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The Spill: The Edge of Space

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To Infinity and Beyond

Riding on a new “spaceplane,” Sir Richard Branson flew to the edge of space, took a look, and came back to Earth. The 70-year-old businessman claimed it “was the trip of a lifetime” that lasted 59 minutes. The spaceplane went into flight on Sunday morning, leaving N.M. Spaceport America, reaching 55 miles above the Earth’s surface.

Branson flew with pilots David Mackay and Michael Masucci, as well as other employees of his company Virgin Galactic. The crew can be seen on footage wearing sunglasses and grinning.

Not everyone agrees on where the boundary is between the atmosphere of Earth and outer space – known as the Kármán line. NASA says the line is 50 miles above mean sea level. According to NASA, if anyone crosses the line, as Branson did, they are called astronauts.

Branson’s next venture will be a hotel that orbits the Earth. But until then, space fans can sign up to fly in the future with his company Virgin Galactic for a cool $250,000 each. Branson had a good time, saying upon his return to Earth: “What a day … what a day, what a day, what a day. I dreamt of this moment since I was a kid, but nothing can prepare you for the view from space.”

No Tenemos Miedo

Protesters in Cuba have taken to the streets to fight for freedom. On Sunday afternoon, thousands of protestors gathered to challenge the Cuban government, oppression, and hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuba is a communist country, so the government owns all property and has a lot of control over the society.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel told communist believers to fight back against the protesters on his behalf. He used the television to blast this message: “The order to fight has been given – into the street, revolutionaries!” He accused the United States of stirring up protest against the Cuban government.

Protesters chanted “No Tenemos Miedo” (We Are Not Afraid), “Freedom,” and “Down with the dictatorship.”

The United States has taken a keen interest in the uprising. President Joe Biden said: “The Cuban people are bravely asserting fundamental and universal rights.” Some Americans a worried there could be violence, as one diplomat tweeted: “We are deeply concerned by ‘calls to combat’ in Cuba.”

Protests on the tightly controlled island are rare. Cuba has been a communist country since 1959, when Fidel Castro led a revolution. It is an island nation located 90 miles south of Florida.

U.S. Citizens Arrested Over Assassination of Haiti President

On July 7, the president of Haiti, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated in his home. The Caribbean nation of Haiti elected Moïse in 2017. The president was shot, and his wife, Martine, was gravely injured.

Police say that witnesses saw nearly 30 mercenaries storm the house. Some were dressed as U.S. officers. Part of the team were two U.S.-Haitian citizens and several Colombians.

It seemed likely this was a group of soldiers for hire with no political agenda. But now, questions have arisen on whether the assassination was an inside job. From a hospital bed in Florida where Martine Moïse is recovering, she tweeted that her husband was killed by political enemies who opposed his proposed changes to the constitution of Haiti.

Haitian police have arrested 20 of the suspects. As things stand, Haiti is in chaos as no one wants to recognize a new president yet.

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