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The US will spend $6.8 billion hiring Boeing and SpaceX to build new spacecraft

The BriefYour world right now

September 16th, 2014 | 4:05 PM

Boeing and SpaceX will each build spacecraft for the US government. US space agency NASA will spend $6.4 billion on two contracts to replace the space shuttle and ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. US aerospace giant Boeing will earn $4.2 billion and entrepreneur Elon Musk’s SpaceX will be paid $2.6 billion to develop their respective spacecraft. The former company is considered “the least risky option” (paywall), but upstart SpaceX’s system is cheaper and doesn’t rely on imported Russian parts.

September 16th, 2014 | 3:17 PM

François Hollande’s government just about survives. The French president’s new cabinet narrowly won a confidence vote in parliament, 269 to 244. But with abstentions and no-shows putting the result 20 votes short of an absolute majority (paywall), Hollande now lacks support for his planned pro-business policies.

September 16th, 2014 | 10:28 AM

Ukraine gives its rebels a longer leash. The country’s parliament has given the separatist-controlled Donetsk and Luhansk regions “special status,” with temporary self-rule for three years, and granted amnesty to some of the rebels. Ukraine also ratified a trade agreement (the same one that sparked the crisis in the region last year) that deepened its ties with the the European Union.

September 16th, 2014 | 9:55 AM

Ebola merits more US troops than ISIL. US president Barack Obama ordered 3,000 troops to West Africa in an effort to contain the outbreak. The US plan also includes building 17 new healthcare facilities with 100 beds in each, training up to 500 workers a week, and opening a joint command operation in Liberia’s capital to coordinate international efforts. China is also sending more medics to Sierra Leone to help with lab testing.

September 16th, 2014 | 6:01 PM
Chart of the Moment

London’s real estate prices just keep going up.

September 16th, 2014 | 8:42 AM

Russia’s biggest email provider buys its biggest social network. Mail.ru, Russia’s most popular provider of web-based email, said this morning that it had bought the 48% of VKontakte that it did not already own. The Mail.ru group already owns Russia’s second-most popular social network, Odnoklassniki. It is also looking to expand outside Russia, particularly in the US.

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