(CNN)After years of designing, building, planning and testing, the NASA Perseverance rover’s launch readiness review has concluded, and it’s a go for launch on July 30.
(CNN)After years of designing, building, planning and testing, the NASA Perseverance rover’s launch readiness review has concluded, and it’s a go for launch on July 30.
If you’ve watched any of Netflix’s new reality dating series Indian Matchmaking, you’re probably aware that matchmaking hopeful and breakout star Aparna Shewakramani can be a little, well, picky. Throughout the episodes, we follow Aparna as she goes on a series of first dates, set up by the impeccably dressed matchmaker Sima Auntie, with varying degrees of success — due to her (how do we put this kindly?) demanding personality. Look, the woman likes things the way she likes them, and you’d better believe she knows exactly what she likes and what she doesn’t. It just so happens that she doesn’t like much.
We decided to round up everything Aparna has said she simply can’t stand, from comedy to lawyers to first dances at weddings. Sure, the astrologer on the show calls Aparna “fickle minded” and “rude in speech,” but we think she’s just a polarizing woman who isn’t afraid to go after the things she wants in this world and to avoid the things she doesn’t care for — which, again, are many, including:
“You do you, boo.”
• Watching football (live or on television)
She is nothing if not clear.
• Seeing someone all the time
• Seeing her future husband all the time
Points were made.
• Having been to only 40 countries
• Three-hour dates
• People who need to be the funniest guy in the room
• People who don’t know Bolivia has salt flats
Oh yeah? Oh no.
• People who want the same things she does
• Changing herself for others
To be fair, she said she was sorry.
The “or ever” is really sending me.
• The outdoors
Okay, this I deeply understand.
• This man she called “the funny man,” whom she dated once
• People who are seven years older than she is
• The food at Rice University
• Not being good at ax-throwing
Who among us has not felt this way?
• Red wine that isn’t Cabernet
Why do I feel like it actually won’t do?
• Men without a clear career path, even if they have written three books
• Men who want to live near the ocean
• Norway (only five hours of sunlight a day)
But she did live on a boat once for 100 days.
• Lying on a beach for more than two or three hours
Don’t make her do it.
• Relaxing for ten days
• A mountain she climbed in Patagonia
• Disney World
Subtext: I don’t like Disney World.
• Being a lawyer (technically different than “Lawyers”)
Aparna’s response to the question “Do you like being a lawyer?”
• South Africa and other “weirdly touristy places”
Okay, that explains why she doesn’t like Disney World.
• Cuba (felt unsafe/sex tourism)
• Most of her first dates
• Chicago (the city, not the musical)
• When she’s on a date and the guy talks to other people
• Lawyers, again
She really hates lawyers.
• Jupiter driving her astrological bus for 16 years
• The 5K she has to run for her friend’s bachelorette party in NYC
• Passionately romantic men
• Looking inward at why she is so demanding
• Being a lawyer for ten years
• This one goat in her goat-yoga class
• Cakes at weddings
• Flowers at weddings
• First dances at weddings
She doesn’t need any of that stuff.
• Children at weddings
Did you hear that, kids? Never!
• Seeing a child at her wedding
“I don’t want to SEE that,” Valerie Cherish but also Aparna re: children at her wedding.
• Waiting for people to begin eating
• Los Angeles (went once for a weekend, left early)
Sima Auntie, trying to find a match for Aparna.
Boris Johnson has admitted the government did not understand coronavirus during the “first few weeks and months” of the UK outbreak.
The PM told BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg there were “very open questions” about whether the lockdown had started too late.
Mr Johnson also spoke of “lessons to be learned” and said ministers could have done some things “differently”.
Labour accused the government of “mishandling” the crisis.
More than 45,000 people in the UK have died after testing positive for coronavirus, government figures show, with almost 300,000 cases confirmed.
Last week, Mr Johnson promised an “independent” inquiry into the pandemic, but no details have been given of its scope or timing.
Previously, the prime minister has said he took the “right decisions at the right time”, based on the advice of scientists.
But, in an interview with Laura Kuenssberg to mark the first anniversary of his entering Downing Street, he said: “We didn’t understand [the virus] in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months.
“And I think, probably, the single thing that we didn’t see at the beginning was the extent to which it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person.”
Mr Johnson wants to use the government’s experience of what happened during the pandemic to speed up his agenda, to “double down on levelling up”, as he puts it in his peculiar political jargon.
