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Head of Russian space program calls for more international cooperation in NASA’s Moon plans

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The head of Russia’s space program said today that NASA’s plans to send people back to the Moon are “too US-centric” for Russia to participate. He has been critical of the program in the past and now says that Russia would only be open to participating if the Moon plans were more focused on international cooperation.

“The most important thing here would be to base this program on the principles of international cooperation that we’ve all used” to fly the ISS, Dmitry Rogozin, the director-general of Roscosmos, said through a translator during a virtual press conference at the International Astronautical Congress. He added: “If we could get back to considering making these principles as the foundation of the program, then Roscosmos could also consider its participation.”

Rogozin has made it clear that he is not a fan of NASA’s Moon program, an initiative called Artemis that aims to send the first woman to the lunar surface. Part of the program’s design calls for building a space station around the Moon, known as the Lunar Gateway, which would serve as an orbiting outpost for astronauts to visit before heading down to the surface of the Moon.

NASA has already partnered with some international agencies for Artemis — notably, Canada and Europe — but the US space agency is spearheading almost all of the major elements of the program, including the rockets, capsules, landers, and modules needed for the Gateway. And Rogozin has been vocal about his dislike of the US-led approach.

“For the United States, this is now more of a political project,” Rogozin told the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda in July. “With the lunar project, we are observing the departure of our American partners from the principles of cooperation and mutual support that developed during cooperation on the ISS. They see their program not as international, but similar to NATO. There is America, everyone else must help and pay. To be honest, we are not interested in participating in such a project.”

Rogozin has also expressed disdain for NASA’s Artemis Accords, a set of guidelines that the space agency and the US State Department developed for countries to adhere to when exploring the Moon. The accords call for a standard set of rules on how to mine the Moon and places that need to be protected on the lunar surface, such as the Apollo landing sites. Rogozin likened the accords to “an invasion” in a now-deleted tweet.

Today, Rogozin doubled down on his comments about Artemis. “In our view, Lunar Gateway in its current form is too US centric,” he said during the press conference, noting that Russia “is likely to refrain from participating in it on a large scale.” However, Rogozin did say that he hopes the Gateway has a docking port that will allow future Russian spacecraft to attach to the station if necessary. “If Russia builds its own space transportation system, we need to have an opportunity to dock” with the Gateway, Rogozin said.

NASA’s administrator Jim Bridenstine, who was also present during the press conference, attempted to respond to Rogozin’s comments about international cooperation, but the conversation moved on to the next question. Bridenstine did tell Reuters in July that he holds hope that NASA and Roscosmos will continue to work together. “I’ve got a good relationship with Dmitri Rogozin, so I’m hopeful that there are opportunities for us to continue to collaborate,” he told Reuters.

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Snap shares explode after blowing past earnings expectations

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Snap shares were up nearly 20% in after-hours trading after the company showcased a massive earnings beat, besting analyst expectations on both revenue and earnings per share for Q3. The company was already hovering above an all-time-high, with Tuesday’s beat poised to send the share price from just above $28 to just short of $34 per share.

The company posted a $0.01 revenue bet, best expectations of a $0.04 loss, but the real headline was that they delivered $679 million in reported revenue, smashing past Wall Street expectations that pinned their performance for the quarter around $555 million. The revenue numbers represented 52% year-over-year growth, showcasing a huge comeback for the company which has faced some difficult quarters as a public company since making their debut.

User growth was up 4% to 249 million daily active users from the 238 million they reported at the end of last quarter, marking an 18% year-over-year increase. The company still posted a net loss of $200 million, but that’s a 12% improvement from last years numbers.

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Facebook moderators in India were pressured to return to the office despite COVID-19 concerns

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Facebook moderators located in India were pressured by their employer, third-party contracting firm Genpact, to return to the office despite safety concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report from nonprofit publication Rest of World.

Genpact, one of many firms Facebook outsources moderation to around the world, employs roughly 1,600 moderators in India, where employees analyze offensive and disturbing content posted in large volumes to Facebook’s platforms for potential rule violations. The company was pressuring employees to return to its offices in Hyderabad as early as July, Rest of World reports, with Genpact claiming key parts of its moderation services had to be performed in the office due to privacy issues and other technical hurdles.

