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  • Virgin Galactic's Richard Branson says his spaceship has just a few more test flights before he jumps on board for the first tourist trip. Branson celebrated his 69th birthday at Florida's Kennedy Space Center on Thursday during 50th anniversary celebrations for humanity's first moon landing. He was joined by 100 other aspiring astronauts who have put down deposits to launch into space with Virgin Galactic. Like Branson, many in the crowd were inspired to fly into space by what he called 'the most audacious journey of all time.' Branson says three or four test flights will be conducted from New Mexico, beginning this fall, before engineers allow him to fly.
  • Authorities say human remains found in a rural area of Massachusetts have been identified as a Florida woman who went missing from her sister's nearby home in May. The skeletal remains of 53-year-old Jacqueline Coutinho were found by loggers in a heavily wooded area of Peru on Tuesday morning. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner confirmed her identity Wednesday. Coutinho disappeared from her sister's Hinsdale home on May 15. Peru and Hinsdale are adjacent. Berkshire District Attorney Andrea Harrington said in a statement Wednesday there's no indication of foul play. The cause of death is still being investigated. Coutinho had been visiting her sister from Bunnell, Florida.
  • Florida can limit who gets to give dietary advice, a federal court ruled. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by a health coach who was fined for practicing without a dietary license. Heather Del Castillo had argued Florida's law violated her First Amendment right to free speech, noting dietary advice is ubiquitous online, in books and on TV. The case underscored the varying state laws on who can charge for personalized dietary advice. Some states do not require licenses, while some protect the use of titles such as 'dietitian.' Others such as Florida restrict the practice more broadly to licensed professionals. The inconsistencies stand to cause confusion about the qualifications of people who offer nutrition counseling. Health coaches generally say they can help people achieve their goals and may get certificates from a variety of programs. But anyone can use the title, which doesn't have a consistent meaning. By contrast, registered dietitians with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have education and training that generally qualify them to meet any state licensing requirements. The academy says it doesn't oppose bloggers and influencers who share dietary views online, but that dietitians have the background to advise people with medical conditions such as diabetes. In its ruling Wednesday, the U.S. District Court in Pensacola said the state law is intended to protect people from incompetent advice, and that the law requires a license specifically to charge for individualized counseling. It said the law does not prevent Del Castillo from giving dietary advice for free, or from giving speeches or writing about nutrition. The case was taken up by the Institute for Justice, a free-market group that has challenged other occupational licensing laws, such as for tour guides . The court said licensing for dietary advice is different because clients are given individualized advice, whereas tour guides give everyone the same information. The Institute for Justice said it planned to appeal. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Georgia Lottery's 'All or Nothing Day' game were: 02-03-06-08-11-12-13-15-17-18-21-23 (two, three, six, eight, eleven, twelve, thirteen, fifteen, seventeen, eighteen, twenty-one, twenty-three)
  • The Philadelphia Police Department is suspending 13 officers with intent to fire them following an investigation into offensive and sometimes threatening Facebook posts, the police commissioner announced on Thursday. The department had placed 72 officers on administrative leave in June after a nonprofit group published the results of a two-year review of personal Facebook posts or comments from officers in Philadelphia and seven other U.S. police departments. The team of researchers found officers from Arizona to Florida bashing immigrants and Muslims, promoting racist stereotypes, identifying with right-wing militia groups and, especially, glorifying police brutality. All the posts were public. All but three of the Philadelphia officers now on leave face some form of discipline, from dismissal to reprimands, said Police Commissioner Richard Ross. He said the department considered several factors when deciding on discipline, including the officers' constitutional rights and the integrity of the police department. 'I continue to be very disappointed and angered by these posts, many of which violate basic human decency,' Ross said. 'We need to move past this ridiculous hate that has consumed this country and has done so for centuries.' Officers who were on track to be fired made posts or comments that advocated violence or death 'against any protected class such as ethnicity, national origin, sex, religion and race' or worked to 'erode the trust necessary for a police department to carry out its core mission,' Ross said. Examples included posts with the words 'Death to Islam,' referring to blacks as 'thugs,' and homophobic memes which referenced violence, he said. In total, the database found over 3,000 troubling Facebook posts by 328 active duty police officers, Ross said. None of the officers was identified, and Ross said the suspensions hadn't yet begun because some of the officers were on vacation. Mayor Jim Kenney joined the commissioner at a news conference to announce the findings of the city's investigation, which was aided by a private law firm. 'Building trust will always be our top priority,' Kenney said, calling the posts deeply disturbing and antithetical to what his administration is about. 'We will not allow this terrible incident to break down the progress we've made.' All of the 72 officers put on administrative leave will get social media and professionalism training, he said. The department is also looking at software that they could use to track and audit officers' social media postings. John McNesby, president of the Philadelphia police union, said the Fraternal Order of Police is disappointed that the officers will be terminated without due process and they condemn racist and hateful speech in any form. 'We are currently meeting with each officer to prepare an appropriate response to protect our members' rights under the contract,' he said in a statement. 'The overwhelming majority of our members serve this city with integrity and professionalism.' Following publication of the database, St. Louis' top prosecutor added 22 more names to a list of officers in that city who are not allowed to bring cases to her office. In Phoenix, Police Chief Jeri Williams has moved some officers to 'non-enforcement' assignments while the department probes Facebook posts she called 'embarrassing and disturbing.' The database included nearly 180 posts tied to current Phoenix police officers that disparage Muslims, black people, transgender people and other groups.
  • These Florida lotteries were drawn Wednesday: 09-18-35-59-60, Cash Ball: 3 (nine, eighteen, thirty-five, fifty-nine, sixty; Cash Ball: three) 08-10-12-27-33 (eight, ten, twelve, twenty-seven, thirty-three) 01-13-19-24-39-44 (one, thirteen, nineteen, twenty-four, thirty-nine, forty-four) Estimated jackpot: $2 million 02 (two) Estimated jackpot: $154 million 2-2 (two, two) 8-8 (eight, eight) 2-2-0 (two, two, zero) 7-9-0 (seven, nine, zero) 5-1-2-3 (five, one, two, three) 7-0-4-9 (seven, zero, four, nine) 6-6-1-8-8 (six, six, one, eight, eight) 8-2-6-5-4 (eight, two, six, five, four) 19-43-47-60-68, Powerball: 10, Power Play: 2 (nineteen, forty-three, forty-seven, sixty, sixty-eight; Powerball: ten; Power Play: two) Estimated jackpot: $40 million
  • The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 3 Midday' game were: 2-6-5 (two, six, five)
  • The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 5 Midday' game were: 4-7-4-5-9 (four, seven, four, five, nine)
  • The winning numbers in Thursday afternoon's drawing of the Florida Lottery's 'Pick 2 Midday' game were: 8-3 (eight, three)