In other words, to push ahead with more determination, and less fudge in Whitehall, with the changes that he says will actually improve the lives of voters, particularly those who voted Tory for the first time in 2019.
While preparing the NHS for a potential second surge, he clearly wants to concentrate on what’s next, not what’s gone before.
But perhaps until the government is really ready to acknowledge what has happened, the questions will continue – and the public may still feel anxious about whether they can really trust ministers to handle a second surge next time round.
Just as 366 days ago, optimism is Boris Johnson’s trademark.
But if the last few months have shown anything, it is that the real challenge of life in power, is that events that can surprise.
The prime minister added: “I think it’s fair to say that there are things that we need to learn about how we handled it in the early stages…There will be plenty of opportunities to learn the lessons of what happened.”
The UK went into full lockdown in late March, which critics say was too late and cost lives.
Mr Johnson said: “Maybe there were things we could have done differently, and of course there will be time to understand what exactly we could have done, or done differently.”
He added that these were still “very open questions as far as [scientists] are concerned, and there will be a time, obviously, to consider all those issues”.
On Friday, the government announced that 30 million people in England would be offered a flu vaccine this year, to reduce pressure on the NHS in case of a surge in coronavirus infections during the autumn and winter.
Mr Johnson said this was in addition to increased testing and tracing and more procurement of personal protective equipment, adding: “What people really want to focus on now is what are we doing to prepare for the next phase.”
He said: “We mourn every one of the of those who lost their lives and our thoughts are very much with their with their families. And I take full responsibility for everything that government did.”
The prime minister, who was himself placed in intensive care in April after contracting coronavirus, said he would “very soon” set out an new measures to deal with obesity, seen as an added risk factor for patients.
In December, Mr Johnson’s Conservative Party pulled off a convincing general election win over Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour, after promising to “level up” all parts of the UK.
And, despite the economic damage caused by coronavirus in the past four months or so, the prime minister promised to create more nurses, doctors, hospitals and police, saying his government’s priorities were “exactly what they always have been except more so. We’re doubling down.”
“The agenda is what it was when I stood on the steps of Downing Street a year ago, but we want to go further and we want to go faster.”
Mr Johnson reminisced about first entering No 10 as prime minister on 24 July 2019, saying it “was very exciting, and everybody seemed to be in a very good mood” and “happy, upbeat”. He added that coronavirus had caused many “difficulties” since then.
“Psychologically it’s been an extraordinary time for the country,” Mr Johnson said,
“But I also know that this is a nation with incredible natural resilience, and fortitude and imagination. And I think we will bounce back really much stronger than ever before.”
For Labour, shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth said: “Boris Johnson has finally admitted the government has mishandled its response to the coronavirus.
“It was too slow to acknowledge the threat of the virus, too slow to enter lockdown and too slow to take this crisis seriously.”
The threat of a second wave of infections was “still very real”, he added, while it was “imperative the government learns the lessons of its mistakes so we can help to save lives”.
Acting Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said an “immediate” coronavirus inquiry was “essential”, and that the prime minister had shown “no remorse” for his “catastrophic mistakes”.
The Emirates Hope Mission, scheduled to launch this Friday, is the first Arab attempt to reach the Red Planet. Here’s how the UAE will endeavor to make history.
The Hope spacecraft, or Al Amal, was supposed to launch today from the Tanegashima Space Center in Japan, but bad weather has bumped the launch to Friday, July 17. The 3,000-pound (1,350-kilogram) spacecraft—essentially a Martian weather satellite—will be delivered to space and nudged toward Mars atop a Mitsubishi Heavy Industries H-2A rocket. Come Friday, you’ll be able to watch the action here.
Hope, which will enter into orbit around Mars in February 2021, will be used to study the planet’s atmosphere and weather. Assuming all goes well, this will mark the first Arab mission to Mars, or any other planet for that matter.
The Emirates Mars Mission (EMM) is one of three scheduled missions to the Red Planet during the now-open launch window, the others being NASA’s Perseverance rover, launching in two weeks, and China’s Tianwen-1 lander. (The European and Russian ExoMars mission had to be postponed due to technical delays and the covid-19 pandemic.) This launch window happens once every 26 months, offering the most direct route from Earth to the Red Planet.
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Here are five things to know about this historic mission.