Genpact claims any in-office work was done so voluntarily. “To make this manageable, safe, and clear, employees need to sign a weekly form that asks them to voluntarily agree to this,” a Genpact spokesperson told Rest of World. But according to interviews with employees, Genpact management allegedly instructed some employees that their jobs may be at risk if they chose not to perform in-office duties.

Rest of World also reports that India’s IT industry was deemed essential in the earliest days of coronavirus-related lockdowns throughout the country. This meant many of the firms providing outsourced labor for US technology companies were able to circumvent restrictions on office work to keep employees coming in.

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Facebook employs more than 15,000 content moderators all around the globe, a vast majority of which are contractors without access to many of the same benefits as corporate employees. Those contractors are also subjected to work conditions involving the viewing of child exploitation, violence, terrorism videos, and other material that may cause post-traumatic stress disorder and related mental health issues.

Meanwhile, corporate Facebook employees are able to work from anywhere they like until July of next year, upon which they can choose to remain permanently remote so long as they agree to potential wage reduction depending on location. Corporate employees also receive benefits like stock options and a $1,000 stipend to cover remote work costs and office equipment, in addition to the free transportation and on-site food perks enjoyed prior to the pandemic.

Earlier this month, The Verge reported that one of Facebook’s primary moderation firms, the consulting firm Accenture, began instructing its US-based employees in Austin, Texas that they would have to return to the office despite concerns about COVID-19 safety precautions. Accenture initially refused to answer questions from employees worried about their health and safety, and the firm said it would not be providing increased pay.

In a statement emailed to The Verge at the time, Accenture wrote: “We are gradually returning people to client offices in cases where there is a critical business reason to do so. We prioritize the safety and well-being of our people, and only return people to offices when we are comfortable that the right measures and protocols are in place, properly evaluated for each country or local situation.”

Facebook says its moderators are still being paid regardless of how their jobs may be affected by COVID-19 safety measures, office closures and cleanings, and other work disruptions. But the company has been using financial incentives to get content moderators at third-party firms to resume working full time in the office, The Washington Post reported in May.

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The 10 Best Deals of October 20, 2020

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Gif: Juliana Clark

Best Deals of the DayBest Deals of the DayThe best deals from around the web, updated daily.

Tuesday’s Best Deals | Kinja Deals

It’s October 20, and we at Kinja Deals are here to make sure you are ready for the upcoming Halloween holiday! Bring back the ghost of My Little Pony with an inflatable skeleton unicorn. Countdown the days until Robert Pattinson and Zoë Kravitz take over the Batman franchise with screenings of Batman Beyond: The Complete Series. And get ready for those international borders to reopen by practicing with Rosetta Stone Bonus Pack bundles.

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If you’re still looking to score more deals, take a look at Tuesday’s best deals overall.

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When we’re huddled around the fire, telling our grandchildren about the beginnings of the 2020 pandemic, there’s no doubt the Great Toilet Paper Shortage will get at least a nod. Once people got wind of that, bidets started going out of stock, too. It makes sense; your apartment’s already got water flowing, toilet paper stock is one less thing to worry about having to trek into the store for, and you’re saving a bit of paper along the way. Right now, the BioBidet Bliss BB2000 is down from $1,500 to $640. Still a big ol’ yikes from me, but if you want a bidet with an on-demand heating system, stainless steel nozzle, wireless controls, and motors, go for it.

Not all bidets are this pricey, and a quick search on Amazon shows there’s plenty of good ones you can get for a lower price. Here’s one for $43, another for $29, and a flashy one for $90; take your pick.

This deal was originally published by Jordan McMahon.

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The season of being wrapped up in a cozy blanket watching football or a Hallmark movie is upon us. Blankets and throws are the cornerstones of a perfectly lazy and comfy weekend. Wayfair has almost 4,000 on sale for the next two-days to upgrade your snuggly fall to winter experience.

