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China Makes Feeble Denial Regarding Rocket Set to Crash into The Moon

Experts aren’t buying it.

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As the human race continues to reach into the void of the cosmos, curious and unwitting as these excursions may be, we are bringing with us into space the same sort of laissez-faire attitude that created the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

That is to say that we are leaving all manner of space junk out there in orbit, in a bit of a blind drive to conquer the area encompassed by earth’s own orbit.

Perhaps one of the most distinct and disturbing examples of runaway space junk comes to us, unsurprisingly, from China, where regard for the human habitat has long been an afterthought.  Now, as a defunct Chinese rocket is set to crash into the moon in early March, Beijing is spewing a predictable denial.

China is denying responsibility for a wayward rocket expected to crash into the far side of the moon next month. Though the rocket was initially misidentified as a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that failed to return to Earth after launching a weather satellite in 2015, experts—including those at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies—are pretty sure the object is a booster used to launch China’s Chang’e-5 T1 spacecraft in 2014. Asked to confirm on Monday, however, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a denial. “According to China’s monitoring, the upper stage of the rocket related to the Chang’e-5 mission entered into Earth’s atmosphere and completely burned up,” spokesperson Wang Wenbin said at a press conference, per Space.com.

Experts aren’t buying Beijing’s B.S.

But astrometry software developer Bill Gray, credited with discovering the moonbound rocket, thinks there’s a misunderstanding. “I think the Ministry of Foreign Affairs simply got two different, but similarly named, lunar missions mixed up,” he wrote on his blog Monday. He noted Wang referred to the “Chang’e-5” mission, which launched in November 2020. A booster did indeed re-enter Earth’s atmosphere about a week later. The Chang’e-5 T1 launch in 2014, to which Gray is referring, had been a precursor to that later mission. The strange thing is that tracking data from the US Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron indicates the object that launched in 2014 and is now expected to crash into the moon “instead hit the earth’s atmosphere in October 2015,” Gray writes.

Space junk, including flailing rocket boosters and end-of-life satellites, is a very real threat to the safety of people on earth as well, with scientists working diligently to keep an eye on what could be falling back to earth in the coming years, and where such equipment could land.

Opinion

Pence v. Trump 2024? Former Veep Leaves the Door Open

WHOA!

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There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come.

For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary…

Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday.

‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head.

‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’

Trump was not thrilled with the idea.

Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence.

In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election.

Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.

 

There has been an incredible amount of speculation as to whether or not Donald Trump will be again running for President in 2024, and there are a number of factors still at play that could create seismic shifts in the race to come. For instance, if Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence were to decide to run against him in 2024’s primary… Mike Pence is not ruling out the possibility of going head-to-head with his old boss Donald Trump in a 2024 Republican presidential primary, a new report suggested on Monday. ‘We’ll go where we’re called,’ Pence told the New York Times when asked about the possible head-to-head. ‘That’s the way Karen and I have always approached these things.’ Trump was not thrilled with the idea. Meanwhile Trump, despite not formally declaring a 2024 bid yet, has eyes on the competition – including Pence. In a statement to DailyMail.com, his spokesman slammed his old deputy as ‘desperate’ and mocked him for trying to ‘chase’ his ‘lost relevance’ amid the former running mates’ latest divide over backing separate candidates in the Peach State’s gubernatorial election. Former President Trump is said to be waiting until after the 2022 midterms to make an official announcement regarding 2024, but there have been plenty of hints regarding his potential campaign – the latest of which came from former First Lady Melania Trump.  

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Opinion

Verdict Reached in First Russian War Crimes Trial

This is just the first of many, certainly.

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making.

As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia.

Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached.

In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war.

Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court.

His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal.

There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either.

Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney.

Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has been a brutal one, and increasingly so as the Kremlin’s soldiers find themselves in more and more trouble of their own making. As the war grows ever more impossible for Russia to win, the troops sent into Ukraine have been committing a series of worsening atrocities.  It’s terrorism at the least, (and very likely a full-fledge genocide), and it belies just how poorly things are going for Russia. Now, in the first war crimes trial of the conflict, a verdict has been reached. In the first of what could be a multitude of war crimes trials held by Ukraine, Russian Sgt. Vadim Shishimarin, 21, was sentenced for the killing of a 62-year-old man who was shot in the head in a village in the northeastern Sumy region in the opening days of the war. Shishimarin, a member of a tank unit, had claimed he was following orders, and he apologized to the man’s widow in court. His Ukraine-appointed defense attorney, Victor Ovsyanikov, argued his client had been unprepared for the “violent military confrontation” and mass casualties that Russian troops encountered when they invaded. He said he would appeal. There was no doubt about the court’s legitimacy, either. Ukrainian civil liberties advocate Volodymyr Yavorskyy said it was “an extremely harsh sentence for one murder during the war.” But Aarif Abraham, a British-based human rights lawyer, said the trial was conducted “with what appears to be full and fair due process,” including access to an attorney. Given the sheer amount of heinous deeds the world has witnessed in Ukraine, there is no doubt that more war crimes trials will be coming.

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