Private company to launch capsule

Private company to launch capsule


A private company is on the verge of launching another cargo ship to the International Space Station.

Tonight, California-based SpaceX will attempt to send a Dragon capsule to the orbiting lab and its three-member crew.

Liftoff of the company’s unmanned Falcon rocket is scheduled for 8:35 p.m. Forecasters put the odds of acceptable weather at 60 percent. Thick clouds and rain are the main concerns.

A Dragon cargo ship successfully docked to the space station last May, but that was considered a test flight.

Protesters march against US drones

MIANWALI, Pakistan

Led by cricket-star-turned-politician Imran Khan, a caravan of demonstrators including more than 30 American anti-war activists embarked on a two-day journey Saturday to Pakistan’s tribal areas to rally against U.S. drone missile strikes in the region.

The caravan had more than 100 vans and cars when it left Islamabad, the capital, and steadily grew in size as it made its way across western Punjab province toward South Waziristan, where demonstrators hoped to stage a rally today.

But, citing safety concerns, the Pakistani government said the caravan would be barred from entering South Waziristan.

Ark. GOP blast candidates’ writings


Arkansas Republicans tried to distance themselves Saturday from a Republican state representative’s assertion that slavery was a “blessing in disguise” and a Republican state House candidate who advocates deporting all Muslims.

The claims were made in books written, respectively, by Rep. Jon Hubbard of Jonesboro and House candidate Charlie Fuqua of Batesville. Those books received attention on Internet news sites Friday.

On Saturday, state GOP Chairman Doyle Webb called the books “highly offensive.” And U.S. Rep. Rick Crawford, a Republican who represents northeast Arkansas, called the writings “divisive and racially inflammatory.”

Calif.’s high gas prices taking a toll


With California’s gas prices at an all-time high and close to $1 above the national average, reports surfaced Saturday of service-station owners who stopped selling fuel, while economists pondered whether the price jump would affect consumers’ holiday shopping plans.

The state’s average was now $4.63 a gallon, according to the website Gas- That is an all-time high — and threatens to push even higher toward $5, due to troubles at key refineries in the state. The national average now is $3.80 a gallon.

The Los Angeles Times reported that gas pumps at some Costco Wholesale Corp. stores were shut down rather than pay high prices for wholesale fuel. Prices were beginning to come down in some spots, but it wasn’t clear whether that trend would continue.

Combined dispatches

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