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China’s space station to house more int’l cooperation

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China’s successful launch of the core module of its first space station will strengthen international space cooperation, said experts from various countries.

China on Thursday sent into space the core module of its space station Tiangong, meaning Heavenly Palace, kicking off a series of key launch missions that aim to complete the construction of the station by the end of next year.

Michel Tognini, deputy head of the European Astronaut Centre (EAC), who is also a former astronaut of France, said it was a key step for China to launch the core module and the Chinese space station will also open a new foothold for the country’s exploration in space.

“I congratulate China. I congratulate the Chinese space system. This is a very important launch. China will have a permanent in-orbit space station. This will not only allow China to send astronauts into space frequently, but also allow the long stay of astronauts for space operations such as extra-vehicular maintenance, extra-vehicular research, robotic projects and practicing long flights. This is very good. It’s good preparation for building a space station on the moon in the future, or even landing on the moon,” said Tognini.

Keith Cowing, an astrobiologist and former employee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) also spoke highly of China’s space station project.

“It will have multiple modules, it’ll have cargo spacecraft, it’ll have scientific…, it’ll have everything that the international space station has. The fact that it was launched as flawlessly as it was and is operating perfectly, I think bodes well for every other launch that will follow,” said Cowing.

Experts believe the project will bring extensive benefits to all mankind as China has always carried out international exchanges and cooperation with an open attitude.

“Every country hopes to take a step forward in the field of outer space. Therefore, international cooperation in this field should not be only among the great powers. So I think it is totally correct for China’s space station project to be open to all countries,” said Aleksandr Pavlovich Aleksandrov, Russian aerospace expert and former Soviet cosmonaut.

Roberto Battiston, former president of the Italian Space Agency (ASI), noted with such a high-level space station plan, China demonstrates its vital role in the peaceful and rational use of space.

China’s space station is a large-scale project that allows Chinese astronauts to stay in space for a long time. Like the former Soviet Union, the United States, and later the International Space Station with the participation of Europe, Canada and Japan, it has an extremely high level of technology that allows a country to plan its next steps, which is to realize the long stay of humans in space, and to go to the Moon and even to other planets like Mars,” noted Battiston.

“Space is a common asset of mankind. China is playing a vital role in this regard. China and Italy will continue to conduct high-energy cosmic ray detection on the Chinese space station, which will set a good example of conducting global scientific research. This kind of scientific research can only be achieved through the cooperation of scientists from all countries,” he added.

For developing countries, Nyameko Royi, senior engineer at the African Space Innovation Centre (ASIC), lauds China’s contribution to promoting the exploration of space in those nations.

“Previously, it was only Europe and America, and maybe Russia to a certain extent, that had a footprint on the International Space Station, and then also they had just rooms in there. Now with China now going this route, developing nations also might have their own room,” said Royi.

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Basketball trailblazer denied Canadian permanent residency, must return to U.S. – CBC.ca

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Bilquis Abdul-Qaadir, the trailblazing basketball player who set up an academy for girls and coached multiple sports at an Islamic school in London, Ont., has been denied permanent residency in Canada and will have to go back to the United States. 

“We’ve been here for two years, my son is Canadian, and we would love to be part of this country, but we finally got the message from immigration that we were denied permanent residency. It’s very unexpected,” said Abdul Qaadir from her London home. “I’m at a loss for words. I’ve single-handedly brought sports to an underserviced community. It’s heartbreaking.”

Abdul-Qaadir and her husband, A.W. Massey, moved to London from Tennessee three years ago.

She said she hasn’t been able to work in Canada since August, when her work permit expired and wasn’t renewed by a Canadian border official. 

“We’re still trying to figure out what we’re going to do. We aren’t sure. We’re angry and we’re tired. We put our heart and soul into this application. We felt like we checked all the boxes.” 

