PARIS (Reuters) - The European Space Agency signed final contracts with Thales Alenia Space Italy for work on a pair of missions to assess if the planet Mars has or ever had life, officials said at the Paris Airshow this week.
Vince Flynn, bestselling author of the Mitch Rapp political thriller series of novels, died today after a long battle with prostate cancer, his rep ICM Partners said. He was 47. Flynn’s memorable Rapp character, an undercover CIA counter-terrorism agent, was the focus of 14 books including American Assassin, Kill Shot, Transfer Of Power, The Third Option, Separation Of Power, Executive Power, Memorial Day, Consent To Kill, Act Of Treason, Extreme Measures, Pursuit Of Honor and The Last Man. CBS Films optioned feature film rights to the Rapp character with the intention of making a character-based, action thriller movie franchise. Beginning with his first book, the New York Times bestselling Term Limits in 1997, Flynn’s novels have been praised for their extensive research and prescient warnings about the rise of Islamic Radical Fundamentalism and terrorism. His books have been read by current and former presidents, foreign heads of state, and intelligence professionals around the world.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Parliament's Environment Committee backed a sweeping ban on the use in fridges and air conditioners of fluorinated gases - greenhouse gases that are many thousands of times more damaging than carbon dioxide.
The world’s top smartphone vendor by sales volume is also the top vendor in China, the biggest smartphone market on the planet. Recently published data from market research firm IDC suggests that Samsung accounted for 19% of all smartphones shipped in China during the first quarter this year. Meanwhile, Apple’s smartphone market share of 9% was good for the No.5 spot in the country, though it managed impressive growth as shipments of the company’s iPhone 4 grew 211% year-over-year. The data aligns with an earlier report from rival firm Strategy Analytics. Overall, IDC says Q1 smartphone shipments in China reached 78 million units, up 117% from the same quarter in 2012.
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