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National

    A load of space station supplies rocketed into orbit from Virginia on Saturday, the second shipment in two days. Northrop Grumman launched its Antares rocket from Wallops Island before dawn, delighting chilly early-bird observers along the Atlantic coast. The Russian Space Agency launched its own load of supplies to the International Space Station on Friday, just 15 hours earlier. The U.S. delivery will arrive at the orbiting lab Monday, a day after the Russian shipment. Among the 7,400 pounds (3,350 kilograms) of goods inside the Cygnus capsule: ice cream and fresh fruit for the three space station residents, and a 3D printer that recycles old plastic into new parts. Thanksgiving turkey dinners — rehydratable, of course — are already aboard the 250-mile-high outpost. The space station is currently home to an American, German and Russian. There's another big event coming up, up there: The space station marks its 20th year in orbit on Tuesday. The first section launched on Nov. 20, 1998, from Kazakhstan. This Cygnus, or Swan, is named the S.S. John Young to honor the legendary astronaut who walked on the moon and commanded the first space shuttle flight. He died in January. It is the first commercial cargo ship to bear Northrop Grumman's name. Northrop Grumman acquired Orbital ATK in June. SpaceX is NASA's other commercial shipper for the space station. Experiments also are going up to observe how cement solidifies in weightlessness, among other things. There's also medical, spacesuit and other equipment to replace items that never made it to orbit last month because of a Russian rocket failure; the two men who were riding the rocket survived their emergency landing. Three other astronauts are set to launch from Kazakhstan on Dec. 3.
  • President Donald Trump heads to Northern California on Saturday to see firsthand the grief and devastation from the deadliest U.S. wildfire in a century, as confusion continued over how many people remain unaccounted for. Authorities confirmed a new death toll of 71 and say they are trying to locate 1,011 people even as they stressed that not all are believed missing. California's outgoing and incoming governors, both Democrats and vocal critics of Trump, planned to join the president Saturday. Gov. Jerry Brown and Gov.-elect Gavin Newsom welcomed Trump's visit, declaring it's time 'to pull together for the people of California.' The blaze that started Nov. 8 all but razed the town of Paradise, population 27,000, and heavily damaged the outlying communities of Magalia and Concow. It destroyed more than 9,800 homes and at its height displaced 52,000 people. Details of Trump's itinerary had not been released late Friday. This patch of California, a former Gold Rush region in the Sierra Nevada foothills, is to some extent Trump country, with Trump beating Hillary Clinton in Butte County by 4 percentage points in 2016. But Trump has stirred resentment among survivors over comments he made two days after the disaster on Twitter, then reiterated on the eve of his visit. In an interview taped Friday and scheduled for broadcast on 'Fox News Sunday,' Trump said he was surprised to see images of firefighters removing dried brush near a fire, adding, 'This should have been all raked out.' Asked if he thought climate change contributed to the fires, he said: 'Maybe it contributes a little bit. The big problem we have is management.' Those comments echoed his initial reaction to the fires Nov. 10 when he blamed the wildfires on poor forest management and threatened then to withhold federal payments. Trump subsequently approved a federal disaster declaration. 'If you insult people, then you go visit them, how do you think you're going to be accepted? You're not going to have a parade,' Maggie Crowder of Magalia said this week outside an informal shelter at a Walmart store in Chico. But Stacy Lazzarino, who voted for Trump, said it would be good for the president to see the devastation up close: 'I think by maybe seeing it he's going to be like 'Oh, my goodness,' and it might start opening people's eyes.' Firefighters returning to a command center in the neighboring city of Chico after a 24-hour shift Friday were reluctant to weigh in on Trump's visit, but some shared their thoughts. Nick Shawkey, a CalFire captain from rural Northern California, said Trump's visit was the mark of a good leader. But to imply the state was to blame for mismanaging the forests was based on a misunderstanding because much of the forest land in California is controlled by the U.S. Forest Service, he said. 'The thing he's tweeting about is his property,' Shawkey said. Paul Briones, a firefighter from Bakersfield, predicted Trump's visit would be a huge boost to the community, showing 'that this on a national level is a priority.' More than 5,500 fire personnel were battling the blaze that covered 228 square miles (590 square kilometers) and was 50 percent contained officials said. Firefighters were racing against time with a red flag warning issued for Saturday night into Sunday, including winds up to 50 mph and low humidity. Rain was forecast for mid-week, which could help firefighters but also complicate the challenging search for remains. 