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Cosmonauts to land on the moon in 2031

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MOSCOW: Russia plans the country’s first manned mission to the moon in 2031, RIA Novosti news agency reported, citing a document by the Russian Central Research Institute of Machine Building.

The crew members are expected to conduct astronauts’ activities on the moon and implement tasks set by the Russian Academy of Sciences. Russia plans to send a rover to the moon to transport astronauts in 2032. The second expedition team will test the vehicle. A year later, astronauts are expected to take long-distance trips on the lunar rover to carry out scientific experiments and test robotic systems. Russia aims to start the construction of a lunar base in 2034 and it will continue into 2035. Russia is actively implementing a lunar program through 2030, aiming to send astronauts to the moon, President Vladimir Putin said in April 2018. The Federatsiya spacecraft was nearing completion, while work had begun on creating a rocket for the moon projects, he said.

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Crime

IFJ and PFUJ condemn murder of journalist in N. Ireland

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LONDON: President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) G. M. Jamali, while strongly condemning the murder of 29-year-old freelance journalist Lyra McKee in a terrorist incident, demanded a thorough probe in order to identify and apprehend the culprits. 

Philippe Leruth, President International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has termed the murder of 29-year-old freelance journalist Lyra McKee ‘a real loss of press freedom for the young generation of journalists’. On behalf of IFJ, he urged the Irish authorities to ensure a full investigation into her death.

Assistant Chief Constable Mark Hamilton calling McKee’s death horrendous and unjustified told that the shooting happened when police were searching for munitions and firearms after tips that terror attacks were planned for the Easter weekend. “A single gunman fired shots in a residential area of the city and as a result wounded Ms. McKee,” he added.

Lyra McKee has been shot dead during riots in the city of Londonderry in Northern Ireland and Police is treating the incident as an act of terrorism. Republican politician blamed so-called dissidents behind the latest augmentation in aggression that shook the disturbed area.

Images posted on social media shows a couple of vehicles in flames and hooded hooligans attacking the Police with petrol bombs.

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Europe

Comedian Zelensky to be new Ukrainian President!

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KIEV: Volodymyr Zelensky, a 41-year-old politically inexperienced comedian who is on track to become Ukraine’s next president, stirs strong feelings.
Supporters say he is the fresh face the country needs to clean up Ukrainian politics after a 2014 uprising ousted a Kremlin-backed regime. Critics fear that a Zelensky presidency could throw the country into turmoil. Here are four key questions about Zelensky’s extraordinary rise to political prominence: Zelensky – whose schoolteacher character in “Servant of the People” becomes president after an expletive-laden tirade goes viral – channels the protest votes.
The TV star has capitalized on Ukrainians’ despair over mainstream politics, war with Kremlin-backed rebels, poverty, and corruption.  “Essentially people are voting against (President Petro) Poroshenko and not for Zelensky,” said Oleksandr Paskhaver, a Ukrainian economist and former adviser to the president.
Poroshenko’s backers credit him with rebuilding the nation’s army, securing an Orthodox Church independent of Russia and winning visa-free travel to Europe.  But critics say the 53-year-old has done too little to tackle graft, improve living standards or uphold the rule of law. Anti-corruption campaigners and other activists regularly suffer attacks.
Kateryna Gandzyuk, a 33-year-old anti-corruption activist, died last November, a few months after she had about a liter of acid poured on her by several attackers.

 

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Economy

Brexit: Falklands’ economy and Spanish fishermen threatened  

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Hitachi freezes British nuclear project

MADRID: A no-deal Brexit would deal a severe blow to the economy of Britain’s Falkland Islands which is heavily dependent on squid exports — and to Galicia in Spain where almost all of the mollusks are sent.
Fully 94 percent of the catch, mostly squid, exported from the contested South Atlantic archipelago known to Argentina as the Malvinas and occupied by Britain since 1833, is sent to the port of Vigo in northwestern Spain, some 13,000 kilometers (8,000 miles) away.
There the processing of squid is carried out or shipped directly to other European nations. About a third of the squid eaten in continental Europe comes from the Falklands, according to the archipelago’s government.
Fishing accounts for 40 percent of the economic output of the island group which was at the heart of the two-month war between Britain and Argentina in 1982. And Galician trawlers staffed mainly with Spaniards dominate the sector.
This trade is profitable because no customs tariffs are slapped on the squid since both Britain and Spain belong to the European Union — but that would end if Britain leaves the bloc without any agreements in place about what their relationship would be in the future.
In that case, World Trade Organization (WTO) custom tariff which ranges from six to 18 percent depending on the nature of the product would apply, according to Richard Hyslop, senior policy advisor to the Falkland Islands government.
“It’s critical that we retain our tariff-free access (with the EU),” Teslyn Barkman, who is in charge of managing natural resources and Brexit related issues with the archipelago’s government, told AFP by telephone, adding it was a “life or death” issue for the Falkland’s economy.

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