CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — SpaceX pulled off another rocket landing Friday, the third in just under two months.

The first-stage booster of the unmanned Falcon rocket settled vertically onto a barge 400 miles off Florida’s east coast, eight minutes after the late afternoon liftoff. Cameras on the barge provided stunning, real-time video.

“Falcon 9 has landed!” said a SpaceX flight commentator.

The touchdown occurred after the rocket launched an Asian communications satellite. Like the last successful landing, this one was especially difficult given the speed and heat of the incoming 15-story booster.

SpaceX founder and chief executive Elon Musk said via Twitter that the rocket’s landing speed was close to the design maximum, thus the back and forth motion. He said it was probably OK, “but some risk of tipping.” No one was aboard the barge at touchdown for safety reasons.

SpaceX’s first booster landing actually occurred in December — on land at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The California-based company followed up with a successful touchdown on its floating platform in the Atlantic in early April, then again May 6. All three of those recovered boosters are now side by side, horizontally, in a SpaceX hangar. The second recovered booster will be tested and should fly on another mission later this year.

Musk wants to recycle boosters to lower launch costs and open space up to more payloads and people. These first-stage boosters normally are discarded in the ocean. SpaceX is the only one ever to land the stages left over from orbital missions.

NASA is a major customer; SpaceX flies cargo to the International Space Station and aims to transport astronauts, too, by the end of next year.

A glitch in the rocket’s engine system prevented liftoff Thursday.




RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — In a story May 26 about two Navy jets that crashed off the coast of North Carolina, The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on information from the Coast Guard, the details of a boat that rescued the men. The rescuers were on board a yacht named Pammy, not a fishing vessel named Tammy.

A corrected version of the story is below:

Navy: 2 fighter jets crash off NC coast; 4 hospitalized

Two Navy jet fighters crashed off the coast of North Carolina during a training mission and their four crew members were airlifted to a hospital after being plucked out of the Atlantic Ocean


Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Two Navy jet fighters crashed off the coast of North Carolina during a training mission Thursday, and their four crew members were airlifted to a hospital with minor injuries after being plucked out of the Atlantic Ocean by a yacht and Coast Guard rescuers, officials said.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters, based in Virginia Beach, crashed about 10:40 a.m. off the coast of Cape Hatteras, following an “in-flight mishap,” said Lt. Cmdr. Tiffani Walker, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Force Atlantic. Walker did not have any further details. Earlier Thursday, the Coast Guard had said the two aircraft collided in the air before crashing.

Two of the aviators were rescued by the crew of a yacht named Pammy, and the other two survivors were hoisted out of the water by a Coast Guard helicopter, the Coast Guard said in a statement. A second Coast Guard helicopter picked up the aviators from the yacht and all four survivors were taken to Norfolk Sentara General Hospital.

The sea route is heavily traveled by ships entering and leaving Norfolk, one of the busiest cargo ports on the East Coast.

Derick Ansley, an aviation survival technician with the Coast Guard who helped rescue two of the downed aviators, told WTKR-TV that the men had some “dings and bruises” but were in good shape, considering the circumstances.

“In my opinion, the guys got pretty lucky,” Ansley said. “Everything happened exactly the way it should have in that situation and somebody was looking over their shoulder when it was happening. For people to walk away from that is a pretty amazing thing,” he said.

Claude Morrissey, another Coast Guard rescuer, told WTKR that the aviators ejected from the jet “at a high rate of speed.” Ansley said some wreckage from one of the jets was still on the surface of the water when they got to the men.

The four aviators suffered minor injuries but are in “very high spirits,” Lt. Cmdr. Krystyn Pecora told reporters. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said all were “alert and talking” when they were picked up. Videos taken by WAVY-TV show two aviators getting on stretchers as they exited the helicopter and were taken into the hospital. The other two walked into the hospital on their own, the videos show.

“We’re happy to have brought everyone home safely today,” Pecora said.

A safety investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the accident, said Navy spokesman Ensign Mark Rockwellpate.

The F/A-18 Hornet is an all-weather fighter and attack aircraft that operates in tactical squadrons at stations around the world and from 10 aircraft carriers, the Navy says on its website. The Super Hornet, the newest model, has a longer range, aerial refueling capability and improved survivability and lethality, according to the website.

Each of the planes costs at least $57 million, the Navy says.

The jets that crashed Thursday were performing training exercises and are not currently assigned to an aircraft carrier, Walker said. The crew is part of Strike Fighter Squadron 211, based in Virginia Beach.

