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People walk past a Huawei retail store in Beijing, June 30, 2019. VOA

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has said that the US government’s order to bar US telecom companies from using federal funds to buy products from Huawei is “unlawful”.

Its response came after the US Federal Communications Commission listed Huawei and its industry peer ZTE as so-called “threats to national security” and thus barred companies from using money from the its Universal Service Fund (USF), which is $8.5 billion every year, to purchase technology from the two Chinese companies.


The US government made the decision “based on selective information, innuendo, and mistaken assumptions,” and it provided “no evidence that Huawei poses a security risk,” according to a statement issued by Huawei, Xinhua news agency reported on Friday.

“These unwarranted actions will have profound negative effects on connectivity for Americans in rural and underserved areas across the United States,” said Huawei.


FILE – A man uses his smartphone outside of a shop selling Huawei products at a shopping mall in Beijing, May 29, 2019. VOA

“Many carriers rely on Huawei for its high-quality, market-leading, and cost-effective equipment and services,” the company said.

On Monday, the US Department of Commerce extended a temporary license loosening restrictions on business deals with Huawei for another 90 days.

Also Read: With Electric Model, Tesla Enters Pickup Truck Market

“The Temporary General License (TGL) extension will allow carriers to continue to service customers in some of the most remote areas of the United States who would otherwise be left in the dark,” said Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross in a statement.

Huawei said that “without access to those solutions, these carriers will lose their ability to provide reliable and high-speed telecommunications and internet services” and “rural schools, hospitals, and libraries will feel the effects”. (IANS)


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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)


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