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News ID: 103626
Publish Date : 13 June 2022 - 21:29
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Rocket firm Astra Space’s mission to send tiny storm-monitoring NASA satellites to orbit on Sunday failed after a second-stage booster engine shut down early in space. The failure occurred roughly 10 minutes after a successful liftoff of Astra’s Rocket 3.3 at 1:43 p.m. ET (1743 GMT) from a launchpad at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The rocket was carrying two small satellites designed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory to measure moisture and precipitation in tropical storm systems. They were to be the first batch of a six-satellite constellation managed by NASA, the rest of which Astra also plans to launch in the future. The mission failure was Astra’s second this year as the newcomer attempts to get its launch business off the ground with Rocket 3.3, an expendable two-stage vehicle capable of lifting 330 pounds (150 kg) of satellites to low-Earth orbit. 
 
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LONDON (Reuters) -- Britain’s Prince Andrew will not attend some parts of a royal ceremony later on Monday after a “family decision” was taken, effectively keeping the queen’s son out of the public eye after he was stripped of his royal titles earlier this year. A Buckingham Palace source said Andrew would not attend an annual procession and chapel service for the so-called Order of the Garter - a 700 year-old chivalric group whose members include Queen Elizabeth, senior royals and 24 knights or ladies chosen by the monarch in recognition of their public work. However the source said Andrew would attend a behind-closed-doors lunch and the investiture ceremony for new members, which this year include former British prime minister Tony Blair. Andrew, the queen’s second son, was forced to quit royal duties over his friendship with late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
 
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- A tundra wildfire continued to creep closer to an Alaska Native community in southwest Alaska, but mandatory evacuations have not been ordered, fire officials said. The East Fork fire was within 3.5 miles (5.6 kilometers) of St. Mary’s, a statement from Alaska Wildland Fire Information said. Even though it had moved 1.5 miles (2.4 kilometers) closer to the Yup’ik community since Saturday, fire managers said the progress has slowed somewhat because of favorable weather conditions. The temperatures were slightly cooler with rising humidity, which could help moderate fire conditions. However, winds are expected to remain steady out of the north, helping move the fire toward populated areas. The fire is burning in dry grass and shrubs like alder and willow in the mostly treeless tundra in southwest Alaska. The fire was started by lightning May 31.
 
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GENEVA (AFP) -- UN rights chief Michelle Bachelet said Monday she will not seek a second term, ending months of speculation. “As my term as High Commissioner draws to a close, this Council’s milestone 50th session will be the last which I brief,” Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council as it opened a four-week sitting. She provided no explanation for her decision. The 70-year-old former Chilean president, who will wrap up her four-year mandate at the end of August, had until now remained mum about whether she would seek to stay on for a second term. Speculation has been rife for months, with a wide range of diplomats in Geneva telling AFP in recent weeks that she had yet to provide clues to her plans. The post of High Commissioner for Human Rights typically faces heavy political pressure from countries around the world, and while it can be held for a maximum of two terms, nearly all of Bachelet’s predecessors have avoided staying on for more than one term.
 
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OUAGADOUGOU , Burkina Faso (AFP) — At least six people were killed in northern Burkina Faso in several attacks attributed to takfiri terrorists, local and military sources told AFP. Several hundred people took to the streets of Burkina over the weekend to protest the wave of takfiri attacks engulfing the poor West African nation. “A terrorist attack cost six civilians their lives in Alga,” a town in the province of Bam, on Saturday, a security source told AFP. “The terrorists, who came in large numbers, attacked the (nearby) village of Boulounga and the gold-mining site of Alga,” a resident said, confirming the same toll. “They set fire to houses and looted property on the gold-mining site,” he said, adding that “at least four people” had been injured.
 
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DUSHANBE (AFP) -- Tajikistan claimed that two “criminal leaders” were killed during a security operation in a region bordering China and Afghanistan that the ex-Soviet country has long struggled to control. The two men “put up armed resistance” using grenades and assault rifles but were “liquidated” by security services, according to the state information service Khovar. The eastern Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region, commonly known by its Soviet-era acronym GBAO, has been a periodic flashpoint since the end of a civil war in Tajikistan in the 1990s. It borders China and Afghanistan and was a bastion of resistance to government forces during the conflict. The two men that security services reportedly killed, Khursand Mazorov and Zoir Rajabov, are part of a loose network of informal leaders in GBAO who have enjoyed fluctuating relations with the central government since a peace deal was reached to end the conflict.
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