In the works since 2013, the Hope project was planned, managed, and implemented by an Emirati team, with oversight and funding coming from the UAE Space Agency, according to Arab News.
It cost the UAE some $200 million to build, which includes launch expenses contracted out to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. That’s a fairly modest price tag considering the $670 million it cost NASA to build the MAVEN spacecraft, a comparable mission launched to Mars in 2013. Still, nothing compares to India’s Mars Orbiter Mission, with its remarkably low price tag of $74 million.
The UAE had never embarked on a project like this before, so it smartly sought out expertise from U.S. institutions, including the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at the University of Colorado Boulder, which had previously worked on the MAVEN mission. As BBC reports, Emirati and U.S. engineers collaborated on the design and manufacturing of the spacecraft.
“It’s one thing to tell somebody how to ride a bike but until you’ve done it, you don’t really understand what it’s like. Well, it’s the same with a spacecraft,” Brett Landin, a senior systems engineer at LASP, told the BBC. “I could give you the process for fuelling a spacecraft, but until you’ve put on an escape suit and transferred 800 kg [1,765 pounds] of highly volatile rocket fuel from storage tanks into the spacecraft, you don’t really know what it’s like.”
The Emirates Hope Mission will coincide with the UAE’s upcoming 50th anniversary as a nation, which is likely no coincidence.
Speaking to SpaceflightNow, Omran Sharaf, project manager for the EMM, said the “identity of the mission is not just about the UAE, it’s also for the Arab world.” The mission is “supposed to inspire the Arab youth, and send a message of hope to them, and a message that basically tells them if a country like the UAE is able to reach Mars in less than 50 years, then you guys can do much more given the history you have, given the human talent that you have,” he said.
An Arab expedition to Mars will undoubtedly kindle a renewed sense of national pride, but the mission, it is hoped, will also “inspire future Arab generations to pursue space science,” according to the EMM website. What’s more, a “sustainable, future-proof economy is a knowledge-based economy,” writes the UAE Space Agency.
The investment in STEM fields, and space tech in particular, is a smart move for the UAE, especially in consideration of tanking oil prices.
Once at Mars, Hope will enter into a unique equatorial orbit high above the Red Planet. Moving in the same direction as the planet’s rotation, Hope will complete a single orbit once every 55 hours or so. This will allow the probe’s instruments to gaze at a single target for prolonged periods.
“The desire to see every piece of real estate at every time of day ended up making the orbit very large and elliptical,” LASP scientist David Brain told the BBC. “By making those choices, we will for example be able to hover over Olympus Mons (the largest volcano in the Solar System) as Olympus Mons moves through different times of day. And at other times, we’ll be letting Mars spin underneath us,” to which he added: “We’ll get full disc images of Mars, but our camera has filters, so we’ll be doing science with those images—getting global views with different goggles on, if you like.”
Oooh, a cool new view of Olympus Mons? We can’t wait.
Once in orbit, Hope will study the Martian atmosphere on a global scale. Data gathered by the probe will be used to track changes as influenced by the shifting seasons and as the Martian day turns to night. The probe will also be used to study the planet’s hydrogen and oxygen, some of which is leaching out into space; Hope will study weather patterns in both the lower and middle atmosphere to figure out why.
The Hope probe should also answer questions about Mars’s early history, and how this planet, once wet and blanketed by a thick atmosphere, became the cold, dry, and desolate place it is today.
Being the weather satellite that it is, the probe will improve our understanding of severe weather conditions on Mars, including gigantic dust towers and global dust storms that appear from time to time, such as the epic one that ended the Opportunity mission in 2018.
“We are the very first weather satellite for Mars,” explained Sarah al-Amiri, deputy project manager for the Hope mission, during a webinar back in June. “Past missions have only sporadically studied atmospheric conditions, looking at specific locations at specific times. It’s like me telling you to study Earth at different times of the day in Alaska, London, and the UAE, and then be able to form a complete picture of the weather and climate,” she said.
At a more broader, conceptual level, the Hope satellite will be of assistance to scientists trying to assess the planet’s prior or even current ability to host life. And in addition to refining our sense of Mars as a geological system, Hope will prepare scientists for a future crewed mission to the Red Planet, according to the UAE Space Agency.
To fulfill these ambitious goals, the Hope spacecraft is equipped with three primary scientific instruments: a camera, an infrared spectrometer, and an ultraviolet spectrometer.
