Gala opens countdown to 50th anniversary of 1st moon landing

Former Johnson Space Center Director Gerry Griffin, left, a flight director for all of the crewed Apollo missions, sits next to Apollo astronauts Harrison Schmitt, Rusty Schweickart, Walt Cunningham and Tom Stafford, from second from left, during a panel discussion at the Apollo Celebration Gala at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, July 21, 2018. The event kicked off a yearlong celebration of the upcoming 50-year anniversary of the first moon landing. (AP Photo/Alex Sanz)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Former NASA astronaut Buzz Aldrin was noticeably absent from a gala kicking off a yearlong celebration of the 50-year anniversary of the first moon landing, even though his nonprofit space education foundation is a sponsor and he typically is the star attraction.

Inspector warned duck boat company of design flaws

People look at idled duck boats in the parking lot of Ride the Ducks Saturday, July 21, 2018 in Branson, Mo. One of the company's duck boats capsized Thursday night resulting in several deaths on Table Rock Lake. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A private inspector said Saturday that he warned the company operating duck boats on a Missouri lake about design flaws putting the watercraft at greater risk of sinking, less than a year before the accident that killed 17 people during a sudden storm.

Israel evacuates stranded Syrian volunteers

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 14, 2017, file photo, provided by the Syrian Civil Defense group known as the White Helmets, shows civilians rushing out of the damaged buildings after airstrikes hit a school housing a number of displaced people, in the western part of the southern Daraa province of Syria. The Israeli military said Sunday it had rescued members of a Syrian volunteer civil organization, known as White Helmets, from the volatile frontier area and evacuated them to a third country, the first such Israeli intervention in Syria's lengthy civil war. (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP, File)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military evacuated hundreds of members of the White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer organization, from the volatile frontier area on the Golan Heights and transported them to Jordan, following a request by the United States and its European allies, officials said Sunday.

In Damascus, Syrians hope that war’s end is near

In this Sunday, July 15, 2018, photo, a bulldozer removes rubble from a destroyed complex which was destroyed during the fight between Syrian government forces and insurgents, in the town of Douma, in the eastern Ghouta region, near the Syrian capital Damascus, Syria. The celebratory mood in government-controlled areas stems from successive military advances in the past year and an impression that President Bashar Assad, with massive support by unwavering allies Russia and Iran, has won the war or at least militarily defeated the opposition trying to topple him. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Crossing into Syria from neighboring Lebanon, visitors are greeted by giant posters of President Bashar Assad.

Britain has a summer job for you: Count the butterflies

FILE - This March 23, 2016 file photo shows a Blue Morpho butterfly landing on a plant during a photo call for hundreds of tropical butterflies being released, to launch the Natural History Museum's Sensational Butterflies exhibition in London. During the summer of 2018 Britain is holding a Big Butterfly Count to help experts assess the state of the wildlife environment. The count is being backed by celebrities, including naturalist David Attenborough, and depends on people devoting 15 minutes to counting butterfly species. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, file)

Britain has a summer job for you: Count the butterflies

French investigators raid home of Macron’s ex-bodyguard

FILE - In this Wednesday April 26, 2017 file photo, Emmanuel Macron, right, is flanked by his bodyguard, Alexandre Benalla, left, outside the Whirlpool home appliance factory, in Amiens, northern France. Investigators have detained for questioning on Friday, July 20, 2018 one of President Emmanuel Macron's top security aides caught on camera beating a protester in May, a turn of events now evolving into a major political crisis for the president. The presidential Elysee Palace said it is taking steps to fire Alexandre Benalla, who was identified earlier this week by the newspaper Le Monde for beating a young protester during May Day protests while wearing a police helmet (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

PARIS (AP) — French investigators on Saturday raided the house of one of French President Emmanuel Macron’s former top security aides, a man who was caught on camera beating a young protester in May.

And now he is 5: Britain’s Prince George marks birthday

In this photo taken on Monday, July 9, 2018, Britain's Prince George poses for a picture following the christening of his brother Prince Louis, at Clarence House in London. Britain's Prince William and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge have released a photo of Prince George to mark his fifth birthday on Sunday, July 22. (Matt Porteous via AP)

LONDON (AP) — Who doesn’t like birthdays?

Ticket mix-up put family on Missouri tourist boat

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, left, and Stone County Sheriff Doug Rader hold a press conference at Table Rock Lake about fatal accident involving a Duck Boat at the lake, Friday, July 20, 2018 in Stone County, Mo. Multiple people, including children, died after a boat carrying tourists on a Missouri lake capsized and sank, the local sheriff said. (David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via AP)

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — More than half of the 17 people killed when a tourist boat sank on a Branson lake were members of the same Indiana family, and they likely wouldn’t have been on the ill-fated trip but for a ticket mix-up.

Tornado stuns Iowa town, residents say they’ll rebuild

A local resident runs past a tornado-damaged building on Main Street, Thursday, July 19, 2018, in Marshalltown, Iowa. Several buildings were damaged by a tornado in the main business district in town including the historic courthouse. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (AP) — With the scope of the devastation still sinking in, business owners and residents of the central Iowa city of Marshalltown on Friday began picking up bricks from collapsed buildings, dragging away downed trees and trying to return to the lives they knew before a powerful tornado roared through their community.

Kavanaugh’s lengthy paper trail becomes flashpoint

In this July 19, 2018, photo, Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh glances at reporters during a meeting with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kavanaugh has a long record of judicial and executive branch service. It’s part of what recommends him as President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. And it’s also part of the problem in getting him confirmed by the Senate. Democrats want to see the conservative appellate court judge’s lengthy paper trail before they even start casting their votes. The paper chase is turning the vetting process into a political strategy ahead of the November election. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Judge Brett Kavanaugh has a long record of judicial and executive branch service to recommend him as President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court. And that’s part of the problem in getting him confirmed by the Senate.

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