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CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Christmas has finally arrived for the six space station astronauts.

A privately launched supply ship arrived at the International Space Station on Sunday morning, three days after blasting off from Virginia. The space station crew used a hefty robot arm to capture the Cygnus capsule.

The Cygnus is carrying 3,000 pounds of equipment and experiments, including ants for an educational project. Also on board: eagerly awaited Christmas presents for all six spacemen.

Orbital Sciences Corp. was supposed to make the delivery last month, well before Christmas. But the Virginia company had to wait a month. A space station breakdown in mid-December took priority, and NASA bumped the flight to January. Then frigid weather at the launch site forced a delay. Then a strong solar storm interfered.

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — There were no wild celebrations by the polygamous family that stars in the TLC reality TV show "Sister Wives" when a federal judge in Utah struck down key parts of the state's polygamy laws.

Kody Brown and his four wives tell The Associated Press they felt humbled and cried last month when they heard of the ruling. The judge's decision marked a legal victory for the Browns, who brought the lawsuit against Utah in July 2011 after they had fled the state for Las Vegas under the threat of prosecution.

They say the ruling doesn't erase the pain of the sacrifices they made by leaving their home state of Utah, which they hope to return to someday.

The Utah attorney general's office hasn't decided if they will appeal the ruling.

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JERUSALEM (AP) — The son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says his father "went when he decided to go." The 85-year-old Sharon died today after spending the last eight years of his life in a coma following a stroke.

The hospital that had been treating him says Sharon had had "ups and downs" during his years in a condition defined as "minimal consciousness."

The hospital said last week that Sharon's health was declining as he began to suffer failure of vital organs including his kidneys.

The hard-charging Sharon was one of Israel's most iconic figures.

After a distinguished, and controversial, military career, he went into politics and held a number of Cabinet posts.

He was elected prime minister in 2001, and despite his hardline views, led Israel's historic withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005.

Read more...

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