2014 MU69: Arrokoth, the most distant object ever explored

After its famous flyby of Pluto in July 2015, NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft made history a second time when it buzzed the most distant object ever explored: 2014 MU69.

“We set a record! Never before has a spacecraft explored something so far away,” Alan Stern, the New Horizons principal investigator, said after the flyby. “I mean, think of it. We’re a billion miles further than Pluto, and now we’re going to keep going into the Kuiper Belt.”

Both Pluto and 2014 MU69 lie within the Kuiper Belt, a collection of icy rocks that surrounds the outer reaches of the solar system. These objects are thought to be pristine samples from the early solar system, cast out into the boundary zone through gravitational interactions with the larger objects that would grow into planets...

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Mnuchin, Powell say Congress needs to pass more COVID-19 relief

While the employment rate has improved from the sudden cratering in the spring, Powell noted that the jobs market hasn’t nearly returned to pre-pandemic levels and wouldn’t get there soon without more help from Congress.  

“We still have 11 million people out of the 22 million who were laid off in March and April,” Powell said. “That’s more people than just during the global financial crisis, as I’m sure you know. There’s a lot of work to do there — and you know our policies will support that — but it will go faster for those people if it’s all government working together.”

Powell said that businesses still struggling due to the pandemic need direct fiscal aid — not more lending, which is all the Fed can provide...

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Autistic boy lost in dense bushland in Vic

William Wall has gone missing in Victoria's Yarra Ranges, with crews searching into the night.
Camera IconWilliam Wall has gone missing in Victoria’s Yarra Ranges, with crews searching into the night.

An air and ground search for an autistic boy missing in dense bushland in Melbourne’s outer east continued through the night without success.

William Wall, 14, left his Launching Place home about 7am on Tuesday to go for his daily walk in the Yarra Ranges.

He told his family he would be gone for 15 minutes but never returned.

William, who has high functioning autism, left home without his mobile phone and police are concerned for his welfare, but are heartened by the fact he knows the area well.

“Everyone is hoping at the moment that he will be ok,” William’s father, Shane Wall, said on Tuesday night.

“I want to get him h...

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Democrats unexcited about Trump nominee for State Department’s top human rights job

But then-Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., had problems with the nomination of Ueland, who was the former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn. Ueland’s nomination then languished until it was withdrawn in 2018 when Mike Pompeo took over as secretary of State and wanted to have his longtime personal friend, Brian Bulatao, nominated instead for the management job.

At the same time, Trump’s first nominee to be undersecretary for human rights, Marshall Billingsea, saw his 2018 nomination stall in the committee because of bipartisan concerns about Billingsea’s past advocacy for torture as an interrogation practice during his time at the Pentagon in the early years of the George W. Bush administration...

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Monfils out, Bautista through in Hamburg

Yannick Hanfmann was able to overcome Gael Monfils in the first round of the European Open.
Camera IconYannick Hanfmann was able to overcome Gael Monfils in the first round of the European Open.

Third-seeded Gael Monfils has been eliminated in the first round of the Hamburg European Open, losing 6-4 6-3 to 103rd-ranked Yannick Hanfmann.

Hanfmann needed just 1 hour and 13 minutes to wrap up the win and the German will next face Cristian Garin, who swept past Kei Nishikori 6-0 6-3.

Fourth-seeded Roberto Bautista-Agut won 6-4 6-3 against Nikoloz Basilashvili to set up a second-round meeting with Dominik Koepfer.

Fabio Fognini built up momentum after a slow start to oust Philipp Kohlschreiber 4-6 6-1 7-5.

The sixth-seeded Italian will play either Casper Ruud or Benoit Paire in the second round.

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Photo of the day: Powell and the plexiglass


(Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reaches around the protective plexiglass shield on the witness table Tuesday to adjust his nameplate before the start of a House Financial Services hearing in the Rayburn Building on the Fed’s pandemic response and oversight of the Treasury Department.

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Data to give guide on spending and hiring

Colin Brinsden, AAP Economics and Business CorrespondentAAP
The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release preliminary retail spending figures for August.
Camera IconThe Australian Bureau of Statistics will release preliminary retail spending figures for August.

New figures will give an indication on how retailers are fairing through the pandemic and what demand there is for new staff from businesses more generally.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release preliminary retail spending figures for August on Wednesday.

In July, retail sales grew by a further 3.2 per cent, following a rise of 2.7 per cent in June and a chunky 16.9 per cent increase in May as COVID-19 restrictions were eased.

However, August’s figures will take into account Victoria’s harsh lockdown, a state that accounts for 25 per cent of ...

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Capitol flu shot protocols altered to reflect COVID concerns

Flu vaccine shots are now available on Capitol Hill, but distribution will look different than years past due to heightened concerns about coronavirus. Health experts say the threat of COVID-19 makes getting a flu shot even more of an imperative.

The Office of the Attending Physician will administer flu shots at two locations in the Capitol complex, down the spiral staircase in the Capitol Visitors’ Center in SCV200 and on the House side in Longworth B248 between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

The flu shots are available to thousands of legislative staffers, Capitol Police, Architect of the Capitol employees, restaurant workers, journalists and others who work in the Capitol complex, but those numbers have dropped sharply since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in March.

“Availability is likel...

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Still no plan on energy, climate: Turnbull

Paul OsborneAAP
Malcolm Turnbull says Investors are still waiting for a proper energy and climate policy.
Camera IconMalcolm Turnbull says Investors are still waiting for a proper energy and climate policy.

Australia still does not have a coherent energy and climate policy, despite the Morrison government’s new “technology roadmap”, former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

Energy Minister Angus Taylor used a speech to the National Press Club on Tuesday to outline the priority technologies which the government will back in a bid to cut Australia’s emissions by 250 million tonnes by 2040.

Mr Turnbull said the $18 billion plan fell far short of the national energy guarantee policy which Mr Taylor “helped wreck” when he led the nation.

“People are just punchdrunk with these random interventions from govern...

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Trump to announce SCOTUS pick Saturday, with Senate GOP expected to move ahead

President Donald Trump plans to announce his nominee to the Supreme Court on Saturday, and barring a monumental surprise, she will be on track for confirmation.

Trump had been telling audiences at campaign rallies that he would announce the selection at the end of the week, and in a Tuesday morning tweet he specified that it would come Saturday.

A statement by Utah Republican Sen. Mitt Romney seemed to end much of the suspense about whether a sufficient number of GOP senators would go along with Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan to assure a vote on Trump’s nominee before the end of the year.

“The Constitution gives the President the power to nominate and the Senate the authority to provide advice and consent on Supreme Court nominees...

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