Russia is blocking Meta Platforms Inc’s (FB.O) Facebook, the country’s communications regulator said on Friday, in response to what it said were restrictions of access to Russian media on the platform.
The regulator, Roskomnadzor, said there had been 26 cases of discrimination against Russian media by Facebook since October 2020, including restrictions in recent days on state-backed channels like RT and the RIA news agency, Reuters reported.
The move is a major escalation in an ongoing confrontation between big tech companies and Russia, which has in recent years issued a slew of fines and hobbled services through slowdowns, Reuters reported.
The tensions have ramped up amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which Moscow calls a “special operation.”
Tass news agency reported on Friday that Russia has restricted access to Twitter (TWTR.N). Interfax news agency earlier said the service had been blocked.
Twitter Inc did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Meta’s head of global affairs Nick Clegg said the company would continue to do everything it could to restore its services.
“Soon millions of ordinary Russian will find themselves cut off from reliable information, deprived of their everyday ways of connecting with family and friends and silenced from speaking out,” he said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Rumors fly that Apple iPhone 15 series to come with a new design
It’s been a couple of months since Apple released the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro series smartphones in the market but the rumors and leaks for the next-generation iPhone 15 lineup have already started surfacing online.
Reports have emerged that the new Apple iPhone 15 series will come with a new design language, something that many users had been waiting for as the company hasn’t changed the design of the phone for quite some time.
As per the reports, the Apple iPhone 15 lineup will be redesigned to have a rounder body instead of the flat design that it currently features.
It is also being claimed that the upcoming iPhone models will have a titanium body to make the devices lightweight. However, in that case, we expect to see the change only in the Pro models of the smartphones while the standard models could keep using aluminum, gizmochina.com reported. .
Apart from design and material changes for the iPhone 15 series, there are a few more changes that are expected to happen with the upcoming lineup. The phones are expected to come powered by a new chipset manufactured using a 3nm process and the devices will have USB-C port instead of Lightning port.
China rocket taking 3 to space station to blast off Tuesday
A rocket carrying three astronauts to finish building China’s space station will blast off Tuesday amid intensifying competition with the US, the government said Monday,
The crew includes a veteran of a 2005 space mission and two first-time astronauts, according to the China Manned Space Agency.
The Shenzhou-15 mission will take off from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center on the edge of the Gobi Desert at 11:08 p.m. Tuesday night, the agency said. A Long March-2F carrier rocket, China’s standard workhorse for crewed missions, will be used to sling it into space, it said.
The six-month mission, commanded by Fei Junlong and crewed by Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, will be the last “in the construction phase of China’s space station,” agency official Ji Qiming told reporters Monday.
Fei, 57, is a veteran of the 2005 four-day Shenzhou-6 mission, the second time China sent a human into space. Deng and Zhang are making their first space flights, AP reported.
The station’s third and final module docked with the station earlier this month, one of the last steps in China’s more than decade-long effort to maintain a constant crewed presence in orbit.
The astronauts will overlap briefly onboard the station, named Tiangong, with the previous crew, who arrived in early June for a six-month stay.
After the Shenzhou-15 spaceship makes an automated docking with the Tianhe core modules’ front port, the station will be expanded to its maximum size, with three modules and three spaceships for a total mass of nearly 100 tons, Ji said.
It will also be at maximum capacity for several days. Tiangong has room to accommodate six astronauts at a time and the handover will take about a week. Previous missions to the space station have taken about 13 hours from liftoff to docking.
The permanent Chinese station weighs about 66 tons — a fraction of the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998 and weighs around 465 tons.
NASA’s Orion spacecraft enters lunar orbit
NASA’s Orion spacecraft was placed in lunar orbit on Friday, as it neared the halfway mark of its test flight.
About ten days after the spacecraft blasted off from Florida bound for the moon, flight controllers “successfully performed a burn to insert Orion into a distant retrograde orbit,” NASA said on its website.
According to the US space agency, Orion will fly about 64,400 kilometers above the moon.
Orion is expected to take astronauts to the moon in the years to come. This first test flight without a crew on board is intended to ensure the safety of the vehicle.
While in lunar orbit, flight controllers will monitor Orion’s key systems and perform checks while in the environment of deep space, the agency said.
The spacecraft will reach a maximum distance of almost 432,000 kilometers from the Earth in a few days. That will set a new distance record for a capsule designed to carry people.
It will take the capsule about a week to perform a half orbit around the moon, after which it will exit the lunar orbit again to begin its return to the Earth.
Orion’s landing in the Pacific Ocean is scheduled for December 11, after just over 25 days of flight.
The success of this mission will determine the future of the Artemis 2 mission, which aims to take astronauts around the moon without landing in 2024.
It will be followed by the Artemis 3 mission, which is expected to finally mark the return of humans to the lunar surface in 2025.
NASA aims to land US astronauts on the moon again for the first time in almost 50 years. The US sent 12 astronauts to the moon between 1969 and 1972.
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