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SpaceX to launch capsule to space station in key milestone

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (Reuters) - Elon Musk’s SpaceX was due to launch an unmanned crew capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket early on Saturday bound for the International Space Station, a major step toward NASA’s goal of reviving the U.S. human spaceflight program this year. A SpaceX Falcon 9 carrying the Crew Dragon spacecraft sits on launch pad 39A prior to the uncrewed test flight to the International Space Station from the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., March 1, 2019. REUTERS/Mike BlakeSpaceX’s 16-foot-tall (4.88-meter-) Crew Dragon capsule atop a Falcon 9 rocket was set for lift off from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at 2:49…

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Is Ethical A.I. Even Possible?

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. — When a news article revealed that Clarifai was working with the Pentagon and some employees questioned the ethics of building artificial intelligence that analyzed video captured by drones, the company said the project would save the lives of civilians and soldiers.“Clarifai’s mission is to accelerate the progress of humanity with continually improving A.I.,” read a blog post from Matt Zeiler, the company’s founder and chief executive, and a prominent A.I. researcher. Later, in a news media interview, Mr. Zeiler announced a new management position that would ensure all company projects were ethically sound.As activists, researchers, and journalists voice concerns over the rise…

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Canada approves Huawei extradition proceedings, China seethes

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government, as expected, on Friday approved extradition proceedings against the chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, prompting a furious reaction from China. Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei’s founder, was detained in Vancouver last December and is under house arrest. In late January the U.S. Justice Department charged Meng and Huawei with conspiring to violate U.S. sanctions on Iran. Meng will appear in a Vancouver court at 10 a.m. Pacific time (1800 GMT) on March 6, when a date will be set for her extradition hearing. “Today, department of Justice Canada officials issued an authority to proceed, formally commencing an…

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South Korea to work with U.S., North Korea after failed nuclear talks

SEOUL/HANOI (Reuters) - South Korea will work with the United States and North Korea to help them reach a denuclearization deal, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Friday, a day after a U.S.-North Korean summit collapsed over a disagreement on sanctions. The second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Vietnam, was cut short after they failed to reach a deal on the extent of sanctions relief North Korea would get in exchange for steps to give up its nuclear program. Moon has been active in efforts to end confrontation on the Korean peninsula, meeting Kim three times last…

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EU ready to give Britain more guarantees ‘backstop’ is temporary: Barnier

BERLIN (Reuters) - The European Union is ready to give Britain more guarantees that the Irish “backstop” is only intended to be temporary, the bloc’s chief Brexit negotiator said on Friday. FILE PHOTO: EU Chief Brexit Negotiator Michel Barnier attends a joint news conference with Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz in Vienna, Austria February 28, 2019. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger“We know that there are misgivings in Britain that the backstop could keep Britain forever connected to the EU,” Michel Barnier said in an interview with Germany’s Die Welt newspaper to be published on Saturday. “This is not the case. And we are ready to give further guarantees, assurances and clarifications…

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Centrist Democrats stray on votes, roiling House majority party

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Freshman Democrats determined to walk a centrist path in the U.S. House of Representatives are testing party harmony between moderates and liberals, just as work on major issues including gun control and healthcare policy is getting underway. U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham (D-PA) poses for a picture before his interview for Reuters on Capitol Hill, February 26, 2019. REUTERS/Yuri GripasDemocrats took control of the House from President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans in January thanks in part to party moderates who won seats formerly held by Republicans in November’s midterm elections. But these centrists already have upset some Democratic elders including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and…

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U.S. holds major oil and gas lease sale in sage grouse habitat

(Reuters) - The U.S. government kicked off a major sale of oil and gas leases in Wyoming this week after rejecting protests over lands on offer that are considered critical areas for wildlife. A sage grouse in a photo courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. REUTERS/Bob Wick/BLMThe Bureau of Land Management is offering 565 parcels of land, representing more than 750,000 acres, for leasing via an online auction taking place all week. By acreage offered, it is the Trump administration’s largest lease sale so far in a single state outside of Alaska, according to BLM sale notices and summaries. Wyoming is the top U.S. state…

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Wall Street rises as trade optimism counters weak data

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average snapped a three-day run of losses on Friday as optimism about the prospects for a U.S.-China trade agreement countered downbeat U.S. and China manufacturing data. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 27, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermidThe Nasdaq meanwhile marked its longest streak of weekly gains since late 1999. Following President Donald Trump’s announcement last weekend of a delay in higher tariffs on Chinese imports, Bloomberg reported late Thursday that a summit between Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to sign a final trade…

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Tesla enters uncharted territory after move to dismantle store network

DETROIT (Reuters) - Tesla Inc’s move to dismantle its network of high-end showrooms as part of a plan to launch the long-awaited cheaper version of its Model 3 sedan has pushed the electric carmaker into uncharted territory for an industry that has long relied on physical stores to move the metal. Retailers from Amazon to Apple to traditional automakers have trumpeted the benefits of physical stores, and Apple and automakers also rely heavily on advertising, which Tesla has eschewed, making the electric carmaker an outlier in its dependence on the web. As Tesla pushes to broaden its appeal and drive up sales with the arrival of the…

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Washington ups pressure on Venezuela as Guaido tours South America

WASHINGTON/ASUNCION (Reuters) - The United States on Friday ramped up its attempt to dislodge Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro from power, imposing new sanctions and revoking visas of senior officials, while opposition leader Juan Guaido toured South America to drum up support. Venezuelan military officials last weekend blocked an opposition-backed effort to bring food into the country via its borders with Colombia and Brazil, leaving two aid trucks in flames and five people dead. Guaido, who is recognized by most Western nations as Venezuela’s rightful leader, visited Paraguay on Friday and was due to then travel to Argentina to shore up Latin American support for a transition government…

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