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US Launches Spy Satellite From California

A spy satellite for the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office has been launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. A United Launch Alliance Atlas 5 rocket carrying the classified NROL-42 satellite lifted off at 10:49 p.m. PDT Saturday. All systems were going well when the launch webcast concluded about three minutes into the flight. National Reconnaissance Office satellites gather intelligence information for U.S. national security and an array of other purposes including assessing impacts of natural disasters. U.S. officials have not revealed what the spacecraft will be doing or what its orbit will be. United Launch Alliance is a joint venture of Lockheed Martin and Boeing.

Uber Signals It’s Willing to Make Concessions to London

U.S. ride-hailing firm Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London authorities not to renew its license in the city, which represents a potentially big blow for the fast-growing company, a newspaper reported. The Sunday Times also quoted sources close to London’s transport body as saying the move was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks. “While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do,” Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London, told the newspaper. “But that requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have recently.” A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) declined to comment. The Sunday Times said Uber’s concessions were likely to involve passenger safety and benefits for its drivers, possible limits on working hours to improve road safety and holiday pay. TfL stunned the powerful U.S. start-up Friday when it deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service for safety reasons and stripped it of its license from Sept. 30, although the company can continue to operate while it appeals. The regulator cited failures to report serious criminal offenses, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues. Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had “caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.” The move echoed Uber’s strategy in disputes with other cities. By 2200 GMT Saturday, more than 600,000 people had signed although it was not clear how many of them were in London. A spokesman for Uber said around 20,000 Uber drivers had emailed the city’s mayor directly to object to the decision.

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