Spacecraft for tourists explodes on test flight MOJAVE, Calif. (AP) - A winged spaceship designed to take tourists on excursions beyond Earth's atmosphere exploded during a test flight Friday over the Mojave Desert, killing a pilot in the second fiery setback for commercial space travel in less than a week. Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo blew apart after being released from a carrier aircraft at high altitude, according to Ken Brown, a photographer who witnessed the explosion.
Judge rejects attempt to isolate nurse FORT KENT, Maine (AP) - A Maine judge gave nurse Kaci Hickox the OK to go wherever she pleases, handing state officials a defeat Friday in the nation's biggest court case yet over how to balance personal liberty, public safety and fear of Ebola. Judge Charles C. LaVerdiere ruled that Hickox must continue daily monitoring of her health but said there is no need to isolate her or restrict her movements because she has no symptoms and is therefore not contagious.
Ashes from Ebola victim's apartment in limbo It took a crew 38 hours to clear out the Dallas apartment where Thomas Eric Duncan was staying before he was diagnosed Sept. 30 with Ebola. Hazmat suit-clad workers piled shoes, carpets, mattresses, bed sheets, clothes and kids' backpacks into 140 55-gallon drums. Only a few items were salvaged: a computer hard drive, legal documents, family photos, an old Bible belonging to Duncan's grandmother. The drums were packed, decontaminated and then carted away by Cleaning Guys environmental services employees. The contents were incinerated. But nearly a month later, the ashes sit in limbo at a facility in Port Arthur, Texas, according to Veolia North America, the company that owns the facility, as Louisiana officials fight to keep it out of a landfill there.
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Early votes exceed 15 million _ but who benefits? WASHINGTON (AP) - Early votes soared past 15 million across 31 states on Friday, an outpouring that is giving hopeful Republicans as well as nervous Democrats cause for optimism heading into the final weekend of a campaign with control of the Senate, the U.S. House and 36 governorships at stake. Republicans pointed to a strong early-vote performance in Iowa as evidence that Joni Ernst was a step ahead in her bid to capture a Senate seat for the GOP. "I feel real good about it," said Gov. Terry Branstad, campaigning with the party's Senate hopeful as he sought a new term for himself, as well.
Mexico police questioned in killing of 3 Americans MATAMOROS, Mexico (AP) - Authorities were investigating on Friday a possible police connection to the killing of three U.S. citizens visiting their father in Mexico who were found shot to death along with a Mexican friend more than two weeks after going missing. Parents of the three siblings, whose bodies were identified Thursday, have said witnesses reported they were seized by men dressed in police gear calling themselves "Hercules," a tactical security unit in the violent border city of Matamoros wracked by cartel infighting. Nine of the unit's 40 officers are being questioned, Tamaulipas state Attorney General Ismael Quintanilla Acosta said.
Analysis: In Syria, no good options for West UNDATED (AP) - With the U.S.-led assault on the Islamic State group, the world community is acting in Syria, but not in the Syrian civil war. When it comes to the issue that has undermined the region - the survival or fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad - there is still no plan. And that means the West's goal to defeat the militants of IS may also be doomed to fail.
AP EXCLUSIVE: Military sex survey draws complaints WASHINGTON (AP) - Shocked and offended by explicit questions, some U.S. servicemen and women are complaining about a new sexual-assault survey that hundreds of thousands have been asked to complete. The survey is conducted every two years. But this year's version, developed by the Rand Corp., is unusually detailed, including graphically personal questions on sexual acts.
2 arrested as people flock to Hawaii lava PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) - Two Hawaii residents have been arrested for trespassing to see lava, police said Friday amid growing interest from people eager to witness the slow-moving flow. Hawaii County police said officers saw a man and a woman on county property Thursday taking photos within 5 feet of the lava in the small town of Pahoa.
After murder suspect is caught, a sigh of relief MILFORD, Pa. (AP) - For 48 days, Eric Frein was everywhere and nowhere, supposedly sighted again and again, only to melt back into the woods in a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse. So on Friday, as state police paraded the gaunt and battered-looking former fugitive in front of a courthouse, residents were relieved to see him in the flesh.
Gas falling under $3 nationwide: What to know NEW YORK (AP) - The sight is so surprising that Americans are sharing photos of it, along with all those cute Halloween costumes, sweeping vistas and special meals: The gas station sign, with a price of $2-something a gallon. "It's stunning what's happening here," says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. "I'm a little bit shocked."