 128 organizations targeted are government agencies and 12% are nongovernmental agencies, typically think tanks or humanitarian groups, according to the 28-page report. Other targets include telecommunications, energy and defense companies. Microsoft said Ukraine’s cyber defenses “have proven stronger” overall than Russia’s capabilities in “waves of destructive cyberattacks against 48 distinct Ukrainian agencies and enterprises.” Moscow’s military hackers have been cautious not to unleash destructive data-destroying worms that could spread outside Ukraine, as the NotPetya virus did in 2017, the report noted. “During the past month, as the Russian military moved to concentrate its attacks in the Donbas region, the number of destructive attacks has fallen,” according to the report, “Defending Ukraine: Early Lessons from the Cyber War.” The Redmond, Washington, company has unique insight in the domain due to the ubiquity of its software and threat detection teams. Microsoft said Ukraine has also set an example in data safeguarding. Ukraine went from …

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Elon Musk’s $44 Billion Twitter Deal Gets Board Endorsement

Twitter’s board has recommended unanimously that shareholders approve the proposed $44 billion sale of the company to billionaire and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, according to a regulatory filing Tuesday. Musk reiterated his desire to move forward with the acquisition last week during a virtual meeting with Twitter employees, though shares of Twitter remain far below his offering price, signaling considerable doubt that it will happen. Shares rose about 3% to $38.98 before the opening bell Tuesday, far short of the $54.20 per-share that Musk has offered for each share. The company’s stock last reached that level on April 5 when it offered Musk a seat on the board before he had offered to buy all of Twitter. In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission detailing on Tuesday detailing a litter to investors, Twitter’s board of directors said that it “unanimously recommends that you vote (for) the adoption of the merger agreement.” If the deal were to close now, investors in the company would pocket a profit of $15.22 for each share they own. …

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Investors Coping With Cryptocurrency Plunge 

“I’m in a cryptocurrency chat group at work,” software engineer Adam Hickey of San Diego, California told VOA. Over the last few days, Hickey said, members of the group have been writing things like, “Bloodbath” and, “Are we still good?” “It shook me, honestly,” he admitted. “I just had to stop looking at my balance. At one point, months ago, my investment in crypto had tripled. Now I’m down 40%.” Hickey is far from alone. Serious and casual investors across the United States have seen the value of their investments in the publicly available digital asset known as cryptocurrency shrink dramatically in recent months, with steep plunges recorded in just the last week. The value of bitcoin, the most popular form of cryptocurrency, has dropped more than 70% since its peak in November of last year, erasing more than 18 months of growth and causing many investors to wonder if this is the bottom, or if the worst is still to come. “I have to remind myself that when I got into bitcoin in 2017, it was more of something I just kind of hoped would be the next Amazon.com,” Hickey said. Like many others, Hickey dreamed cryptocurrency could be a way to get rich in the long-term, or at least would be a part of his retirement savings. “I’ve always seen it as a long-term investment. Still, this is the most nervous I’ve been about it,” he said. “You hear people on social media saying this is all a Ponzi scheme. Now I’m having thoughts like maybe those warnings are right – that the people pushing bitcoin so hard are the ones who bought it at the earliest low prices. Of course they want people to buy and drive the value back up. It’s good for them, but is it good for me?”  Getting in  Those skeptical of cryptocurrency point to its lack of regulatory oversight from government as a major reason for concern, making it susceptible to scams and wild price fluctuations. “I’ve always seen it as a highly speculative investment,” said Marigny deMauriac, a certified financial planner …

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Влада розповіла про втрати в енергетичній галузі України через російське вторгнення

Міністр енергетики України Герман Галущенко озвучив втрати української енергетики від військової агресії Росії. «Енергетична інфраструктура України продовжує зазнавати нищівних збитків. Майже 650 тисяч споживачів не мають доступу до електроенергії, а понад 180 тисяч домогосподарств – без газопостачання. Майже 5% встановлених генеруючих потужностей зруйновано. Крім того, 35% генеруючих потужностей зараз знаходиться на окупованих територіях. російська агресія вивела з ладу понад 50% теплових потужностей, 30% сонячної та понад 90% вітрової генерації. Видобуток газу впав приблизно на 12-15%», – зазначив міністр. За його словами, зараз Україна отримує значну підтримку від світової спільноти, завдяки чому вдається відновлювати електропостачання в середньому 50 тисяч домогосподарств щодня. «Загалом з початку війни було підключено понад 5,2 мільйона домогосподарств», – сказав Галущенко. Він повідомив, що Україна внесла пропозицію на асоційоване членство в Міжнародному енергетичному агентстві. Це автономний міжнародний орган в рамках Організації економічного співробітництва та розвитку (ОЕСР). Це агенство надає аналітику, дані, рекомендації щодо політики та дієві рішення, щоб допомогти країнам гарантувати безпечну та стійку енергетику.   …

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