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Boeing crew capsule launches to space station on test redo

Boeing's crew capsule has blasted off on a repeat test flight to the International Space Station. Only a test dummy was on board for Thursday’s launch from Cape Canaveral. It's Boeing’s third shot at the flight demo. Two previous attempts were marred by software flaws and stuck valves. If the capsule reaches the space station Friday and everything else goes well, NASA test pilots could strap in by the end of this year for the company’s first astronaut flight. Boeing is trying to catch up with SpaceX, which has been flying NASA crews for two years.

Ex-deputy gets 18 years after detainees drown in locked van

A deputy in South Carolina whose police van was swept away by floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, drowning two women seeking mental health treatment trapped in a cage in the back has been sentenced to 18 years in prison. A Marion County jury found former Horry County deputy Stephen Flood guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of reckless homicide. Forty-five-year-old Wendy Newton and 43-year-old Nicolette Green had been involuntarily committed for mental help, but weren't dangerous. Prosecutors say Flood was reckless by driving the van into floodwaters in September 2018 with the helpless women in the back. The van was pinned against a guardrail where Flood and a second deputy could not get them out.

Oklahoma passes strictest abortion ban; services to stop

Abortion providers in Oklahoma say they will no longer provide the service in the state after the governor signs the latest anti-abortion measure heading to his desk. The bill passed Thursday is part of an aggressive push in Republican-led states across the country to scale back abortion rights. The bill would prohibit all abortions, except to save the life of a pregnant woman or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement. It now heads to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who is expected to sign it.

CDC urges Pfizer booster for children ages 5 to 11

U.S. health advisers are urging a booster dose of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quickly signed off on the advice. The decision opens a third COVID-19 shot to healthy elementary-age kids, just like what is already recommended for everybody 12 and older. Regulators this week authorized the extra dose to be given at least five months after youngsters' last shot. CDC's advisers endorsed it during a public meeting on Thursday.

Filing: Chicago 'two-faced' on acknowledging police abuse

Community leaders say the city of Chicago pursues a “two-faced” strategy of acknowledging an ugly history of police brutality in public while directing its lawyers to deny that legacy in court when victims sue. That allegation came in a filing in Chicago’s U.S. District Court on behalf of nearly 50 civic, business and religious leaders. They say the city's approach delays just payouts and costs the city tens of millions in legal fees that could otherwise go to social programs or reducing taxes. The filing is in a lawsuit by James Gibson, who was freed after 29 years when courts agreed officers under then-police commander Jon Burge tortured him into implicating himself in the 1989 slayings of two men. Gibson was later granted a certificate of innocence.

Live updates |Congress approves $40B aid package to Ukraine

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has thanked the United States for the $40 billion aid package, which got final congressional approval. He also thanked the European Union for its support in his nightly video address to the nation. Zelenskyy says Ukraine’s monthly budget deficit is $5 billion. To survive in the war for freedom, he says Ukraine needs quick and sufficient financial support. The U.S. has announced a shipment of $100 million in military equipment to Ukraine, separate from what will be coming from the $40 billion approved by Congress.

Grief, anger from relatives of Buffalo supermarket shooting

Relatives of people shot to death in a Buffalo supermarket tearfully poured out their grief and made anguished pleas for action against racist violence. The pleas on Thursday came hours after the man accused of killing 10 Black people appeared silently in court to face a murder charge. The son of 62-year-old Geraldine Talley said at a news conference with the Rev. Al Sharpton that shootings like the one Saturday happen too often. The accused killer, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, appeared briefly in court. Prosecutors say a first-degree murder indictment was handed up Wednesday.