Take 35% off this Nader Blanket ($37) and it’s still available in sixteen vibrant colors. This is your classic knitted throw that is at the foot of every bed in every guest room or hangs on the back of the sofa. The fringe gives it that timeless and retro feel because your grandparents’ house always had one or ten. You can practically smell the pie cooling and envision the hot chocolate on its way to you as you sink into the fluffy texture.

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The perfect faux fur blanket is the ultimate in cold weather. This massive Snow Leopard throw (52%) is 100% polyester but has an extra layer for chilly nights. If you’re ready to do your holiday shopping this is a great gift as it’s packed up as a pristine present. And it’s from Christian Siriano so luxury is written all over it. Oh, it’s almost 60% off in this sale too.

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Plush and lush. This is the ultimate blanket for curling up with a pet and good book. Another animal-friendly selection as the fur is faux, it comes in nine colors to blend in with the decor of any room. This blanket from Caston ($30) is 57% off and machine washable.

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Free shipping on all orders over $35.

This deal was originally published by Jordan McMahon.

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Whenever I’ve had a stressful day at work (or, as I call them, a day at work), Sunday Scaries comes through with CBD gummies that don’t just help me chill out, they also double as a multi-vitamin of sorts—serving up that D3 and B12 enrichment our bodies crave. While both nutrients work to prevent fatigue, B12 also helps to stave off megaloblastic anemia. The Vitamin D3 boost is increasingly more important in the winter months, when you’re not absorbing as much from the sun. CBD, on the other hand, is a non-psychoactive cannabis extract and is said to help with everything from anxiety to chronic pain.

These gummies in particular feature 10mg of CBD each, with 22 gummies found in each container. The CBD oil it’s made from is broad spectrum and contain no THC. Whether you want to place a recurring order or purchase a bottle outright, you can save 25% on Sunday Scaries vitamin D3- and B12-enriched gummy bears using the promo code ESINV25 for a limited time. For subscribers, this brings your final price down to $22; one-time buyers, on the other hand, can scoop it up and try it out for $27 with the coupon, automatically applied at checkout. See why PopSugar, Buzzfeed, Forbes, and Cosmopolitan are all raving about Sunday Scaries CBD and secure a batch at a generous discount today.

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This article was originally published by Gabe Carey.

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So you’re probably celebrating Halloween at home this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t do it in style. If you’re lucky enough to have a furry best friend this is their time to shine. Take 25% off almost 30 different costumes from the spooky dress up powerhouse Rubie’s. Snag a bag of cookies for your pet pal too so they don’t feel left out on that whole trick-or-treat part.

There is quite a variety and this sale covers lots of fandoms. If your pooch is your number one sidekick Robin is the way to go. Is your pet out of this world? I bet they’d look amazing as the Dark Lord Vader or even an Ewok. Or maybe your pupper is the best darn co-pilot in the skies. Just because things aren’t like they used to be doesn’t mean fun can’t be had with those you love this scary season. Even if it’s just you and your fur baby dress up, snack down, and get ghoulish.

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All these ship for free if you’re a Prime member.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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If you’re going to give OLED a try, this might be the time to start considering. I’ll contend you can still get away with an LG B7, the baseline from a couple of generations ago, but the TVs have gotten exceptional. Burn-in and input lag are two of the biggest knocks against OLED, especially for gamers, but according to reviews, that should be a non-issue on the LG CX. So long as you’re not watching the news or playing games with the same HUD for many consecutive hours on end, you shouldn’t run into any nasty image retention issues anytime soon.

Now down to its lowest price ever at $1,497, this 55″ TV is one of the best LG currently has to offer. It begins with that beautiful OLED panel, of course, which bids sayonara to muddy grays and backlight bleed thanks to its per-pixel lighting. For movies, Dolby Atmos and Dolby Vision HDR return to give you the best cinematic experience possible, the latter adding a feature that automatically tunes the picture around your ambient lighting conditions and the content you’re watching.

