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A SpaceX launch. Photo: Bill Ingalis/Nasa via Getty Images

Elon Musk's SpaceX won permission from the Federal Communications Commission to launch 7,000 Starlink internet satellites into space, creating a path for the company to build a network of nearly 12,000 satellites surrounding the Earth and providing internet access, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The satellites could provide next-generation internet access to developing countries and rural areas that have struggled with connectivity over the years.

Details: The company has an initial goal of launching 1,600 satellites in the next few years, but said it could take more than six years to complete the full network.

  • SpaceX isn't the only company the FCC approved launches for: Kepler, Telesat and Leosat also received approvals to launch satellites, triggering a race to build the strongest network.

Yes, but: Despite the benefits, some regulators have concerns about the accumulation of junk in space. There are nearly 13,000 objects currently classified as space debris. The FCC launched a review of orbital debris mitigation rules in an effort to "help to preserve the space environment."

What they're saying: FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said the launches serve the public interest "across many areas of our economy, including the automotive, aviation, rail, maritime and agriculture industries."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

9 mins ago - World

Palestinian Authority announces new COVID restrictions as cases surge

A nurse administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Photo: Hazem Bader/AFP via Getty Images

The Palestinian Authority on Saturday announced fresh coronavirus restrictions, including a partial lockdown, for the occupied West Bank as COVID-19 cases surge.

The big picture: The new measures come as Israel, which leads the world in vaccinations, faces increased pressure to ensure Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have equal access to vaccines.

52 mins ago - World

Myanmar military fires UN ambassador after anti-coup speech

Photo: Peerapon Boonyakiat/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Myanmar's military regime on Saturday fired the country's Ambassador to the United Nations, Kyaw Moe Tun, a day after he gave a pro-democracy speech asking UN member nations to publicly condemn the Feb. 1 coup, The New York Times reports.

Details: State television said the ambassador had "betrayed the country and spoken for an unofficial organization which doesn’t represent the country and had abused the power and responsibilities of an ambassador."

Scoop: Biden admin call on Putin pipeline provokes GOP anger

Putin chairs a video meeting in July 2020. Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images

A briefing between the State Department and congressional staff over Vladimir Putin's Russia-Germany gas pipeline got tense this week, with Biden officials deflecting questions about why they hadn't moved faster and more aggressively with sanctions to stop its completion.

  • The Biden officials also denied negotiating with the Germans over a potential side deal to allow the pipeline to be finished.