Houston

Science • Space
Artemis mission: NASA pledges to land first woman on moon by 2024
@NASA_Astronauts  are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions.
@NASA_Astronauts are preparing now for moonwalks planned for when we land the first woman and next man on the Moon -- and they're practicing underwater to evaluate how we'll train for #Artemis missions. Credit: @NASA_Johnson, via Twitter | NASA (Public Domain)

NASA has annouced it's preparing for its second mission to Moon. Artemis, the first lunar mission since 1972, will land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024.

"NASA engineers are laying the foundation for the moonwalks the first woman and next man will conduct when they land on the lunar South Pole in 2024 as part of the Artemis program. At the agency’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, teams are testing the tools and developing training approaches for lunar surface operations," so NASA in a statement.

Regional News • Asia • China
China orders closure of U.S. consulate in Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu
The building of U.S. Consulate General Chengdu Credit: U.S. Consulate General Chengdu (Public Domain)

The Chinese Government on Friday ordered the closure of the United States consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu. The announcement was made just hours before Washington's deadline for the Chinese government to end its diplomatic mission in Houston, Texas.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement: "On 21 July, the US launched a unilateral provocation by abruptly demanding that China close its Consulate General in Houston. The US move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-US Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-US relations. The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the US. It conforms with international law, the basic norms of international relations, and customary diplomatic practices."

Regional News • Americas • United States
Chinese consulate in Houston ordered to close by US government

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China has been ordered to "cease all operations and events" at its consulate in Houston, Texas. The police in Houston has reported smoke from the consulate courtyard as Chinese officials allegedly have burned documents.

Morgan Ortagus, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, has stated that the closure of the consulate has been ordered "to protect American intellectual property and Americans' private information".

Arts, Entertainment, Culture • Celebrities & Public Figures
Justin Bieber accused of sexual assault, denies allegations
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015)
Justin Bieber in concert with Soother Braun in Rosemont, Illinois (2015) Credit: Lou Stejskal / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Friday, a Twitter user by the name "Danielle" claimed she was "sexually assaulted by Justin Bieber" in Houston, Texas on March 9, 2014. She describes meeting Bieber during an event at a bar in Houston where she and her friends "took some pictures and chatted for about 20 minutes" with the singer who later invited them to the Four Seasons Hotel. In the hotel, she was separated from her friends, who were taken into another room by one of Bieber's friends. Bieber then allegedly kissed her and later "forced himself inside" her after she told him "to get off".

Bieber responded to the allegations on Twitter, stating that "this story is factually impossible" and that he "will be working with twitter and authorities to take legal action". He added that, even though he was at the mentioned event location, he didn't stay at the Four Seasons Hotel on March 9, posting receipts from his stay at an AirBnB and the Westin Hotel on the nights of March 9 and 10, 2014, where he said he had stayed with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and their friends.

The Twitter user "Danielle" (handle @danielleglvn) has since deleted both the tweet and her account.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Today's funeral of George Floyd to be live-streamed
George Floyd mural
George Floyd mural Credit: Lorie Shaull (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

George Floyd will be laid to rest in Houston, Texas today. The funeral and celebration of his life will be held at The Fountain of Praise Church at 11 AM CT. The service is limited to 500 people but will be live-streamed by major news networks such as ABC, CBS and MSNBC.

Mia K. Wright, co-paster of the church, told Don Lemon on Monday: "We celebrate a life that had its ups and downs as many lives do but also a life that was connected to God and one that all people around the world have now connected to because of the tragedy and the trauma by which he passed."

Health
Post-lockdown surge in bicycle purchases
Post-lockdown surge in bicycle purchases
Credit: unsplash.com/Dovile Ramoskaite

Bicycle stores are experiencing accelerated sales post-lockdown. Houston Urban Bicycle Gallery owner Eric Attayi says he had to hire new employees as demand for bikes has reached a new high. By May he has sold more bikes than in all of 2019. The bicycle shop Higher Ground Bike Company in Tallahassee reports sales have tripled, going from 30-40 sales a month to 130.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland businesses have also seen an increase in e-bike purchases, with many family-owned shops working overtime to meet customer demand.

Regional News • Americas • United States
Joe Biden to attend George Floyd's funeral
Joe Biden in Munich, 2019
Joe Biden in Munich, 2019 Credit: Kuhlmann/ MSC / CC BY 3.0 DE (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden is said to attend George Floyd's funeral next week, according to the family's lawyer Ben Crump. The funeral will be held in Houston, Texas on June 9. The White House didn't comment on whether Trump would attend the funeral as well.

Business • Economy
Dropbox quarterly revenue and profit beat market estimates
Dropbox Logo
Dropbox Logo Credit: Dropbox

With total revenue of $455.0 million and $39.3 million in net income, Dropbox quarterly results presented a profit for the first time since the company debuted on the Nasdaq, back in 2018.

“We had a strong first quarter as we rallied together to support our customers and our community during this unprecedented public health crisis,” said Dropbox Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Drew Houston. “We delivered healthy growth, record operating margins, and our first quarter of GAAP profitability. I’m incredibly proud of our team as we continue to build products that help facilitate distributed work at scale. We’ve built an enduring business and I remain confident in our future.”