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The TV also includes both AMD FreeSync and NVIDIA G-Sync, both of which are gaming features that eliminate screen tearing with little (if any) added input lag.

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This deal was originally published by Quentyn Kennemer.

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Quarantine is an ideal time to expand your horizons, try new things, and work on yourself. And after a few months, if you find that you haven’t quite expanded, tried, or worked as much as you’d hoped, here’s an easy way to get started.

Today only, Amazon’s Gold Box is offering 53% off Rosetta Stone Bonus Pack bundles across a handful of languages. Each one—Spanish, French, Italian, German, and English—includes access to the service’s online language-learning software, as well as a Barron’s Dictionary and Grammar Guide.

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While the bundle you choose determines which printed books you receive, it ultimately doesn’t limit you in any way. That’s because all of the bundles include lifetime access to Rosetta Stone’s complete language library, which currently spans 24 languages. Want to dabble in Arabic or Japanese later on? Go for it. Make the most of this socially-distanced time.

Each bundle is $149 today only, marked down from $319.

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This deal was originally published by Andrew Hayward.

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Don’t let anyone get it twisted: a temperature check is not a substitute for a COVID-19 test. Still, times are scary, and it doesn’t hurt to have another tool handy to make sure you’re in good health. A forehead thermometer keeps things a little less gross than one that gets stuffed in your ear or mouth, and you don’t have to dish out stacks of cash to get your hands on one. This one is down to $23 on Amazon right now, keeping your savings (and you!) nice and safe, since it uses infrared lights for a no-contact scan of your temp.

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This deal was originally published by Jordan McMahon.

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As a fan of Robert Pattinson’s performances in The Lighthouse and the Safdie brothers’ Good Time and definitely NOT Twilight (ok I watched and enjoyed the first one, sue me), watching the trailer for The Batman got me hyped for a brooding heartthrob take on a classic comic book character. And to get you in the right state of mind for yet another superhero movie, Batman Beyond: The Complete Series on Blu-ray—Funko Pop included—for $50, back down to the lowest it’s ever been.

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What’s more, The Dark Knight Trilogy Blu-ray collection is also down to $14. Don’t miss out on some of the best Batman movies in the franchise’s history.

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This deal was originally published by Gabe Carey.

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The dream is to be tough but tender right? This undead My Little Pony knock-off is just that. If you’re still looking for a decoration for the haunting season but want to seem more approachable this 6-foot tall light up Inflatable Skeleton Unicorn is that. With the coupon save a total of $55 on it.

The LED lights on the inside of the mythical beast shine bright even on the darkest night. While yes this is built for the outdoors with its durable material, long power cord, fastened ropes, and built-in sandbags there’s nothing in the rulebook that says you can’t bring this inside if you’ve got the room. Quite the decoration this would be indoors, but hey if you’ve got the space why not? My neighborhood goes ham on Halloween with decorations so I think this eerie equine creature is adorable and in no way is obnoxious. Just because it’s Hallows’ Eve soon doesn’t mean it has to all be blood and gore, maybe a scary sweetie is what we need this year.

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Free one-day shipping for Prime members.

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This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari.

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For the rest of the day save 25% on Everlane’s three best-selling cashmere styles. These are each just $75 and 100% Grade-A and top quality. All the styles at this price are for women.

Nothing is more classic than a crew-neck sweater and the perfect weather for it is here. In fourteen different colors or color combos, you’ll definitely find one you love and will match your aesthetic supremely. The Cashmere Crew will definitely be the staple piece of your autumn and winter wardrobe. Dress it up, dress it down, and layer it. This is fall perfection.

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Now take all that and make it short. A cashmere crew tee under a suit, with a pair of jeans or even a skirt, is sharp and cozy. In eight colors the quality is all there still it’s just not as bulky.

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If a deep V is more your style this is the sweater for you. There are seven colors to pick from, all earthy tones ideal with this season. Each of these you can hand wash cold or dry clean. The cashmere they use is more durable which means less pilling and for the value, you will certainly get your money’s worth.

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$5 flat shipping on this order.

This deal was originally published by Sheilah Villari. 


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