'It's a disheartening situation,' Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea told a news conference Friday. 'As much as I wish we could get through this before the rains come, I don't know if that's possible.' The number of people unaccounted for grew to more than 1,000 on Friday. But Honea acknowledged the list was 'dynamic' and could easily contain duplicate names and unreliable spellings of names. The roster probably includes some who fled the blaze and do not realize they've been reported missing, he said. 'We are still receiving calls. We're still reviewing emails,' Honea said. 'This is a massive undertaking. We have hundreds and hundreds of people working on this.' Families searching for loved ones have scoured shelters and social media and say they understand the chaos of the situation, But the wait for information is agonizing. For one family, good news arrived by telephone. Monica Whipple said Friday she was boarding a plane back to North Carolina from Northern California when she got a call two days ago that her mother, Donna Price, had been found alive. Price had been presumed missing but was tracked down at a shelter. 'It was so crazy, I started crying in front of everybody,' Whipple said. 'She's doing OK.' For too many others, the wait to learn a loved one's fate has ended with bad news. Sol Bechtold searched for his 75-year-old mother, Caddy, posting flyers of her on bulletin boards and searching for her in shelters. On Thursday, Bechtold went to the Butte County Sheriff to provide DNA samples. As he was driving back to his home in Pleasanton, California, he got a call from an officer with the coroner's unit of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and was told his mother's remains were found in her home in the community of Magalia. The home had burned down to its concrete foundation. 'It's hard to realize your mother is gone,' Bechtold said. Family members remembered her personality, her wonderful heart and great smile, he said. She raised four children. 'It's been a pretty emotional 24 hours. Lots of tears,' he said. ___ Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Chico and Jocelyn Gecker, Janie Har and Olga Rodriguez in San Francisco contributed to this report.
  • A New Mexico woman who was brought back to life is suing the hospital for violating her rights. The Albuquerque Journal reports lawyers for Jamie Sams filed a lawsuit this week in New Mexico state district court against Santa Fe's Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center. The lawsuit filed on behalf Sams, a writer known for books on spirituality, says the hospital and a doctor who was treating her are to blame for her going into cardiac arrest. The lawsuit says Sams was given a painkiller even after she told staff she was allergic to it. Court documents say the negligence was compounded when hospital personnel resuscitated her — something she did not want. Christus spokesman Arturo Delgado declined to comment. Sams is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. ___ Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
  • Seven hundred women a year die during childbirth in the United States, and about half of those deaths are considered preventable. >> Read more trending news Uncontrollable bleeding is the most common problem. Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies in Orlando, Florida, is now using artificial intelligence to monitor blood loss in real time. A robot simulates what it is like for a mother to experience a postpartum hemorrhage. Like thousands of new moms a year, Allison de Villiers almost died. 'After the C-section, I woke up in recovery, and things kind of went downhill after that,' she said. De Villiers said she lost 3 liters of blood, and her obstetrician told her family she might not make it. 'I don't think they realized I had lost so much blood,' she said. For years, the measurement has been a visual judgment call, as in de Villiers' case. 'It involved weighing and doing math and coming up with this number often while they're trying to do a lot of other things,' said Lorraine Parker, of Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. Hospital staff now use a system called Triton, which uses an iPad to do the work for them. 'This product takes the guessing out of it,' Parker said. The hospital's version scans the towel, instantly telling the doctor how much blood it soaked up. 'We're using artificial intelligence computer vision, very similar to facial recognition technology,' said Jack Kropilak, of Gauss Surgical, the company that produces Triton. To measure the amount of blood suctioned from the body, they use a canister, which shows the volume of liquid taken out. They then use an iPad to take a picture of white squares, and the technology can tell how much is blood and how much is other fluid by looking at how dark red the square is. By knowing the exact numbers, obstetricians may now respond in the best way possible -- putting more babies back in their mothers' arms, where they belong. 'It's a risk in any deliveries,' Parker said. 'Some may say, how do you know which moms are going to bleed? You don't.' The hospital, which delivers about 14,000 babies each year, said it has been using the technology for about three weeks and has already noticed a difference. It said it will also use the technology during some surgeries.
