Tuesday February 25, 2020
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Tesla’s Musk Sued For Defamation

Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to "stop defending child rapists," and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai.

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Elon Musk, tesla, tunnel
AI could be first 'resident' of Mars, hints Musk. (Wikimedia Commons)

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla, was sued for defamation on Monday for falsely suggesting that a British caver who helped save 12 boys and their soccer coach from a Thailand cave in July was a pedophile and child rapist.

Vernon Unsworth sued over Musk’s reference to him in a July 15 tweet as a “pedo guy,” a comment for which Musk later apologized. The suit also claims that Musk called Unsworth a child rapist and sex trafficker in an Aug. 30 email to BuzzFeed News.

Tesla did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Musk and the company.

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Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX. Wikimedia.

The complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles seeks at least $75,000 of compensatory damages, plus unspecified punitive damages.

The case adds to a slew of litigation against Musk, including over his running of Palo Alto, California-based Tesla, which the billionaire has said has caused him severe stress.

Unsworth became a target for Musk after cave rescuers rejected Musk’s offer of a mini-submarine created by his rocket company SpaceX to rescue the soccer team, which was finally freed after 18 days in the cave on July 10.

Though Unsworth told CNN three days later Musk’s offer was a “PR stunt” that had no chance of working and that Musk could “stick his submarine where it hurts,” he said that did not justify Musk’s use of Twitter and the media to defame him.

TESLA
Thai cave rescue: Extraction of remaining soccer team members

The July 15 tweet by Musk touted the mini-submarine and then, referring to Unsworth with a shorthand description of pedophile, said, “Sorry pedo guy, you really did ask for it.”

Musk apologized on July 18, referring to Unsworth in saying “his actions against me do not justify my actions against him,” and that “the fault is mine and mine alone.”

But the complaint said that in the August 30 email, Musk urged a BuzzFeed reporter to “stop defending child rapists,” and then said Unsworth spent decades in Thailand until moving to Chiang Rai, “renowned for child sex-trafficking,” to take a 12-year-old bride.

Also Read: Elon Musk Apologises To UK Driver For Calling Him a ‘Pedo’

Unsworth said all of these accusations were false, and that the defamatory statements “were manufactured out of whole cloth by Musk out of a belief on his part that his wealth and stature allowed him to falsely accuse Mr. Unsworth with impunity” because he disagreed with him about the mini-submarine.

The case is Unsworth v Musk, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 18-08048. (VOA)

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SpaceX Run By Elon Musk Aims To Raise $250mn in New Funding For Hitting $36bn Valuation

SpaceX is preparing its Crew Dragon spacecraft to fly NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to and from the space station in the first flight. The uncrewed Demo-1 mission flew in March last year

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SpaceX
The fundraising comes as SpaceX continues development on three important programmes: Crew Dragon, Starlink and Starship, reports CNBC. Wikimedia Commons

Elon Musk-run SpaceX is aiming to raise around $250 million in new funding that would bring the rocket launch company’s valuation to $36 billion.

The fundraising comes as SpaceX continues development on three important programmes: Crew Dragon, Starlink and Starship, reports CNBC.

The company raised $1.33 billion during 2019 and has raised more than $3 billion in funding to date.

The new round of funding could close sometime in the middle of next month.

SpaceX has received a $3.1 billion contract award as part of NASA commercial crew programme. It charges its customers nearly $60 million per launch of one of its Falcon 9 rockets and had 13 such launches in 2019.

Ahead of its launch of astronauts to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its Crew Dragon capsule which is tentatively scheduled for May 7, SpaceX has hired a top former human spaceflight expert.

In his new role, William Gerstenmaier, the former leader of NASA’s human spaceflight programme, is reporting to SpaceX Vice President of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk-run SpaceX is aiming to raise around $250 million in new funding that would bring the rocket launch company’s valuation to $36 billion. Wikimedia Commons

SpaceX is preparing its Crew Dragon spacecraft to fly NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to and from the space station in the first flight. The uncrewed Demo-1 mission flew in March last year.

“We’re highly confident that the hardware will be ready in Q1, most likely at the end of February but no later than March. And we think it appears probable that the first crewed launch would occur in the second quarter,” said Musk after the successful uncrewed test of its Crew Dragon capsule’s in-flight launch escape capabilities last month.

ALSO READ: Children Who Consume Whole Milk Are Less Likely To Be Overweight: Study

Musk said that if all goes well, the first crewed flight on the Crew Dragon could take place in the second quarter of this year. (IANS)