SpaceX launches 3rd crew to space station; Daunte Wright laid to rest; changes coming to Spelling Bee

Today is Friday, April 23, 2021. Let’s get caught up.

These headlines are in the news this morning: SpaceX launches third crew in less than a year, this time on recycled rocket; Daunte Wright laid to rest as Al Sharpton decries “stench of racism”; and there are changes coming to the National Spelling Bee.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


TOP STORIES

SpaceX launches 3rd crew in under year, fly on reused rocket

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX launched four astronauts toward orbit Friday using a recycled rocket and capsule, the third crew flight in less than a year for Elon Musk’s rapidly expanding company.

The astronauts from the U.S., Japan and France should reach the International Space Station early Saturday morning, following a 23-hour ride in the same Dragon capsule used by SpaceX’s debut crew last May. They’ll spend six months at the orbiting lab.

It was the first time SpaceX reused a capsule and rocket to launch astronauts for NASA, after years of proving the capability on station supply runs. The rocket was used last November on the company’s second astronaut flight.  Read more:

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Sharpton decries ‘stench of racism’ in Daunte Wright’s death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Daunte Wright, the young Black man shot by an officer during a traffic stop in suburban Minneapolis, was not “just some kid with an air freshener,” but a “prince” whose life ended too soon at the hands of police, the Rev. Al Sharpton said Thursday during an emotional funeral.

Hundreds of people wearing COVID-19 masks packed into Shiloh Temple International Ministries to remember Wright, a 20-year-old father of one who was shot by a white police officer on April 11 in the small city of Brooklyn Center. The funeral was held just two days after former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted in the death of George Floyd and amid a national reckoning on racism and policing. Read more:

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Vocabulary, lightning round added to National Spelling Bee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Scripps National Spelling Bee is undergoing a major overhaul to ensure it can identify a single champion, adding vocabulary questions and a lightning-round tiebreaker to this year’s pandemic-altered competition.

The 96-year-old bee has in the past included vocabulary on written tests but never in the high-stakes oral competition rounds, where one mistake eliminates a speller. The only previous tiebreaker to determine a single champion was a short-lived extra written test that never turned out to be needed. Read more:

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

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