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Rutgers webcam spy reports to jail

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) -- The former Rutgers University student convicted of using a webcam to spy on his gay roommate reported to jail Thursday as the victim's parents rejected his written apology as a "public relations piece."

Dharun Ravi, 20, checked into the county jail after agreeing to give up his right to remain free while prosecutors appeal his 30-day sentence.

His roommate, Tyler Clementi, committed suicide in September 2010 by jumping off New York's George Washington Bridge, just days after Ravi used a webcam to see him kissing another man.

Ravi declined to speak at his sentencing last week. Judge Glenn Berman scolded him for never apologizing. This week, Ravi issued a statement describing his actions as "thoughtless, insensitive, immature, stupid and childish."

Joseph and Jane Clementi rejected the apology as "a public relations piece produced by Mr. Ravi's advisers only after Judge Berman scolded Mr. Ravi in open court for his failure to have expressed a word of remorse or apology."



NASA predicts galactic collision

WASHINGTON (AP) -- NASA has calculated that the Milky Way will crash into a neighboring galaxy with a direct head-on hit -- in 4 billion years.

Astronomers at a NASA news conference Thursday said that years of observations from the Hubble Space Telescope provide grisly details of a long-anticipated galactic smashup. Astronomers had seen the Andromeda galaxy coming at us, but thought there was a chance that its sideways motion would make it miss or graze the Milky Way. Hubble readings now indicate that's not the case.

Scientists say the sun and Earth are unlikely to be hit by stars or planets from Andromeda because of the vast emptiness of the two galaxies. So Earth should easily survive what will be a 1.2 million-mile-per-hour galactic merger. Even at that speed, the event would take about 2 billion years.

Once it's over, our solar system would be in a different place in the cosmos. The collision would dramatically change the view of the nighttime sky from Earth with Andromeda dominating, the astronomers said.



Bill to ban abortions based on gender fails

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House on Thursday fell short in an effort to ban abortions based on the sex of the fetus.

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., would have made it a federal crime, subject to up to five years in prison, to perform or force a woman to undergo a sex-based abortion, a practice most common in some Asian countries where families wanting sons abort female fetuses.

The bill had little chance of becoming law. The Democratic-controlled Senate would likely have ignored it, and the House brought it up under a procedure requiring a two-thirds majority for passage. The vote was 246-168 -- 30 votes short of that majority. Twenty Democrats voted for it, while seven Republicans opposed it.

The White House, most Democrats, abortion rights groups and some Asian-American organizations opposed the bill, saying it could lead to racial profiling of Asian-American women and subject doctors who do not report suspected sex-selection abortions to criminal charges.



Private space capsule has splash landing

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) -- The SpaceX Dragon capsule parachuted into the Pacific on Thursday, concluding the first private delivery to the International Space Station and inaugurating NASA's new approach to exploration.

"Welcome home, baby," said SpaceX's chief, Elon Musk, from his company's headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif.

The unmanned supply ship scored a bull's-eye with its arrival, splashing down into the ocean about 500 miles off Mexico's Baja California peninsula. Recovery ships moved in to pull the capsule aboard a barge for towing to Los Angeles.

It was the first time since the space shuttles stopped flying last summer that NASA got back a big load from the space station, in this case half a ton of experiments and equipment.

The return of the world's first commercial cargo carrier capped a nine-day test flight that was virtually flawless, from the May 22 launch to the space station docking three days later to the splashdown.