  • A man accused of breaking into a home with three children inside and assaulting a woman was arrested late Thursday by police in Sharon, Massachusetts. >> Read more trending news Police said they received 911 calls about a man with a knife who had broken into the house on Billings Street around 11:25 Thursday night and assaulted someone. Some of the children made the calls, police said. An officer responded to the house and found the suspect, Ricardo Francis, 'enraged' in an upstairs bedroom and subdued him at gunpoint, according to a news release. The children were locked inside a closet with their father while Francis stabbed the door with a knife, police said. Investigators say he smashed a picture frame over the mother's head and chased her three children upstairs, armed with a knife.  Police said the woman was assaulted and sustained injuries that were not life-threatening. The children were not harmed. Police said the suspect's only connection to the house was that he crashed into a vehicle that was at the end of the house's driveway. Court psychiatrists told the judge Francis claims he has no memory of the alleged attack. Francis, of Hyde Park, is being charged with armed home invasion and multiple felonies, and is being held at Bridgewater State without bail while he undergoes a mental health evaluation. 
  • It was a very special day for dozens of Massachusetts families as 136 children in foster care got their forever homes. >> Read more trending news Three-year-old Josiah was one of 26 children with finalized adoptions in Boston as a part of National Adoption Day.  'Today we are adopting Josiah! After six months, he was going to move. And I looked at him, and I said.... I can't do that to him,' said Josiah's mother, MaryAnne Cullinane. Josiah is Cullinane and Michael Locust's eighth child, though most of theirs are adults now. Josiah came to them as a foster placement when he was just 4 days old.  His dad, a Boston firefighter and military, veteran was brought to tears Friday. 'Don't cry, daddy. I love you,' Josiah told his dad. 'Alright,' Locust said. 'I'll be tough.' In Massachusetts, 1,150 children are still waiting for their forever families. Massachusetts Department of Children & Families says they hope to increase the number of adoptions next year to 900 in the state. If you are thinking about adopting and want more information, click here. 
  • The man who raped a high school student who later died from a drug overdose was sentenced to less than three years in prison. >> Read more trending news Superior Court Judge Linda Krese said that Brian Varela could not be sentenced to more than two years and 10 months because it was the most prison time permitted for someone with no prior criminal record, The Daily Herald reported. Varela had pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter, third-degree rape and unlawful disposal of remains as part of a plea deal in the February death of 18-year-old Alyssa Noceda. Krese said she was 'surprised, even outraged,' by the inadequacy of the sentence and suggested that state lawmakers may not have realized the impact of their decision when they set prison sentences for the charges. 'I'm not sure the Legislature really contemplated something like this,' Krese said. In February, Noceda was at a party in Martha Lake, Washington, when she snorted crushed pills and consumed a dab of concentrated THC, Varela told police. She then passed out. Varela did nothing to help. Police said that, instead, he took lewd photos of her. Then, Varela allegedly sent a group text to his co-workers with photos that showed an unconscious woman. According to police statements, the message with the photos said, 'LOL I think she od’d, still breathing.” According to court papers, Varela was 'too tired' to take her to the emergency room and went to bed. The next morning, Varela used Noceda's finger to gain access to her phone via its fingerprint scanner and created a post on her Snapchat account. The post gave the impression that she had run away from home, which she had a history of doing, according to court documents. Then he showed his roommate Noceda's body. Rather than calling police, Varela went to work at his job at Mukilteo Dairy Queen. He then tossed Noceda's phone into a wooded area behind the store. While at work, he bragged about the woman dying while they were having sex, court papers say. His co-workers encouraged him to take the woman to a hospital, but he didn't.  When Varela got home that night, according to his roommate's statement, he forced Noceda's body into a plastic container. Varela admitted to police that he had planned to bury the body. After seeing information on social media about Noceda being missing, Varela's assistant manager reported the incident to police. The Associated Press contributed to this report.  