The camera, called Emirates eXploration Imager (EXI), will capture high-resolution images of Mars, measure the depth of water ice in the atmosphere, and study the Martian ozone layer, among other things.
The Emirates Mars Infrared Spectrometer (EMIRS) will scan the lower Martian atmosphere in the infrared band, allowing for observations of dust, ice clouds, and water vapor. This instrument can also take the temperature of the surface and lower atmosphere.
The Emirates Mars Ultraviolet Spectrometer (EMUS) will be used to measure the distribution of carbon monoxide, oxygen, and hydrogen at various altitudes and across the Martian seasons. With this data, scientists will compile a three-dimensional map, showing the distribution of oxygen and hydrogen in the atmosphere.
Hope should dramatically improve our understanding of the Red Planet, but we’ll have to wait until early next year for the data to start pouring in. Best of luck to the UAE as the team p
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The banking industry has been under pressure during the COVID-19 pandemic, as low interest rates to stimulate the broader economy have hurt the industry’s ability to grow profits. Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), in particular, has suffered as a result, in part because it faces restrictions that other banks don’t.
Wells Fargo is set to release its second-quarter earnings report on Tuesday, July 14. Investors expect a tough quarter that’s likely to include a significant loss and declines in key revenue figures. Yet there are still some bullish investors who think that Wells Fargo is a smart value play at current prices. Here’s what Wells Fargo bulls need to see in order for the stock to start gaining ground again.
Wells Fargo disappointed investors in June by signaling that it would need to cut its quarterly dividend. Unlike the other big U.S. banks, which explicitly said that they would keep their dividends unchanged, the California-based banking giant failed to come out with a defense of its quarterly payout.
Instead, CEO Charles Scharf warned shareholders that Wells Fargo would likely need to increase its allowance for loan losses to a much greater extent that in did in the first quarter. The bank’s move three months ago was big enough to wipe out almost all of Wells Fargo’s profits, and analysts expect this quarter’s allowance to push earnings into negative territory.
Image source: Wells Fargo.
If that happens, Wells Fargo will have to reduce its dividend. New Federal Reserve rules will mandate a reduction based on the corresponding fall in net income.
How big a cut depends on what Wells Fargo’s financials look like, but bulls need that reduction not to be too big. The stock’s current 8.5% yield already reflects expectations of a cut. As long as the reduction keeps yields at respectable levels around 3% to 4%, like its peers, then Wells should be able to overcome downward pressure from disappointed dividend investors.
From a long-term perspective, Wells Fargo investors need to see light at the end of the COVID-19 tunnel. Yet the bank still faces a monumental hurdle in the cap on assets that the Fed has imposed on it.
Wells was required to keep its assets from growing beyond a fixed maximum amount as part of regulators’ response to the multiple scandals that the bank faced in recent years. Wells hit that limit toward the end of 2019, and for the most part, that has required it to give up on growth opportunities that other banks have been able to pursue more effectively.
Wells has gotten some relief from the asset cap. In order to participate in programs designed to help Americans deal with the financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic, Wells asked the Fed for approval to make loans under the federal government’s stimulus measures. The Fed granted that request, but only enough to let Wells lend $10 billion out of the $350 billion authorized under the legislation.
With rates at such low levels, growing assets is one of the only ways for banks to boost their profits. Wells needs to convince the Fed to undo its punishment for its past practices, or else it’ll be doomed to second-rate status behind the unrestricted growth of its primary rivals.
Warren Buffett has been a longtime investor in Wells Fargo and other banks and remains a major shareholder in several financial institutions. However, his Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A) (NYSE:BRK.B) has reduced its position in Wells stock significantly in recent years, going from nearly 480 million shares in early 2017 to just 323 million currently.
Berkshire sales of Wells Fargo were especially significant late last year, with declines of more than 31 million shares in the third quarter of 2019 and more than 55 million shares in the fourth quarter. Since then, Buffett has held pat.
It’s important that it stay that way. If Berkshire reports more Wells Fargo stock sales in mid-August, then it would send a definite signal that the Oracle of Omaha has lost faith in the bank.
Banking stocks have been under pressure in 2020, and few have seen more difficulty than Wells Fargo. Bulls need to see some good news from Wells soon, and these three items will be critical in determining the future of the California-based bank.
