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Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, but satellite deployment unclear

Virgin Orbit rocket reaches orbit, but satellite deployment unclear

Science
Jan. 17 (UPI) -- California-based Virgin Orbit made its first successful flight to orbit Sunday using a rocket launched from a plane over the Pacific Ocean, but the company hadn't disclosed whether the satellites aboard were released successfully. The rocket soared into space at 2:40 p.m. EST after the company's Cosmic Girl aircraft, a modified Boeing 747-400, released it from beneath a wing. Advertisement What remains is a question about what happened to the satellites that were headed to orbit. "We can confirm our NewtonFour upper stage engine successfully relit at the right time and for the right duration. The payload separation command was issued as planned. The team is going through the data now to confirm everything -- but it's very encouraging," the company tweeted at 4:49 p.m. Ri...
US Election 2020: Tense wait as US election winner remains unclear

US Election 2020: Tense wait as US election winner remains unclear

World
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Bosses say PM ‘unclear’ over face masks for workers

Bosses say PM ‘unclear’ over face masks for workers

Business
Bosses of major companies said on Sunday that the prime minister had left them in the dark about whether they would be required to provide face coverings to employees returning to work during the coronavirus pandemic.Sky News has spoken to a number of chief executives who say they were left "bemused" by a lack of clarity from Boris Johnson over several elements of the government's plan to ease the UK lockdown. One of those present on a call with Mr Johnson following his statement on Sunday evening said he had described face masks as being "of small use" in restricting infections, but had said their use would not be made mandatory. ...
As U.S.-Taliban near agreement, fate of intra-Afghan talks remains unclear

As U.S.-Taliban near agreement, fate of intra-Afghan talks remains unclear

World
Feb. 21 (UPI) -- WASHINGTON -- With the possible signing of a U.S.-Taliban peace deal in the works, the disputed results of the recent Afghan election could complicate the ability of government representatives to negotiate with the Taliban, experts on the 19-year U.S. involvement in Afghanistan say. After weeks of discussions, the United States reached an "understanding" with the Taliban, negotiating a "significant, nationwide reduction in violence," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. The week of reduced violence in the region is expected to begin midnight Friday, officials said. "Upon a successful implementation of this understanding, signing of the U.S.-Taliban agreement is expected to move forward," Pompeo added. "We are preparing for the signing to take place on Feb. 29." A key pa...
Studies show Medicaid expansion improved health outcomes, cost effects unclear

Studies show Medicaid expansion improved health outcomes, cost effects unclear

Health
Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Expand it and they will come -- and, in the case of reforms to Medicaid eligibility, they might get healthier. Studies published in the last year, assessing the impact of broadening Medicaid eligibility on everything from colon and throat cancer to opioid addiction, suggest access to care is a big part of why people do not get treatment. The consensus of the studies, experts say, is that by providing more people with access to care, with low out-of-pocket costs, they are enabled to more proactively manage their health -- which, in turn, has led to better outcomes. Whether the stream of studies shows a true picture of the benefits and risks of expanding the federally supported health insurance program remains, however, an open question. "It's a bit of a mixed bag," Dr. D...