A rescue helicopter was dispatched from the Coast Guard’s air station in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The station’s helicopters perform ocean search-and-rescue operations off North Carolina and Virginia as far east as Bermuda.


Richer reported from Richmond, Virginia.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A top United Nations officials says deliberate interference, most notably by the Syrian government, continues to hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid to the over half million people trapped in besieged areas by the country’s ongoing civil war.

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Stephen O’Brien told the Security Council on Friday that 592,700 people are currently living under siege with the vast majority of them, some 452,700, besieged by Syrian government forces.

O’Brien, who spoke by video link, said that even when humanitarian aid deliveries had been approved, the Syrian government “has severely curtailed the U.N.’s ability to reach those in need.”

Bashar Jaafari, Syria’s U.N. Ambassador, disputed O’Brien’s claims and accused Turkey of using the humanitarian convoys to deliver weapons to the government’s enemies.

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Artificial reality startup Magic Leap is accusing two Silicon Valley employees of stealing the closely guarded secrets behind its technological tricks.

The allegations of betrayal and skullduggery surfaced in a lawsuit that Magic Leap filed late Thursday in federal court after the two workers, Gary Bradski and Adrian Kaehler, sued the company for wrongful termination earlier this week. An attorney for Bradski and Kaehler denied the company’s allegations.

The legal tussle over intellectual property and stock options highlights the rising stakes in artificial reality as more technology companies bet it will produce the industry’s next big breakthroughs.

Since its inception six years ago, Magic Leap has emerged as one of artificial reality’s most intriguing startups while raising $1.4 billion from a list of investors that include Google and China’s Alibaba Group. The last round of financing completed earlier this year valued the Dania Beach, Florida, company at $4.5 billion, even though it hasn’t released a product yet and hasn’t even disclosed a timetable for doing so.

Magic Leap instead has released videos providing tantalizing glimpses at what it’s working on: a pair of goggles that will project three-dimensional, life-like images within the real world. The company describes the technique as “mixed reality,” although it’s known as “augmented reality” through most of the technology industry.

Other headsets, such as Facebook’s Oculus Rift, that immerse users in a completely fabricated world are examples of what’s known as “virtual reality.”

Whatever its technology is called, Magic Leap has enthralled the media with its demonstrations and the pedigree of its backers.

In a recent cover story, Wired magazine hailed Magic Leap as “the world’s hottest startup.” Google, now part of Alphabet Inc., has become so intertwined with Magic Leap that its CEO, Sundar Pichai, sits on the startup’s board.

But the battle with two of the 85 employees located in its Mountain View, California, office threatens to drag Magic Leap into the mud.

Jack Russo, the lawyer representing Bradski and Kaehler, said the wrongful termination suit filed against Magic Leap will prove the company tried to wrest away employee stock options worth millions of dollars without a valid reason. He predicted the evidence will make other top engineers reluctant to work for Magic Leap.

Russo also painted an unflattering picture of Magic Leap CEO Rony Abovitz. Russo said Abovitz went into a “fit of rage” after Bradski and Kaehler tried to negotiate “consulting freedom” clauses in their contracts.

Magic Leap declined to comment on Russo’s statement or the wrongful termination suit.

In its federal lawsuit, Magic Leap depicts Bradski and Kaehler as traitors who schemed on company time for at least a year while planning their own artificial reality startup. While doing so, Bradski and Kaehler stole some of Magic Leap’s patented technology and also shared some of the secrets with outsiders, while mining the company’s business connections as they tried to launch their startup, the suit alleges.

The lawsuit alleges the duo’s duplicity involved “some deep learning techniques utilizing robotics.”

Bradski is a robotics expert hired by Magic Leap in 2013 to serve as its senior vice president of advanced perception and intelligence. Kaehler also was hired in 2013 and reported to Bradski, most recently working as a vice president of special projects.


The spelling of Adrian Kaehler’s last name has been corrected from an earlier version.

OXFORD, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi has self-imposed scholarship reductions in football because of NCAA violations and is still investigating more allegations involving first-round NFL draft pick Laremy Tunsil.

The university released its 154-page response Friday to the notice of allegations received in January. The NCAA’s long-running investigation began in 2012 after a university probe discovered academic and recruiting misconduct involving the women’s basketball program. Ole Miss later acknowledged the investigation had spread to the football and track and field programs.

