Astronaut quits halfway through training, 1st in 50 years

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — For the first time in 50 years, an astronaut-in-training is quitting NASA.

Astronaut candidate Robb Kulin has resigned halfway through his two years of training at Johnson Space Center in Houston. A NASA spokeswoman says his departure is effective Friday and that he is leaving for personal reasons that the space agency cannot discuss due to privacy laws.

Kulin, 34, was among 12 new astronauts chosen last summer from a record 18,300 applicants. An Alaskan native, Kulin was working as a senior manager at SpaceX when selected and said at the time he was hoping to fly on a vehicle he helped design. SpaceX and Boeing are developing NASA's first commercial crew capsules, due to launch within the next year.

The last time astronauts-in-training resigned from NASA was in 1968.


Dry eyes: Tesla's Musk says he shed no tears in interview

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk is denying that he cried during a recent interview with The New York Times in which he described how he'd become overwhelmed by the stress of running electric car company Tesla.

On Twitter Tuesday Musk acknowledged his voice cracked once during the interview. But, he added, "That's it. There were no tears."

Musk was responding to a Forbes article shared on Twitter and written by Amy Nelson, the founder and CEO of workspace company The Riveter. Nelson wrote that she doesn't think she could cry in an interview, given the double standards that men and women face in the business world.

Times Finance Editor David Enrich, meanwhile, said on the social media site that the paper stands by its description of Musk's emotions during the interview.


Lawyer uses Trump argument that flippers should be outlawed

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York defense lawyer has wasted no time using President Donald Trump's argument that cooperators, or flippers, in criminal cases "almost ought to be illegal."

Attorney Kafahni Nkrumah on Thursday tried to bring up Trump's statement to disparage a cooperator who was testifying against his client in a drug trial. But a judge disallowed it.

Trump's remark aired earlier the same day during a "Fox & Friends" interview in which he suggested it should be illegal for people facing prosecution to cooperate with the government in exchange for a reduced sentence.

Nkrumah's client, Jamal Russell, was convicted the same day on a drug charge and exonerated on a weapons count.


Sheriff: Deputies arrested in Mexico, took guns on vacation

CORDELE, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia sheriff says two deputies have been arrested for bringing guns to Mexico, where it's illegal to carry such weapons.

Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock tells news outlets Martelle and Shawana Davis were traveling to Cancun for vacation and were taken into custody when they got off their flight there. The 36-year-old man and 31-year-old woman are married and both work for the sheriff's office.

Hancock says they brought the guns as a safety precaution after several killings were recently reported in Cancun.

The sheriff says the couple were fined and returned to the U.S. Monday morning after being arrested Thursday night. He says they didn't violate his office's policy allowing officers to carry their weapons while off duty.

Hancock says there will be an internal investigation.


Worldwide gun deaths reach 250,000 yearly; US ranks high

CHICAGO (AP) — A new study finds gun deaths worldwide total about 250,000 yearly. And the United States is among just six countries that make up half of those fatalities.

The findings are from an analysis of global data from 1990 to 2016.

Two-thirds of the gun deaths in 2016 were homicides, although the U.S. is among wealthy countries where suicides by gun outnumber gun killings.

The U.S. had the second-highest suicide rate in 2016, but ranked 20th in overall gun death rates.

Gun deaths worldwide increased over the 20-year study, but the rate was mostly unchanged.

Results appear Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


Body found in fish tank in missing man's San Francisco home

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco police say they found human remains in a fish tank inside the home of a man who was reported missing for weeks.

Police Commander Greg McEachern said Tuesday that investigators discovered the remains on Aug. 17 and are awaiting the results of an autopsy and identification of the body.

McEachern said the body was found in the home of 65-year-old Brian Egg, who was reported missing in late July. He said officers visited and left Egg's home three times in early August without making contact with anyone.

Neighbors called police on Aug. 14 when they spotted a private crime-scene cleaning company and a stranger outside Egg's home. Responding officers reported a strong decaying odor and cleaning supplies inside. McEachern said police have identified two people of interest.


Shark attack victim says he punched shark in gills to escape

BOSTON (AP) — The man bitten by a shark off Cape Cod in Massachusetts this month says he punched it in its gills to escape the attack.

William Lytton, of Scarsdale, New York, is recounting his ordeal Tuesday as he recovers in a Boston rehabilitation hospital.

The 61-year-old neurologist tells The Associated Press he was swimming in 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 meters) of water when he was attacked Aug. 15.

He says the shark bit down on his left leg but he began punching its gills.

Lytton says he's grateful to be alive after six surgeries but still has weeks of treatment before he's fully healed.

He's been at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital since Sunday, when he was released from Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

The shark attack was the first in Massachusetts waters since 2012.