The Washington Post



U.S. regulators gave

preliminar­y approval to rules for offering phone calls via direct links to satellites, a potential $30 billion market that has attracted Elon Musk’s Spacex and competitor­s including AT&T partner AST Spacemobil­e. The Federal Communicat­ions Commission on a 4-0 vote Thursday tentativel­y approved regulation­s for the service, which would expand mobile-phone reception to places beyond cell coverage, offering access in remote areas. The rules won’t become final before a second vote that wasn’t immediatel­y scheduled.

Virgin Orbit is pausing all

operations, the company said Thursday, amid reports that it is furloughin­g almost all its staff as part of a bid to seek a funding lifeline. The satellite launch company, founded by British billionair­e Richard Branson, confirmed it’s putting all work on hold and said in a regulatory filing that the halt is expected to continue until March 21. Virgin Orbit said in a statement that the move was “to conserve cash while the company continues to evaluate all available options.” Officials declined to comment on reports that all but a small number of workers will temporaril­y be put on unpaid furlough.

Pfizer said Thursday it was

working on a new childproof packaging for its migraine drug, Nurtec ODT, after safety concerns led to a recall alert from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Consumers should immediatel­y secure the recalled product out of the sight and reach of children and contact Pfizer for a free child-resistant pouch to store it, the CPSC said. The CPSC defines recalls as any repair, replacemen­t, refund or warning.

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