“The University has accepted responsibility for the violations that occurred and self-imposed meaningful penalties,” Ole Miss said in its response. The university said that it “erred toward the upper limits” of the range of each penalty imposed.

The penalties — which the NCAA can accept or add to — didn’t include a postseason ban in football, which faces eight Level I violations qualifying as severe breaches of conduct and 14 altogether.

The university’s self-imposed penalties to the football program include three years of probation and 11 fewer total scholarships over four years starting with the most recent recruiting class, limiting Ole Miss to 22 signees instead of 25 in each of the next three years. The violations include left tackle Tunsil’s use of three loaner cars over a six-month period.

Two boosters who provided money and/or lodging to Tunsil’s stepfather, including one payout of at least $500, were indefinitely disassociated. A third, one of the owners of an Oxford car dealership, was disassociated for three years for providing the loaner cars. Tunsil was only identified as “Student-Athlete I” in the response. Another athlete kept a loaner vehicle for more than a month after his own was repaired.

The car dealer also allowed Tunsil to postpone his $3,000 down payment on a 2010 Dodge Challenger for three or four months.

The university also has asked to delay a hearing before the Committee on Infractions while it looks into draft-night allegations involving Tunsil, who was picked by the Miami Dolphins. Tunsil was the story of the NFL draft after a bizarre 30-second video of him smoking from a gas mask-bong contraption was posted on his Twitter account just before the selections began. There was also a post on Tunsil’s Instagram account showing an alleged text conversation with a football staff member about arranging payment for bills.

Tunsil said both accounts were hacked, but acknowledged following the draft that he accepted money from a coach while he was at Ole Miss.

In a letter attached to the university’s response, Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter and athletic director Ross Bjork said Ole Miss and the NCAA started reviewing the cases for potential violations that night, “and we hope this review will be concluded soon.”

“To ensure fairness to all parties and pursuant to COI procedure, we have asked the COI to remove the hearing from this summer’s docket until this review can be completed and closed,” the university officials wrote.

Before the arrival of current football coach Hugh Freeze, the university said former staff member David Saunders allegedly arranged for fraudulent ACT scores for three prospects and that Saunders and ex-assistant committed unethical conduct during the investigation and after they left the school.

The university said it barred current assistants Chris Kiffin and Maurice Harris from off-campus recruiting contact for a month and three weeks, respectively, for recruiting violations. It also cut the staff’s off-campus recruiting days in each of the past two spring evaluation periods.

Ole Miss only contested one of the 28 allegations while stating that five more should be categorized on a different level. The university also imposed a fine of $159,325 and said it expects to spend more than $1.5 million on the cases.

Four coaches in women’s basketball and track and field have already been fired. Women’s basketball also served a postseason ban in 2012-13 and scholarship reductions.

The university cited mitigating factors in its favor, including that “all but one of the 16 Level I violations arose from intentional misconduct committed by rogue former employees or boosters outside the University’s direct control acting in contravention of rules education provided to them by the University.”

SHANGHAI (AP) — Alibaba is the world’s biggest e-commerce platform. Over 420 million people scooped up $485 billion worth of stuff last year on Alibaba’s sites. The company went public in 2014, raising $25 billion — more than Facebook — in the largest offering in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. Some things to know about the company:


Alibaba’s e-commerce platforms cater to both Chinese and global consumers. At its heart is Taobao, a Chinese consumer-to-consumer website much like eBay. Tmall offers merchants official storefronts to consumers in China. Alibaba and AliExpress connect businesses in China with buyers around the world.



Alibaba also runs an online payment platform called Alipay. It has stakes in Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, as well as Youku Tuduo, a video platform akin to YouTube. And it’s building up a cloud computing and internet infrastructure business.



Alibaba was founded in the living room of a former English teacher named Jack Ma. A self-made billionaire, Ma is a folk-hero to some Chinese.



There is widespread suspicion that Alibaba knowingly profits from the sale of fakes on its platforms — a point Gucci America, among others, has made in an ongoing U.S. lawsuit. Some brands complain about how slow and difficult it is to get fakes removed from Alibaba’s sites. Alibaba says it has spent tens of millions of dollars on anti-counterfeiting and that it is constantly trying to improve its systems.



Ma knew from the beginning that he wanted a name people around the world would recognize. He asked a waitress in a San Francisco restaurant if she recognized the name Alibaba and she said, yes, open sesame! Drawn from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, the name stuck.