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India, Pakistan need to resolve issues on their own:US

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Washington:  Expressing the hope that Pakistan would be a responsible stakeholder on security issues, in particular the nuclear issue, the US has said that New Delhi and Islamabad need to work on issues between them peacefully on their own.

“US Secretary of State, John Kerry spoke on his concerns about tensions between India and Pakistan right now and various other issues”, State Department spokesman John Kirby recalled  on Tuesday,  in response to a question at his daily press briefing. “Kerry has also talked about ‘our continued belief that both sides need to work on  these issues peacefully and on their own’”, he said.

On being asked if Pakistan’s nuclear programme is safe from terrorist hands in the context of former Pakistani President Pervez  Musharaff’s reported threat that Islamabad may use the nuclear weapon against India, Kirby said: “I’m certainly not going to talk about intelligence issues here. But our expectation continues to be that Pakistan will be a responsible stakeholder on security issues, in particular the nuclear issue”.

In response to a question about child labour and child trafficking in India, China and several other countries, Kirby said, “Obviously, this is a concern that we have around the world  ,i.e, the issue of child labour and certainly human trafficking. “It’s something that we are constantly talking to our friends and partners about. It’s a significant concern. “Our positions, our stance on them have not changed, and we’re going to continue to work at this just as hard as we can”.

At the White House too, spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters in response to a question about child labour that as a general matter, President Barack Obama ‘believes strongly that we need to be serious about combating child trafficking’ and that the administration has devoted significant time and consideration, and even resources, to international efforts to try to fight human trafficking.

“This is something that the President has talked about frequently, not just with his national security staff, but in his conversations with other world leaders and even in the context of international meetings at the United Nations,” Earnest said.

Asked if Obama had talked with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about public health issues in the context of Yoga Day, the spokesman said that he was not aware that the President had any conversations with world leaders on this topic or not but obviously the President and the First Lady have made public health and the health of the American people a top priority of their administration.
(IANS)

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Partial Shutdown of US Delays Space Missions, But NASA Not Grounded

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said

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People rally to call for an end to the partial government shutdown in Detroit, Thursday, Jan. 10, 2019. VOA

The partial shutdown of the US federal government has had a serious impact on the country’s space agency NASA and development work on most future space missions has been slowed or suspended.

However, NASA has not been totally grounded by the partial government shutdown that began on December 22, after last-minute negotiations in Congress failed to end a budget standoff.

Over 95 per cent of the space agency’s employees have been furloughed. As a result, various research projects, including the Hubble Space Telescope has been put on hold, the Space.com reported on Wednesday.

Hubble suffered a mechanical problem that only furloughed NASA employees could repair.

Many workers also gathered outside the Johnson Space Center in Houston to protest the shutdown and its deleterious effects on their lives and the nation’s space programmes.

The Telescope facilities that have so far remained open during the shutdown will soon run out of money and cease operations.

This includes the National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO), a federally funded organization that operates the Atacama Large Millimeter Array (ALMA), the Green Bank Telescope and the Very Large Array (VLA), the report noted.

The partial shutdown become the longest on record after January 12, overtaking the previous record of the 21-day impasse in 1995-96 under then President Bill Clinton.

NASA, tissue
US shutdown delays space missions but NASA not grounded: Report,

President Donald Trump and the Congress have been at loggerheads over his demand to include in the budget $5.7 billion funding for building a border wall along the Mexico border. Democratic leaders have rejected his call.

NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), also called the “flying telescope” has also ceased operations since the shutdown.

The telescope, which is mounted to the fuselage of a Boeing 747 aircraft, has not flown since the shutdown began, the report said.

However, despite the shutdown some “excepted” employees remained at work, assisting astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) and other space missions, the report said.

Also Read- National Clean Air Programme Should Set Higher Targets

Last week, astronauts aboard the ISS conducted a range of scientific experiments and public-outreach work. They engaged in an orbital Q&A with school kids and answered a variety of questions, from the nature of the research performed aboard the ISS to the type of training astronauts receive to whether your ears pop in space.

On January 13, a SpaceX Dragon cargo capsule departed the orbiting lab for Earth, eventually splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. The robotic Dragon brought down important scientific research and hardware for examination here on terra firma.

Other active space missions includes NASA probes OSIRIS-REx and New Horizons spacecraft that continue to gather data in Earth orbit and the Moon, Mars, Jupiter and beyond, the report said.  (IANS)