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By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — Weekly data for initial jobless claims are expected to show a further slowdown, but remain at a staggeringly high 3 million. Stocks are set to open higher after a mixed bag of earnings late on Wednesday. China’s exports rebounded in April, but due largely to a one-off surge in medical goods. A 14% drop in imports still suggests its economy is in ropey condition. The Bank of England held fire but predicted the U.K. economy would shrink 14% this year. And the dollar hit a new all-time high against the Turkish lira as Turkey slides towards a full-blown balance of payments crisis. Here’s what you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, May 7th.
1. Initial jobless claims set to slow a bit further
Another 3 million Americans are expected to have filed for jobless benefits last week, according to analysts polled by Investing.com.
That would be a further slowdown from 3.8 million registered the previous week but still an indicator of extreme stress for the economy, following hard on the heels of ADP’s assessment that the private sector shed over 20 million jobs in April.
are expected to have risen by just under 2 million to 19.91 million.
The Department of Labor publishes its data at 8:30 AM ET (1230 GMT).
2. China’s exports post surprise rebound
China’s posted a surprise 3.5% increase in year-on-year terms in April, confounding expectations for a decline of more than 15%.
However, the truer reflection of the state of the Chinese economy was in its data, which fell by 14.2% on the year, more than expected.
The discrepancy is explained by a surge in exports of medical gear to the rest of the world against the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic. Another growth item, noted analysts at ING, was components for 5G telecom networks, something likely to raise hackles in the U.S. given its campaign against Huawei in particular.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday repeated his threat to abandon the ‘phase 1’ trade deal with China if it fails to buy the promised volume of U.S. exports. That deal preceded the collapse of Chinese import demand.
3. Stocks set to open higher; PayPal disappoints, Peloton’s close to breakeven
U.S. stock markets are set to open higher, reversing Wednesday’s losses and shrugging off some mixed earnings reports late on Wednesday.
By 6:30 AM ET (1030 GMT), the contract was up 320 points, or 1.4%, while the contract was up 1.5% and the contract was up 1.6%.
In focus in early trade will be , which failed to cash in on the boom in e-commerce to the degree expected in the first quarter, and , which failed to break even, disappointing hopes for a quarterly profit.
By contrast, , and Liberty Global (NASDAQ:) all beat expectations, the last of these topping off the quarter by agreeing to merge its U.K. assets with Telefonica’s (NYSE:) in a $38 billion deal on Thursday – the biggest piece of M&A in Europe since the pandemic erupted.
Peloton (NASDAQ:) stock is also set for a strong opening after it nearly in the quarter thanks to a boom in working-out-from-home, while rose in Europe after reporting a rebound in Chinese sales.
4. Bank of England holds fire, Norway cuts
The British pound edged up after the Bank of England held off from increasing its quantitative easing program – although new Governor Andrew Bailey indicated that it may well do so in the future. Two of the BoE’s nine policymakers already voted for an increase at yesterday’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting. The BoE expects U.K. GDP to fall 14% this year.
The BoE also signaled it was cutting U.K. banks more slack as regards their capital ratios, pushing up the shares of the big four by between 1.2% and 3.5%.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to outline a timetable for easing lockdown restrictions later, two days after the U.K. overtook Italy to register the highest death toll in Europe from Covid-19, with over 30,000 deaths.
Elsewhere in Europe Thursday, Norway’s central bank cut its key rate to zero but indicated it won’t go below that level.
5. Turkish lira falls to new low as crisis looms
Turkey, one of the world’s largest emerging economies outside China and India, is spiraling towards a balance of payments crisis.
The dollar hit a new all-time high against the overnight at 7.2862, before retracing to 7.2668 by 6:30 AM ET.
The country is beset by wide budget and current account deficits, and its banks and corporations have to repay over $20 billion in foreign-currency debt next year. Meanwhile, central bank reserves have fallen sharply and many analysts suspect official reserves figures to be inflated by the borrowing of dollars from the local banking system.
Turkey, a NATO member and long-time U.S. ally, was conspicuously not among the countries granted a dollar swap line by the Federal Reserve in March. Relations with the U.S. have deteriorated sharply in recent years, not least due to President Erdogan’s decision to buy sophisticated air defense systems from Russia. That worsening relationship may also complicate its efforts to negotiate an IMF bailout, analysts say.