The Associated Press. The SpaceX Falcon 9 test rocket lifts off from complex 40 at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Friday.
Millionaire's rocket blasts off on 1st test flight
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. -- A multimillionaire's test rocket blasted off on its maiden voyage Friday and successfully reached orbit in a dry run for NASA's push to go commercial.
SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket achieved Earth orbit nine minutes into the flight as planned, drawing praise from NASA, the White House and others eager for the company to start resupplying the International Space Station.
''All in all, this has been a good day for SpaceX and a promising development for the U.S. space program, as we make progress toward expanding the human presence in space,'' launch commentator Robyn Ringuette announced from the company's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.
Obama sees progress on oil spill response
KENNER, La. -- On his third personal trek to the Gulf disaster, President Barack Obama said Friday he sees some progress in fighting the enormous oil spill but it's ''way too early to be optimistic'' about BP's latest control effort.
Aiming to demonstrate command and personal engagement on day 45 of the catastrophe, Obama criticized the British oil giant for spending money on advertising and paying dividends to shareholders in the midst of crisis.
''What I don't want to hear is when they're spending that kind of money on their shareholders that they're nickeling and diming'' local businesses and workers, Obama said.
Slain porn actor ID'd; studio offers arrest reward
LOS ANGELES -- A California coroner has released the name of the adult film actor who was killed in a sword attack at a Los Angeles porn production center.
Coroner spokesman Craig Harvey said Friday that 30-year-old Herbert Wong died of multiple sharp force injuries. Police suspect he was killed by fellow porn actor Stephen Hill, who is on the run after fleeing Tuesday from Ultima DVD's studio.
Hill is also suspected of injuring two other people after being told he was losing his job.
Crude oil and retail gasoline end week lower
Oil prices fell for the week and so did the cost of gasoline at the pump. Natural gas prices, beaten down for much of the year, gained almost 13 percent since Tuesday as investors pulled money out of oil.
Crude was on a zigzag course all week, dropping Friday after the government's jobs report showed companies remain reluctant to hire -- damping prospects that a rebounding economy means more oil and gasoline demand.
Calif. high school ends 'Beat the Jew' game
LOS ANGELES -- Seven seniors at a Southern California high school were facing disciplinary action for participating in a game called ''Beat the Jew'' in which losers were subjected to ''incineration'' or ''enslavement,'' a school administrator said Friday.
The game involved some students playing the role of Nazis who blindfolded and dropped off other students playing Jews who must find their way back to the campus, said Sherry Johnstone, assistant superintendent of personnel for Desert Sands Unified School District.
Testing urged after outbreak of hepatitis B
CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Nearly 2,000 people in five states and Washington, D.C., were urged to get hepatitis B tests after patients and volunteers at a free dental clinic in West Virginia contracted the blood-borne disease, public health officials said Friday.
Officials say the risk of widespread illness is low, but they are concerned that low-income people who can't afford medical care may not know they are sick and could pass the disease to others.
''The problem comes if there has been unrecognized transmission and someone is chronically infected,'' said Danae Bixler, with the West Virginia Bureau of Public Health. ''They need to know that.''
Man mauled after smoking pot can get workers' comp
HELENA, Mont. -- A Montana judge said it's not a worker's fault he got mauled by a grizzly bear at a tourist attraction, even if he smoked marijuana before trying to feed the animal.
Brock Hopkins acknowledged smoking pot before arriving to work at Great Bear Adventures on Nov. 2, 2007. When he entered the bear's pen, he was attacked and had to be hospitalized.
The owner of the attraction near Glacier National Park says Hopkins was a volunteer and that his use of marijuana caused the accident.