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AM Prep-Cyber Corner

January 3, 2019

IN THE NEWS: CHINA-SPACE

BEIJING (AP) — A Chinese spacecraft on Thursday made the first-ever landing on the far side of the moon, state media said.

The lunar explorer Chang’e 4 touched down at 10:26 a.m., China Central Television said in a brief announcement at the top of its noon news broadcast.

The far side of the moon faces away from Earth and is relatively unexplored. It is also known as the dark side of the moon.

The pioneering landing demonstrates China’s growing ambitions as a space power. In 2013, Chang’e 3 was the first spacecraft to land on the moon since the Soviet Union’s Luna 24 in 1976.

The mission of Chang’e 4, which is carrying a rover, includes carrying out low-frequency radio astronomical observations and probing the structure and mineral composition of the terrain.

The Long March 3B rocket carrying Chang’e 4 blasted off on Dec. 8 from Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southern China.

In May, a relay satellite “Queqiao,” or “Magpie Bridge,” named after an ancient Chinese folk tale, was launched to provide communications support between Chang’e 4 and Earth.

China plans to send its Chang’e 5 probe to the moon next year and have it return to Earth with samples — the first time that will have been done since 1976.

IN THE NEWS: APPLE-IPHONE SALES

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Apple acknowledged that demand for iPhones is waning, confirming investor fears that the company’s most profitable product has lost some of its luster.

The reckoning came in a letter from Apple CEO Tim Cook to the company’s shareholders released after the stock market closed Wednesday.

Cook said Apple’s revenue for the October-December quarter — including the crucial holiday shopping season — will fall well below the company’s earlier projections and those of analysts, whose estimates sway the stock market.

Apple now expects revenue of $84 billion for the period. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected Apple’s revenue to be about 9 percent higher — $91.3 billion. The official results are scheduled to be released Jan. 29.

Cook traced most of the revenue drop to China, where the economy has been slowing and Apple has faced tougher competition from home-team smartphone makers such as Huawei and Xiaomi. President Donald Trump has also raised new tensions between the U.S. and China by imposing tariffs on more than $200 billion in goods, although so far the iPhone hasn’t been affected directly.

IN THE NEWS: SAUDI-NETFLIX

NEW YORK (AP) — Netflix faced criticism Wednesday from human rights groups for pulling an episode in Saudi Arabia of comedian Hasan Minhaj’s “Patriot Act” series that criticized the kingdom’s powerful crown prince.

The American comedian used his second episode, released Oct. 28, to criticize Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen.

Human rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia’s censorship of Netflix is “further proof of a relentless crackdown on freedom of expression.” PEN America, the literary and human rights organization, said the move “legitimizes repression.” Netflix said it was simply complying with a local law.

Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the crown prince in columns for the newspaper, was killed and dismembered by Saudi agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year. The U.S. Senate has said it believes the crown prince is responsible for the grisly killing, despite insistence by the kingdom that he had no knowledge of the operation.

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