NASA deciding whether to order shuttle repairs
n HOUSTON - Astronauts aboard the shuttle Endeavour on Thursday were studying how to fix a gouge in the ship's belly in case NASA ordered a spacewalk to make the repairs.
As the astronauts reviewed the instructions, NASA managers double-checked data that has suggested an in-flight repair would not be necessary.
The space agency has spent nearly a week agonizing over the 31⁄2-inch-long, 2-inch-wide gouge that resulted from a debris strike at liftoff. NASA wanted to run one final test before making a decision.
Bush twin Jenna engaged to wed
n CRAWFORD, Texas - Is a White House wedding in the works?
Jenna Bush, one of President Bush's twin daughters, is engaged to be married to her longtime boyfriend, Henry Hager, the White House announced Thursday.
Asked if the two were getting married in the Rose Garden, Sally McDonough, press secretary for first lady Laura Bush, replied: 'They have not set any details, date or place.'
Jenna Bush, 25, and Hager, 29, were engaged Wednesday in Maine, she said.
Remains found in 2 vehicles at site of bridge collapse
n MINNEAPOLIS - Search crews overnight pulled out the 10th and 11th bodies from the wreckage of the interstate bridge collapse, officials said Thursday, and loved ones of two of the four people still missing said their sad wait had ended.
The remains weren't immediately identified by officials, but family members and friends of Vera Peck and Christina Sacorafas said their bodies were found.
The first remains were found in a vehicle recovered about 8:20 p.m. Wednesday, with the second set of remains found about 3:30 a.m. Thursday, the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.
Padilla convicted of aiding extremists
n MIAMI - Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen held for 31⁄2 years as an enemy combatant, was convicted Thursday of helping Islamic extremists and plotting overseas attacks in a case that came to symbolize the Bush administration's zeal to clamp down on terrorism.
But it was hardly a complete victory for the government. When Padilla was arrested in the months following the 2001 terrorist attacks, authorities touted him as a key al-Qaida operative who planned to detonate a radioactive 'dirty bomb' in a U.S. city. That allegation never made it to court.
Erin brings more rain to flood-weary Texas; Hurricane Dean gains strength
n HOUSTON - Tropical Storm Erin's remnants soaked a rain-weary state Thursday, inundating intersections and shutting down freeway ramps ahead of rush hour and killing at least one person as the thunderstorms moved into soggy central Texas.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Dean strengthened to a Category 2 storm as it moved closer to islands in the eastern Caribbean, the National Hurricane Center said. Hurricane warnings were issued for some islands, and a tropical storm watch was issued for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
At 5 p.m., the Atlantic season's first hurricane had top sustained winds of 100 mph, up from 90 mph earlier in the day. Dean's center should be near the Lesser Antilles early Friday, forecasters said.
91-year-old man ordered deported for lying about helping Nazis
n BOSTON - An immigration judge has ordered the deportation of a 91-year-old retired factory worker because he lied about his part in the Nazi destruction of Warsaw's Jewish ghetto in 1943, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Immigration Judge Wayne R. Iskra ordered Vladas Zajanckauskas sent to his native Lithuania, according to a news release from Alice S. Fisher, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's criminal division.
Army suicide rate in 2006 hits 26-year high
n WASHINGTON - Ninety-nine U.S. soldiers killed themselves last year, the highest rate of suicide in the Army in 26 years of record-keeping.
Nearly a third of the soldiers who committed suicide did so while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan, according to a report released Thursday. Iraq accounted for most of those - with 27 of the suicides coming from that conflict and three from Afghanistan. Also, there were 948 attempted suicides, officials said, adding that they didn't have a comparison for previous years.