  • Operations at the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico resumed Friday as managers acknowledged there was radioactive waste in the area where a portion of the underground facility's ceiling collapsed earlier this week. The acknowledgement came a day after the U.S. Energy Department announced there had been a rock fall at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The agency's office in Carlsbad initially said there was no waste in the area, but watchdogs voiced concerns. The radioactive waste included two canisters that were encapsulated in holes bored into the salt formation that makes up the walls and ceilings of the repository and its underground disposal rooms. There also were pieces of equipment in the room where the collapse happened that were contaminated by a 2014 radiation release. Watchdogs pointed to agency documents and testimony during a recent hearing, saying officials knew what was in the room. 'For them to say there's no waste, that's just worse than false,' said Don Hancock with the Southwest Research and Information Center, an Albuquerque-based watchdog group. 'Documents available to the public show 320,000 pounds of contaminated equipment in the room. That is waste. They know that.' Hancock said the equipment contains fuel and other fluids that have never been drained, since crews have been kept out of the area for more than two years due to safety concerns. Wednesday's collapse prompted an evacuation. Workers heard a loud thud while doing inspections underground, so they left the area and all work was stopped. Repository spokesman Bobby St. John said air monitors underground did not register any radiological release after the rock fall. Officials also said no one was injured. Work was allowed to resume Friday following an inspection of the underground area, St. John said. The repository was carved out of an ancient salt formation about a half-mile below the desert, with the idea that the shifting salt would eventually entomb the radioactive tools, clothing, gloves and other debris that make up the waste. Rock falls are not uncommon in areas where crews have been unable to perform regular maintenance to shore up the walls and ceilings of the salt caverns. Officials said the repository's geotechnical engineers had been monitoring for more than a year the ground movement in the room where the collapse happened this week. They said a rock fall was anticipated. Access in the underground disposal area has been limited in the wake of the 2014 radiation release, which was caused by an inappropriately packed drum of waste that had come from Los Alamos National Laboratory. That release contaminated part of the area, forcing the closure of the repository for nearly three years and resulting in a costly recovery.
  • A baby born earlier this week will have quite a story to tell of how he came into the world, in a place you may least expect.  >> Read more trending news Wyatt Dale was born in the toilet of a public restroom at Sea-Tac International Airport. His parents, Heather and Billy Gibbs, were about to board a flight on Tuesday night to head home to Kentucky. That’s when Heather Gibbs said she started feeling intense cramps and thought maybe she could be going into labor. She went to sit on the toilet and then things started to happen that were beyond her control. “I hadn’t felt anything all day and all of sudden, out of nowhere, he came,” said Heather Gibbs. By her side were firefighters from the Port of Seattle, including Steven Barberie. “I heard a splash in the bathroom followed by some frantic shouting of, “Someone grab my baby,” said Barberie. The baby’s father, Billy Gibbs, was waiting outside and couldn’t believe what he was seeing and hearing. “I looked inside and I saw the firefighter EMT pulling him out of the toilet and I was in utter shock,” said Billy Gibbs. The baby made it to the hospital and his parents said he is doing well in the neonatal intensive care unit of Valley Medical Center, despite coming into the world 11 weeks early. The mother is also doing fine. The family has named the little boy Wyatt Dale. “My doctor said it was divine intervention, because within minutes we would have been on a plane in the air, coming right back down,” said Heather Gibbs.
  • A man in Yarmouth, Massachusetts, is in serious condition after he lost part of his leg in a wood chipper accident Friday morning. >> Read more trending news Emergency crews responded to a call just before 10 a.m. for a man trapped and seriously injured in a wood chipper on Highbank Road in South Yarmouth. At the scene, police and firefighters found a young man suffering from life-threatening injuries after losing a portion of his leg. His fellow landscaping company employees had been treating him at the scene, but he was bleeding profusely.  A tourniquet was applied and the man was rushed to Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis where he is being treated for his injuries. A Med Flight was requested but was unable to fly due to the weather. Yarmouth police are actively investigating the incident.  There is no update on his current condition.