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Woman sues NASA over piece of moon gifted by Armstrong

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Washington, June 13: A woman has sued NASA to make sure that the US space agency doesn’t take back a piece of moon gifted to her by Neil Armstrong — the first person to walk on the lunar surface.

Laura Cicco from Cincinnati has filed a lawsuit in a federal court, stating that the vial of moon dust she has was a gift from Armstrong who was a friend of her father, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Cicco’s father Tom Murray, who was a pilot with the US Army, spent a lot of time together with Armstrong.

Sometime in the 1970s, the US astronaut gave the vial of moon dust along with a handwritten note to Murray’s little girl when she was 10.

Cicco has now sued NASA because the space agency has “a history of seizing suspected lunar material from private citizens”, her attorney was quoted as saying.

“There’s no law prohibiting private citizens from owning materials from the moon and Cicco is the rightful and legal owner of the moon dust,” the report said, quoting the attorney.

The vial of dust that Cicco has, was analysed by scientists who said it was “likely” a sample of the lunar surface.

Cicco’s lawsuit cited another case where NASA seized lunar mementoes from an elderly California woman which was gifted to her by her late husband and an Apollo programme engineer.

Reacting to the lawsuit, a NASA spokesperson said it would be “inappropriate” for the space agency to comment.

In July 1969, Armstrong and Apollo 11 Lunar Module pilot Buzz Aldrin performed the first manned moon landing and spent two-and-a-half hours outside the spacecraft while Michael Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command module.

When Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, he said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

IANS

India

UAE businessman donates Rs 12.5 crore for Kerala flood relief

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 Abu Dhabi, Aug 19 :A United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based businessman has announced a 2.6 million dirhams ($707,837) donation towards relief operations in the flood-hit Indian state of Kerala.

According to K.P. Hussain, chairman of Fathima Healthcare Group, about half of the amount will directly go to the Kerala Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, while the rest will be allocated for medical relief aid, reports Khaleej Times.

Hussain said that the group has coordinated with the state’s health secretary to send volunteers from its medical faculty, which includes doctors and paramedics, to relief camps.

Other UAE businessmen had also earlier pledged donation to help in flood relief operations.

As of Sunday, the toll from the torrential rains and the subsequent floods that has ravaged Kerala since August 9 stood at 370.

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Pope Francis urges help, prayers for Kerala

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Vatican City, Aug 19 : Pope Francis on Sunday called for solidarity and help from the international community for people affected by flooding in the southern Indian state of Kerala which has caused widespread death and destruction.

The Pope said during the weekly Sunday prayers on St. Peter’s Square that residents of Kerala had been hit by intense rains in recent days, which had led to flooding, landslides and an enormous loss of life, reports Efe news.

He said the Catholic Church was working to bring help to the people of Kerala and urged those gathered in the Vatican square to pray for those who had died and all the people affected by the calamity.

Francis urged the international community to stand in solidarity with India and to offer concrete help to those affected by the floods.

About 190 people have died and over 600,000 have been rescued and taken to emergency accommodation in recent days owing to torrential rains battering the state.

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Sidhu clarifies on hugging Pakistan Army chief, sitting beside PoK President

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Attari-Wagah border, Aug 19 : Clarifying on the  controversies surrounding his hug with Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said  it was a gesture after Bajwa, who also belongs from the same culture, revealed that “Islamabad  will open  up Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv.”

Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab minister who travelled to Pakistan to attend his ‘friend’ Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony  as Pakistan Prime Minister

“If someone (Pakistan Army Chief General Bajwa) comes to me and says that we belong to the same culture and we will open Kartarpur border on Guru Nanak Dev’s 550th Prakash Parv, what else I could do?, ” Navjot Singh Sidhu said  on hugging Bajwa at Pakistan PM Imran Khan’s oath-taking ceremony in Islamabad.

Sidhu, however, said he hugged Qamar Javed Bajwa because he told him Pakistan may allow Sikh pilgrims direct access to Gurdwara Darbar Sahib Kartapur next year.

Speaking about another controversy regarding sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “If you’re invited as a guest of honour somewhere, you sit wherever you are asked to. I was sitting somewhere else but they asked me to sit there.”

Navjot Singh Sidhu returned to India after attending the oath-taking ceremony of Imran Khan as Pakistan Prime Minister in Islamabad yesterday.

Sidhu was sitting beside President of PoK Masood Khan in the front row at Pakistan  PM Imran Khan’s oath ceremony in Islamabad.

After the oath ceremony, Bajwa walked up to him and after having a brief conversation, hugged Sidhu.

Sidhu has predicted that  a positive change in Islamabad’s approach towards India. “He will be taking the positive direction… and positive anything is better than negative nothing,”  he said.

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