Кабмін дозволив виробникам «соціально важливих» товарів купувати газ дешевше

Кілька категорій виробників зможуть купувати газ українського видобутку за ціною, в якій максимальна націнка становитиме 25%

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Газовидобувні компанії застерігають уряд від «катастрофічних наслідків» держрегулювання цін на газ

Об’єднання закликало владу «переглянути рішення про введення ручного регулювання ціни на видобутий газ»

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Iran Says Rocket Launch Sent 3 ‘Research Payloads’ Into Space 

Iran has used a satellite launch rocket to send three research devices into space, a Defense Ministry spokesman said on Thursday, as indirect U.S.-Iran talks take place in Austria to try to salvage a 2015 nuclear deal. 

He did not clarify whether the devices had reached orbit. 

Iran, which has one of the biggest missile programs in the Middle East, has suffered several failed satellite launches in the past few years due to technical issues. 

Spokesman Ahmad Hosseini said the Simorgh satellite carrier rocket, whose name translates as “Phoenix”, had launched the three research devices at an altitude of 470 kilometers (290 miles). He did not give further details. 

“The intended research objectives of this launch were achieved,” Hosseini said, in comments broadcast on state television. “This was done as a preliminary launch … God willing, we will have an operational launch soon.” 

Iranian state television showed footage of what it said was the firing of the launch vehicle. 

Thursday’s reported space launch comes as Tehran and Washington hold indirect talks in Vienna in an attempt to salvage a nuclear accord that Iran reached with world powers and that former U.S. president Donald Trump abandoned in 2018. 

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s civilian space agency and two research organizations in 2019, claiming they were being used to advance Tehran’s ballistic missile program. 

Tehran denies such activity is a cover for ballistic missile development. 

Iran launched its first satellite Omid (Hope) in 2009 and its Rasad (Observation) satellite was also sent into orbit in June 2011. Tehran said in 2012 that it had successfully put its third domestically-made satellite, Navid (Promise), into orbit. 

In April 2020, Iran said it successfully launched the country’s first military satellite into orbit, following repeated failed launch attempts in the previous months. 

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Фонд держмайна заявляє про 5 млрд гривень доходів від приватизації за 2021-й. Планували 12 мільярдів

Бюджет 2022 року передбачає 8 мільярдів гривень доходів від приватизації

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НБУ встановив курс на перший робочий день 2022 року – долар дорожчає

Торги на українському міжбанківському валютному ринку завершуються на рівні 27 гривень 31–33 копійки за долар

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Міжбанк: долар на останній торговельній сесії року дорожчає на 9 копійок

Торги відбуваються на рівні 27 гривень 30–32 копійки за долар

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Працювати в Росії хочуть лише 6% українців – асоціація компаній з міжнародного працевлаштування

«Якщо до 2014 року країною масового працевлаштування була Росія, то зараз левова частка українців воліють працювати в країнах Європи»

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АМКУ схвалив купівлю колишнього заводу «Більшовик» компанією «Дженерал Комерс»

При цьому Антимонопольний комітет продовжує перевіряти обставини аукціону, на якому приватизували завод

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НБУ встановив офіційний курс гривні на 30 грудня

Торги на українському міжбанківському валютному ринку завершуються на рівні 27 гривень 22–24 копійки за долар

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A Year After Booting Trump, Social Media Companies Face More Challenges Over Elections

For U.S. social media companies, the violent mob storming the U.S. Capitol on January 6 last year spurred action. They shut down then-President Donald Trump’s accounts. One year later, are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube any better prepared to face similar situations in the U.S. or in other countries? Michelle Quinn reports.

Camera: Deana Mitchell Produced by: Matt Dibble

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Historic Year of Space Travel, Space Movies, and Space Junk

2021 was a historic year for all-things space … from the success of private spaceflight companies to robots exploring Mars in a road trip for the ages. VOA’s Arash Arabasadi beams us through the Year in Space.