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir and her husband, A.W. Massey, moved to London, Ont. three years ago from Tennessee. (Submitted by A.W. Massey)

Abdul-Qaadir led a four-year battle against the International Basketball Federation, which banned religious head coverings on the court. She won, but sacrificed her basketball career to do so.

She had been the leading high school point scorer for both boys and girls in Massachusetts, and went on to play for the University of Memphis in Tennessee, where she was the first woman to play in a hijab in NCAA Division 1. 

Alongside her motivational speaking gigs, she teaches at the London Islamic School and has opened a basketball academy in London, but all that is now up in the air. 

On Thursday, Abdul-Qaadir got a letter from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) that said she doesn’t “meet the requirements for immigration to Canada.” 

She applied for permanent residency as an athletic director at the London Muslim Mosque, but her duties — including developing, managing and supervising the school’s physical education and athletic programs, as well as being the head coach for the basketball, volleyball and cross-country teams — are “inconsistent with the actions” of an athletic director. 

“I am not satisfied that your stated duties is sufficient to indicate that your role involves plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the operations of comprehensive fitness programs at this organization. I am also not satisfied that you performed a substantial number of the main duties for this [job classification],” IRCC wrote in her letter.   

Abdul-Qaadir said she doesn’t know if she and her husband will fight the refusal. 

Abdul-Qaadir set the state record for the highest all-time high school scorer for men and women in Massachusetts. ( Jamie Schwaberow/NCAA Photographer)

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to success stories within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(CBC)

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Mastercard expands cryptocurrency services with wallets, loyalty rewards

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Mastercard Inc said on Monday it would allow partners on its network to enable their consumers to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrency using a digital wallet, as well as reward them with digital currencies under loyalty programs.

The credit card giant said it would offer these services in partnership with Bakkt Holdings Inc, the digital assets platform founded by NYSE-owner Intercontinental Exchange.

Founded in 2018, Bakkt went public earlier this year through a $2.1 billion merger with a blank-check company. Shares of the company were up 77% at $16.19 on Monday.

Mastercard said its partners can also allow customers earn and spend rewards in cryptocurrency instead of loyalty points.

The company had said in February https://www.reuters.com/article/us-crypto-currency-mastercard-idUSKBN2AA2WF it would begin offering support for some cryptocurrencies on its network this year.

Last year, rival Visa Inc had partnered https://www.reuters.com/article/us-blockfi-crypto-currency-visa-idUSKBN28B603 with cryptocurrency startup BlockFi to offer a credit card that lets users earn bitcoin on purchases.

Bitcoin, the world’s largest cryptocurrency, touched a record high of $67,016 last week after the debut of the first U.S. bitcoin futures-based exchange traded fund. It has more than doubled in value this year.

 

(Reporting by Niket Nishant in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou returns to work in Shenzhen, after extradition drama – Global Times

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Meng Wanzhou, CFO of Huawei Technologies, returned to work at the tech giant’s headquarters in Shenzhen on Monday after almost three years fighting extradition to the U.S. in Canada, state-backed Chinese newspaper Global Times reported.

Meng, the daughter of Huawei’s founder Ren Zhengfei, completed three weeks of quarantine last week after returning to the southern city of Shenzhen where a crowd of well-wishers chanting patriotic slogans awaited her at the airport.

“Over the last three years, although we have struggled, we have overcome obstacles and our team has fought with more and more courage,” she said in a speech at an internal company event that was circulated online.

The extradition drama had been a central source of discord between Beijing and Washington, with Chinese officials signalling that the case had to be dropped to help end a diplomatic stalemate.

Meng was detained in December 2018 in Vancouver after a New York court issued an arrest warrant, saying she tried to cover up attempts by Huawei-linked companies to sell equipment to Iran in breach of U.S. sanctions.

She was allowed to go home after reaching an agreement https://www.reuters.com/technology/huawei-cfo-meng-appear-court-expected-reach-agreement-with-us-source-2021-09-24 with U.S. prosecutors last month to end a bank fraud case against her.

 

(Reporting by David Kirton; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

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