This week: visa fraud charges dropped, mandatory vaccinations and a Jupiter mission
In depth: Universities and businesses in small cities and rural areas in the United States will get federal grants and awards to work together in innovation consortia if a draft bipartisan law wins wider support.
Also this week from Research Professional News
Global science leaders pressure China to back Covid origins study—Senior EU politician and US, Australian and Japanese advisers say China must uphold scientific integrity
Here is the rest of the US news this week…
Government drops Chinese visa fraud cases
The Department of Justice has dropped its cases against five Chinese researchers it had accused of not disclosing military ties on visa applications, the Reuters news agency has reported. All five researchers had pleaded not guilty. Reuters quoted a department spokesperson as saying that “recent developments” in the cases had led it to “re-evaluate” the prosecutions, without providing further details. A draft FBI analysis had questioned how useful the investigations were, Reuters said.
University can mandate vaccination for now, court rules
Indiana University can require students to get vaccinated against Covid-19 pending the resolution of a court case challenging the policy, a federal judge has ruled, in a decision that could have impacts for hundreds of other institutions in the United States. The legal challenge was brought by eight students, who cited their rights to personal autonomy and to reject medical treatment. The students are appealing against the decision.
Nasa awards contract for Jupiter moon mission
The company SpaceX is to provide the rocket for a planned Nasa mission to Jupiter’s Europa moon. The agency will pay about $178 million for the ride on one of the company’s Falcon Heavy rockets, set for October 2024. Its Europa Clipper craft will examine the moon’s icy surface to determine the depth and salinity of its oceans and search for signs of geological activity and subsurface lakes.