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New carrier heads to sea for tests amid debate over delays

Technology
The nation's newest aircraft carrier left a Virginia shipyard and returned to sea for more tests Friday, just days after fresh concerns were raised in Washington over when the highly advanced ship will be ready for combat. The USS Gerald R. Ford departed for sea trials in the wake of a public back-and-forth between a congresswoman and U.S. Navy leaders over delays, cost overruns and systems that aren't fully operational. For example, not all of the ship's weapons elevators, which transport missiles and bombs to the flight deck, have been completed. Speaking at a congressional hearing Tuesday, U.S. Rep. Elaine Luria said the Ford should have been deployable in 2018 but may not be ready until 2024. "I just truly don't feel this is a great investment as a taxpayer — $ 13 billion on a ship t
Pound heads for two-year low as holidays begin

Pound heads for two-year low as holidays begin

Business
The pound is heading for two-year lows against the dollar as markets react to continuing Brexit uncertainty and signs that the UK economy is slowing.The currency fell sharply after data showed slowing sales at UK retailers and economists forecast a contraction in the economy in the second quarter.Against the dollar, the pound fell below $ 1.25 and was close to its lowest level since April 2017.The pound was also at a six-month low against the euro at just above €1.11.With the holiday season getting underway, it means travellers from the UK will getting fewer dollars and euros for their pounds.Sterling has been swayed by uncertainty in the aftermath of the EU referendum, but has been more stable in recent months because of confidence about the UK economy.H

US balks as Venezuela heads up UN-backed disarmament body

World
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N.'s main disarmament body has walked out of its current session in Geneva to protest that Venezuela has taken the chair. Robert Wood insisted "a rogue state" was taking over, shortly after Venezuelan Ambassador Jorge Valero became president of the Conference on Disarmament. Wood said that nothing that comes out of the current session would be legitimate. He said Tuesday that some members of the so-called Lima Group of countries from Latin America had also decided not to take part. The U.S. and other countries have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaidó as Venezuela's president, but Nicolás Maduro remains in power. Venezuela's four-week turn as the conference's president follows a regular rotation by alphabetical order. The previous president was the United
Nasa instrument heads to space station to map CO2

Nasa instrument heads to space station to map CO2

Science
Nasa has sent up an instrument to the International Space Station (ISS) to help track carbon dioxide on Earth.OCO-3, as the observer is called, was launched on a Falcon rocket from Florida in the early hours of Saturday.The instrument is made from the spare components left over after the assembly of a satellite, OCO-2, which was put in orbit to do the same job in 2014.The data from two missions should give scientists a clearer idea of how CO2 moves through the atmosphere. One way this will be achieved is through the different perspectives OCO-2 and OCO-3 will get.The former flies around the entire globe in what's termed a sun-synchronous polar orbit, which lead...
Watch live: SpaceX Crew Dragon heads back to Earth

Watch live: SpaceX Crew Dragon heads back to Earth

Science
March 7 (UPI) -- SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket and Crew Dragon spacecraft proved the private space company is capable of safely launching and carrying astronauts from Earth to the International Space Station. Now, SpaceX and Crew Dragon must demonstrate their ability to safely shepherd astronauts back to Earth. "The uncrewed SpaceX DM-1 mission has one final milestone and that is the safe return to Earth," NASA wrote in an update. On Friday morning, the International Space Station confirmed in a tweet that the Crew Dragon had undocked at approximately 2:32 a.m. ET. The descent back to Earth will be streamed live on NASA TV. The Crew Dragon's deorbit burn will be followed by a splashdown into the Atlantic Ocean, scheduled to occur at approximately 8:45 a.m. EST Friday. Last week, the Crew Dra...