NASA astronauts begin urgent spacewalking repairs CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Astronauts ventured out Saturday on the first of a series of urgent repair spacewalks to revive a crippled cooling line at the International Space Station. The two Americans on the crew, Rick Mastracchio and Michael Hopkins, will need to perform two and, quite possibly, three spacewalks to replace an ammonia pump containing a bad valve.
Obama focuses on a tough year's ups, not its downs WASHINGTON (AP) - Has the fifth year of his presidency been its worst? President Barack Obama laughs off such questions even as he acknowledges many months of frustrating ups and down. "That's not how I think about it," Obama told reporters during his annual end-of-the year news conference.
Gay couples wed in Utah after judge overturns ban SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Elisa Noel rushed to the county clerk's office with her partner immediately after learning that a federal judge overturned Utah's ban on gay marriage. They waited in line for a wedding license and were married in an impromptu ceremony punctuated with Noel giving the officiant a high-five. "I can't believe this is Utah," Noel said moments after a ceremony that took place about 3 miles from the headquarters of the Mormon church.
US military aircraft hit in S. Sudan, 4 wounded KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) - Rebel gunfire hit a U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate American citizens caught in a remote region of South Sudan that on Saturday became a battle ground between the country's military and renegade troops, officials said. Four U.S. service members were wounded. The U.S. military aircraft were heading to Bor, the capital of the state of Jonglei and scene of some of the nation's worst violence over the last week. One American service member was reported to be in critical condition.
NASA astronauts begin urgent spacewalking repairs CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) - Astronauts have stepped out on the first of a series of urgent repair spacewalks at the International Space Station. The two Americans on the crew floated outside Saturday morning. They will disconnect an ammonia pump that contains a bad valve. The breakdown has crippled the space station's critical cooling system for the past 1 1/2 weeks.
California girl to be kept on life support OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - A 13-year-old California girl declared brain dead after complications from a tonsillectomy should be kept on life support for the time being, a judge has ruled. The family of Jahi McMath says doctors at Children's Hospital Oakland wanted to disconnect life support after Jahi was declared brain dead on Dec. 12.
US holiday travelers brace for foul, wet weather CHICAGO (AP) - Freezing rain. Snow. Thunderstorms. Even tornadoes. Much of the nation braced for foul weather on one of the busiest travel weekends of the year, as a wet winter storm created travel worries from Chicago and Detroit to Boston and New York. Forecasters were predicting everything from freezing rain and snow in the north to torrential rain in the Ohio Valley and Appalachia and possibly even tornadoes in the South.
Widow gets remains of soldier lost in Korean War LOS ANGELES (AP) - Army Sgt. 1st Class Joseph E. Gantt went off to war 63 years ago, leaving behind a wife who never gave up on his return. On Friday, 94-year-old Clara Gantt stood up from her wheelchair and wept in the cold before the flag-draped casket.
Memorials to mark Lockerbie attack anniversary LONDON (AP) - Senior British politicians and some of the families of those who died in the 1988 airliner bombing over Scotland will gather in London and Scotland for memorials marking the attack's 25th anniversary. Scottish leader Alex Salmond will lead a wreath-laying ceremony at Dryfesdale Cemetery in the town of Lockerbie, where Pan Am 103 exploded soon after takeoff from London on the evening of Dec. 21, 1988. The terror attack, the deadliest to have taken place in Britain, killed 270.