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NASA’s Questionable Russian Invitation Rescinded After Uproar

NASA’s latest blunder is piquing the interest of those keeping an eye on Mother Russia’s meddling ways.

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The world at large has been focused skyward often this week, as space-based stories have arrived in droves.

First, there was news that a team of Chinese scientists have landed on the dark side of our moon – something that has never been done before in the history of mankind.

China’s burgeoning space program achieved a lunar milestone on Thursday: landing a probe on the mysterious and misnamed “dark” side of the moon.

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Exploring the cosmos from that far side of the moon, which people can’t see from Earth, could eventually help scientists learn more about the early days of the solar system and maybe even the birth of the universe’s first stars.

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Three nations — the United States, the former Soviet Union and more recently China — all have sent spacecraft to the side of the moon that faces Earth, but this landing is the first on the far side. That side has been observed many times from lunar orbit, but never up close.

Then, of course, there was the startling revelation that a distant galaxy is hurtling toward our own and threatens to annihilate all life on earth in about 2 billion years.

Now, NASA is in hot water after a proposed speaking engagement with a currently sanctioned Russian National had to be canceled.

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine extended an October invitation for his counterpart, Dmitry Rogozin, to visit NASA headquarters in Houston in early 2019. U.S.-Russia space cooperation is nothing new. But Rogozin is no typical rocket-science technocrat. He is an ultranationalist politician with a record of stark racism and homophobia who is under American sanctions, which typically bar him from entering the U.S. over his 2014 role, as deputy prime minister, in Moscow’s annexation of Crimea.

Bridenstine, a former GOP congressman whose nomination to lead NASA never really made any sense, invited the controversial Russian with a history of anti-American rhetoric to speak at Rice University, the NASA director’s alma mater. The news was first reported in Russia’s state news agency.

Evelyn Farkas, the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia in the Obama administration, told Politico the invitation is “appalling,” adding, “It’s utterly inappropriate given who he is and the fact that he is on our sanctions list.”

In the wake of the controversy, NASA has postponed the meeting indefinitely.

 

 

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NBC President Says Ronan Farrow’s New Book ‘Motivated Not By Pursuit Of Truth, But An Axe To Grind’

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NBC News President Noah Oppenheim is not exactly what you’d call a fan of Ronan Farrow’s new book, “Catch and Kill,” calling it an “effort to defame” the network, one which is “clearly motivated not by a pursuit of truth, but an axe to grind.” Those comments were part of an email that was sent out by Oppenheim to all of the employees of the NBC News network on Monday morning. Check out the details from Fox News: The lengthy memo obtained by Fox News rejects Farrow’s reporting that suggests NBC wasn’t truthful regarding knowledge of alleged sexual misconduct by former “Today” co-host Matt Lauer, and that the network refused to expose Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator because he leveraged information regarding Lauer. “Now that we’ve read Farrow’s book, it’s clear – his smear rests on the allegation that NBC’s management knew about and took steps to hide Matt Lauer’s misconduct before his firing in November of 2017. Without that, he has no basis on which to rest his second conspiracy theory — that his Harvey Weinstein reporting was squashed to protect Lauer,” Oppenheim wrote to staffers. Oppenheim and NBC News chairman Andy Lack have been accused of a “massive breach of journalistic integrity” by Farrow’s former NBC News producer Rich McHugh. Farrow has long claimed that NBC News stopped his reporting in an attempt to essentially cover for Weinstein. The situation has been a public relations nightmare for NBC and Oppenheim’s memo to staffers is the latest attempt to discredit “Catch and Kill” before its Tuesday release. The highly anticipated book details Farrow’s side of the story and the Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter has already caused NBC executives to release statements and hold staffer sit-downs prior to its official release on Tuesday. Oppenheim went on to write in his…

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Christopher Columbus Statue Vandalized On Columbus Day: ‘Stop Celebrating Genocide’

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Residents of the city of Providence woke up this morning to find that a statue of famous explorer Christopher Columbus had been vandalized by individuals who aren’t exactly fans of the historical figure. The statue was covered in red paint and featured a sign that read, “Stop celebrating genocide.” The word “genocide” was scrawled on the back of the statue in orange paint. Check out the details from the Washington Examiner: The vandalism marked Columbus Day, a federal holiday commemorating the explorer’s arrival in the Americas in 1492. Columbus Day has grown contentious in recent decades after activists began pushing to change the day to Indigenous Peoples Day. The Indigenous Peoples Day movement sprung up around the 1992 quincentenary celebration of Columbus’s first voyage to the New World when scholarship of the Italian explorer was growing. The movement gained traction around the idea that Columbus sparked centuries of mass killings against Native Americans. Columbus’ voyage to the New World, at that time unknown to Europe, marked the beginning of centuries of mass immigration from Europe to the Americas. The explorer completed four voyages from Europe to the New World and earned the title “Admiral of the Ocean Sea” before his death in 1506. Columbus Day, and Christopher Columbus himself have become controversial in an era where political correctness, infecting the halls of higher education, have convinced young people that Columbus is a villain rather than the hero he’s been celebrated as being for hundreds of years.

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