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Російський «Газпром» зробив заяву про дефіцит газу в Західній Європі

В Європі кажуть, що «Газпром» штучно створює дефіцит природного газу

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Robots Serve Food to Diners at Iraq Restaurant

The White Fox restaurant in Mosul, Iraq, isn’t known for its comfortable atmosphere or its great food and drinks. It’s known for its servers. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report, narrated by Rikar Hussein.

Producer and camera: Kawa Omar.

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НБУ повідомив курс гривні на перший день після тривалих вихідних

Торги на міжбанківському валютному ринку завершуються на рівні 27 гривень 24–26 копійок за долар

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James Webb Space Telescope Launch Set for Saturday

“White-knuckle” — That’s how Rusty Whitman describes the month ahead, after the launch of the historic James Webb Space Telescope, now tentatively set for Saturday. 

From a secure control room in Baltimore, Maryland, Whitman and his colleagues will hold their breath as Webb comes online. But that’s just the beginning. 

For the first six months after Webb’s launch, Whitman and the team at the Space Telescope Science Institute will monitor the observatory around the clock, making tiny adjustments to ensure it is perfectly calibrated for astronomers across the world to explore the universe.

The most crucial moments will come at the beginning of the mission: the telescope must be placed on a precise trajectory, while at the same time unfurling its massive mirror and even larger sun-shade — a perilous choreography.   

“At the end of 30 days, I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief if we’re on schedule,” said Whitman, flight operations system engineering manager. 

He leads the team of technicians who set up Webb’s control room — a high-tech hub with dozens of screens to monitor and control the spacecraft. 

In the first row, one person alone will have the power to send commands to the $10 billion machine, which will eventually settle into an orbit over 1.5 million kilometers away. 

In other stations, engineers will monitor specific systems for any anomalies. 

After launch, Webb’s operations are largely automated, but the team in Baltimore must be ready to handle any unexpected issues.   

Luckily, they have had lots of practice. 

Over the course of a dozen simulations, the engineers practiced quickly diagnosing and correcting malfunctions thought up by the team, as well as experts flown in from Europe and California.   

During one of those tests, the power in the building cut out. 

“It was totally unexpected,” said Whitman. “The people who didn’t know — they thought it was part of the plan.” 

Fortunately, the team had already prepared for such an event: a back-up generator quickly restored power to the control room.   

Even with the practice, Whitman is still worried about what could go wrong: “I’m nervous about the possibility that we forgot something. I’m always trying to think ‘what did we forget?”

In addition to its job of keeping Webb up and running, the Space Telescope Science Institute — based out of the prestigious Johns Hopkins University — manages who gets to use the pricey science tool. 

While the telescope will operate practically 24/7, that only leaves 8,760 hours a year to divvy up among the scientists clamoring for their shot at a ground-breaking discovery. 

Black holes, exoplanets, star clusters — how to decide which exciting experiment gets priority? 

By the end of 2020, researchers from around the world submitted over 1,200 proposals, of which 400 were eventually chosen for the first year of operation. 

Hundreds of independent specialists met over two weeks in early 2021 — online due to the pandemic — to debate the proposals and pare down the list. 

The proposals were anonymized, a practice the Space Telescope Science Institute first put in place for another project it manages, the Hubble Telescope. As a result, many more projects by women and early-career scientists were chosen. 

“These are exactly the kind of people we want to use the observatory, because these are new ideas,” explained Klaus Pontoppidan, the science lead for Webb.   

The time each project requires for observations varies in length, some needing only a few hours and the longest needing about 200.   

What will be the first images revealed to the public? “I can’t say,” said Pontoppidan, “that is meant to be a surprise.” 

The early release of images and data will quickly allow scientists to understand the telescope’s capacities and set up systems that work in lock step.    

“We want them to be able to do their science with it quickly,” Pontoppidan explained. “Then they can come back and say ‘hey – we need to do more observations based on the data we already have.'” 

Pontoppidan, himself an astronomer, believes Webb will lead to many discoveries “far beyond what we’ve seen before.”  

“I’m most excited about the things that we are not predicting right now,” he said. 

Before the Hubble launched, no exoplanets — planets that orbit stars outside our solar system — had been discovered. Scientists have since found thousands. 

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